December 17, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 198 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
RELIABLE EMERGENCY ALERT DISTRIBUTION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2018; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 198
(Senate - December 17, 2018)
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[Pages S7734-S7735] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] RELIABLE EMERGENCY ALERT DISTRIBUTION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2018 Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. 3238. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (S. 3238) to improve oversight by the Federal Communications Commission of the wireless and broadcast emergency alert systems. There being no objection, the committee was discharged, and the Senate proceeded to consider the bill. [[Page S7735]] Mr. CRAPO. I further ask unanimous consent that the Schatz substitute amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to; that the bill, as amended, be read a third time and passed; and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The amendment (No. 4154) in the nature of a substitute was agreed to, as follows: (Purpose: In the nature of a substitute) Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following: SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act of 2018'' 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. EMERGENCY ALERT BEST PRACTICES. (a) Guidance.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall develop and issue guidance for State, Tribal, and local governments regarding policies and procedures relating to emergency alerts. (2) Contents.--The guidance developed under paragraph (1) shall include best practices and recommendations for-- (A) the processes and procedures that a State, Tribal, or local government official should use to issue an alert that will use the Emergency Alert System or Wireless Emergency Alert System, including information about the technology used to issue such an alert; (B) steps that a State, Tribal, or local government official should take to mitigate the possibility of the issuance of a false alert through the Emergency Alert System and related emergency alerting systems; (C) the process that a State, Tribal, or local government official should adopt to retract a false alert in the case of the issuance of such an alert; (D) the annual training of State, Tribal, and local alert origination staff related to the-- (i) issuance of alerts; (ii) avoidance of false alerts; and (iii) retracting of false alerts; and (E) a plan by which participants in the Emergency Alert System and the Wireless Emergency Alert System and other relevant State, Tribal, and local government officials may, during an emergency, contact each other, as well as Federal officials, when appropriate and necessary, by telephone, text message, or other means of communication, regarding an alert that has been distributed to the public. (b) 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. The bill (S. 3238), as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, was read the third time, and passed. ____________________