Text: H.R.4856 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (10/24/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 4856 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 4856

 To improve oversight by the Federal Communications Commission of the 
            wireless and broadcast emergency alert systems.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 24, 2019

 Mr. McNerney (for himself, Mr. Bilirakis, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Olson) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
       Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on 
Transportation and Infrastructure, and Homeland Security, for a period 
    to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for 
consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the 
                          committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To improve oversight by the Federal Communications Commission of the 
            wireless and broadcast emergency alert systems.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Reliable Emergency Alert 
Distribution Improvement Act of 2019'' or ``READI Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act--
            (1) the term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of 
        the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
            (2) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal 
        Communications Commission;
            (3) the term ``Emergency Alert System'' means the national 
        public warning system, the rules for which are set forth in 
        part 11 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any 
        successor regulation); and
            (4) the term ``Wireless Emergency Alert System'' means the 
        wireless national public warning system established under the 
        Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (47 U.S.C. 1201 et 
        seq.), the rules for which are set forth in part 10 of title 
        47, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulation).

SEC. 3. WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM OFFERINGS.

    (a) Amendment.--Section 602(b)(2)(E) of the Warning, Alert, and 
Response Network Act (47 U.S.C. 1201(b)(2)(E)) is amended--
            (1) by striking the second and third sentences; and
            (2) by striking ``other than an alert issued by the 
        President.'' and inserting the following: ``other than an alert 
        issued by--
                    ``(A) the President; or
                    ``(B) the Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
                Management Agency.''.
    (b) Regulations.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Commission, in consultation with the 
Administrator, shall adopt regulations to implement the amendment made 
by subsection (a)(2).

SEC. 4. STATE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM PLANS AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS 
              COMMITTEES.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section--
            (1) the term ``SECC'' means a State Emergency 
        Communications Committee;
            (2) the term ``State'' means any State of the United 
        States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
        Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, 
        the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any 
        possession of the United States; and
            (3) the term ``State EAS Plan'' means a State Emergency 
        Alert System Plan.
    (b) State Emergency Communications Committee.--Not later than 180 
days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall 
adopt regulations that--
            (1) encourage the chief executive of each State--
                    (A) to establish an SECC if the State does not have 
                an SECC; or
                    (B) if the State has an SECC, to review the 
                composition and governance of the SECC;
            (2) provide that--
                    (A) each SECC, not less frequently than annually, 
                shall--
                            (i) meet to review and update its State EAS 
                        Plan;
                            (ii) certify to the Commission that the 
                        SECC has met as required under clause (i); and
                            (iii) submit to the Commission an updated 
                        State EAS Plan; and
                    (B) not later than 60 days after the date on which 
                the Commission receives an updated State EAS Plan under 
                subparagraph (A)(iii), the Commission shall--
                            (i) approve or disapprove the updated State 
                        EAS Plan; and
                            (ii) notify the chief executive of the 
                        State of the Commission's findings; and
            (3) establish a State EAS Plan content checklist for SECCs 
        to use when reviewing and updating a State EAS Plan for 
        submission to the Commission under paragraph (2)(A).
    (c) Consultation.--The Commission shall consult with the 
Administrator regarding the adoption of regulations under subsection 
(b)(3).

SEC. 5. INTEGRATED PUBLIC ALERT AND WARNING SYSTEM GUIDANCE.

    (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator shall develop and issue guidance on how 
State, Tribal, and local governments can participate in the integrated 
public alert and warning system of the United States described in 
section 526 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 321o) 
(referred to in this section as the ``public alert and warning 
system'') while maintaining the integrity of the public alert and 
warning system, including--
            (1) guidance on the categories of public emergencies and 
        appropriate circumstances that warrant an alert and warning 
        from State, Tribal, and local governments using the public 
        alert and warning system;
            (2) the procedures for State, Tribal, and local government 
        officials to authenticate civil emergencies and initiate, 
        modify, and cancel alerts transmitted through the public alert 
        and warning system, including protocols and technology 
        capabilities for--
                    (A) the initiation, or prohibition on the 
                initiation, of alerts by a single authorized or 
                unauthorized individual;
                    (B) testing a State, Tribal, or local government 
                incident management and warning tool without 
                accidentally initiating an alert through the public 
                alert and warning system; and
                    (C) steps a State, Tribal, or local government 
                official should take to mitigate the possibility of the 
                issuance of a false alert through the public alert and 
                warning system;
            (3) the standardization, functionality, and 
        interoperability of incident management and warning tools used 
        by State, Tribal, and local governments to notify the public of 
        an emergency through the public alert and warning system;
            (4) the annual training and recertification of emergency 
        management personnel on requirements for originating and 
        transmitting an alert through the public alert and warning 
        system;
            (5) the procedures, protocols, and guidance concerning the 
        protective action plans that State, Tribal, and local 
        governments should issue to the public following an alert 
        issued under the public alert and warning system;
            (6) the procedures, protocols, and guidance concerning the 
        communications that State, Tribal, and local governments should 
        issue to the public following a false alert issued under the 
        public alert and warning system;
            (7) a plan by which State, Tribal, and local government 
        officials may, during an emergency, contact each other as well 
        as Federal officials and participants in the Emergency Alert 
        System and the Wireless Emergency Alert System, when 
        appropriate and necessary, by telephone, text message, or other 
        means of communication regarding an alert that has been 
        distributed to the public; and
            (8) any other procedure the Administrator considers 
        appropriate for maintaining the integrity of and providing for 
        public confidence in the public alert and warning system.
    (b) Coordination With National Advisory Council Report.--The 
Administrator shall ensure that the guidance developed under subsection 
(a) do not conflict with recommendations made for improving the public 
alert and warning system provided in the report submitted by the 
National Advisory Council under section 2(b)(7)(B) of the Integrated 
Public Alert and Warning System Modernization Act of 2015 (Public Law 
114-143; 130 Stat. 332).
    (c) Public Consultation.--In developing the guidance under 
subsection (a), the Administrator shall ensure appropriate public 
consultation and, to the extent practicable, coordinate the development 
of the guidance with stakeholders of the public alert and warning 
system, including--
            (1) appropriate personnel from Federal agencies, including 
        the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Federal 
        Emergency Management Agency, and the Commission;
            (2) representatives of State and local governments and 
        emergency services personnel, who shall be selected from among 
        individuals nominated by national organizations representing 
        those governments and personnel;
            (3) representatives of federally recognized Indian Tribes 
        and national Indian organizations;
            (4) communications service providers;
            (5) vendors, developers, and manufacturers of systems, 
        facilities, equipment, and capabilities for the provision of 
        communications services;
            (6) third-party service bureaus;
            (7) the national organization representing the licensees 
        and permittees of noncommercial broadcast television stations;
            (8) technical experts from the broadcasting industry;
            (9) educators from the Emergency Management Institute; and
            (10) other individuals with technical expertise as the 
        Administrator determines appropriate.
    (d) Inapplicability of FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the public consultation with 
stakeholders under subsection (c).
    (e) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in subsection (a) shall be 
construed to amend, supplement, or abridge the authority of the 
Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) 
or in any other manner give the Administrator authority over 
communications service providers participating in the Emergency Alert 
System or the Wireless Emergency Alert System.

SEC. 6. FALSE ALERT REPORTING.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Commission, in consultation with the Administrator, shall complete 
a rulemaking proceeding to establish a system to receive from the 
Administrator or State, Tribal, or local governments reports of false 
alerts under the Emergency Alert System or the Wireless Emergency Alert 
System for the purpose of recording such false alerts and examining 
their causes.

SEC. 7. REPEATING EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM MESSAGES FOR NATIONAL 
              SECURITY.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Commission, in consultation with the Administrator, shall complete 
a rulemaking proceeding to modify the Emergency Alert System to provide 
for repeating Emergency Alert System messages while an alert remains 
pending that is issued by--
            (1) the President;
            (2) the Administrator; or
            (3) any other entity under specified circumstances as 
        determined by the Commission, in consultation with the 
        Administrator.

SEC. 8. INTERNET AND ONLINE STREAMING SERVICES EMERGENCY ALERT 
              EXAMINATION.

    (a) Study.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, and after providing public notice and opportunity for 
comment, the Commission shall complete an inquiry to examine the 
feasibility of updating the Emergency Alert System to enable or improve 
alerts to consumers provided through the internet, including through 
streaming services.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 90 days after completing the inquiry 
under subsection (a), the Commission shall submit a report on the 
findings and conclusions of the inquiry to--
            (1) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
        of the Senate; and
            (2) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
        Representatives.
                                 <all>

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