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109th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                          Report
                                                        Calendar No. 75

                        TSUNAMI PREPAREDNESS ACT


                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE



                        S. H.R. deg. 50


        DATE deg.April 19, 2005.--Ordered to be printed
                       one hundred ninth congress
                             first session

                     TED STEVENS, Alaska, Chairman
                 DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Co-Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West 
CONRAD BURNS, Montana                    Virginia
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi              JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas          BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine              BARBARA BOXER, California
GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon              BILL NELSON, Florida
JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia               FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire        E. BENJAMIN NELSON, Nebraska
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina           MARK PRYOR, Arkansas
                    Lisa Sutherland, Staff Director
             Christine Drager Kurth, Deputy Staff Director
                      David Russell, Chief Counsel
     Margaret Cummisky, Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel
 Samuel Whitehorn, Democratic Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel
                                                        Calendar No. 75
109th Congress                                                   Report
 1st Session                                                     109-59


                        TSUNAMI PREPAREDNESS ACT


                 April 19, 2005.--Ordered to be printed


       Mr. Stevens, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                          [To accompany S. 50]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 50) to authorize and strengthen 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's tsunami 
detection, forecast, warning, and mitigation program, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

  The bill authorizes NOAA to establish, operate, and maintain 
a dependable national tsunami warning system that would provide 
maximum tsunami detection capability for the nation. The system 
would build on the model established in the Pacific, and 
provide for its repair, expansion and modernization by the 
close of calendar year 2007. The system would include 4 
components, i.e., (1) an expanded and upgraded detection and 
warning system; (2) a Federal-State tsunami hazard mitigation 
program; (3) a tsunami research program; and (4) a 
modernization and upgrade program. In addition, the bill would 
direct NOAA to provide any necessary technical or other 
assistance to international efforts to establish regional 
systems in other parts of the world, including the Indian 
Ocean. The bill would authorize $35 million for each of fiscal 
years 2006 through 2012 to carry out these activities.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEEDS

  Tsunami are a fast-moving series of ocean waves generated by 
the rapid displacement of a water column in the ocean. Such 
displacement is usually caused by submarine geologic activity 
such as volcanoes, earthquakes, or landslides. Variables 
affecting the size and power of tsunami include the size and 
speed of the seafloor displacement, the depth of the water 
column above the displacement, the efficiency of the energy 
transfer from the earth's crust to the water column, and the 
shape of the shoreline and the seafloor along the coast where 
the waves reach land.
  Tsunami can travel across open oceans at great speeds, 
sometimes over 600 miles per hour in very deep water. They can 
be only a few inches high and many miles long. As tsunami enter 
shallow water, their speed decreases and the wave height 
increases. This ``shoaling effect'' creates a larger, 
relatively slower wave that can cause massive damage in coastal 
areas and low-lying inland regions. Tsunami often appear as a 
rapidly moving tide, a series of breaking waves, or a bore wave 
(a step-like wave with a steep breaking front). Tsunami rarely 
cause high, breaking waves, which is what many people envision 
``tidal waves'' look like. Behind the bore is a fast-moving 
flood that is capable of carrying extremely large and heavy 
pieces of debris. Strong tsunami-induced currents can lead to 
erosion of foundations around coastal structures. Finally, 
tsunami often result in significant loss of life.
  At 7:58 a.m. on December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake 
occurred off the coast of northern Sumatra, the location of a 
subduction zone in the Indian Ocean, where the India plate is 
being pushed beneath the Burma plate. The rupture along the 
plate boundary extended 1000 kilometers and the sea floor rose 
several meters. This earthquake caused severe shaking near the 
epicenter, and generated a large tsunami that struck the coasts 
of Sumatra (within 30 minutes), Thailand (within 1.5 hours), 
and India and Sri Lanka (within 2 hours). This massive tsunami 
in the Indian Ocean ultimately took lives in more than 11 
countries. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the 
earthquake was the largest since the 9.2 magnitude Good Friday 
Earthquake off Alaska in 1964, and tied for fourth largest 
since 1900.
  As of January 26, 2005, the Government of Indonesia's 
Ministry of Health had 96,232 confirmed deaths and 132,197 
persons missing and presumed dead. However, the exact number of 
victims will likely never be known. Different reporting 
practices for lost and dead persons by the governments in the 
affected region and the use of mass graves to prevent the 
outbreak of disease make an exact figure impossible to 
calculate. The effects of the tsunami have been felt throughout 
the region. In Sri Lanka, the Government of Sri Lanka's Center 
for National Operations increased the official number of 
displaced from 396,170 to 502,426. The Government of Indonesia 
indicates that the earthquake and tsunami destroyed 
approximately 127,000 houses and damaged another 151,000 
houses--one-third of all housing in the area. UNICEF estimates 
between 765 to 1151 schools were damaged or destroyed in 
  According to the USGS, the subduction zones at the India and 
Burma tectonic plates are similar to those throughout the 
Pacific region and have the potential to create ``megathrust'' 
events where one tectonic plate is driven beneath another. The 
Pacific is most vulnerable because it covers nearly one-third 
of the earth's surface and is surrounded by a series of 
mountain chains, deep-ocean trenches, and island arcs called 
the ``ring of fire'' where most earthquakes occur (off the 
coasts of Kamchatka, Japan, the Kuril Islands, Alaska, and 
South America). USGS reports that the world's largest recorded 
earthquakes have all been megathrust events, including the 
magnitude 9.5 1960 Chile earthquake, the magnitude 9.2 1964 
Prince William Sound, Alaska, earthquake, the magnitude 9.1 
1957 Andreanof Islands, Alaska, earthquake, and the magnitude 
9.0 1952 Kamchatka earthquake. Three of these tsunami-
generating earthquakes occurred in the Aleutian Islands (1946, 
1957, and 1964) and caused significant damage and loss of life 
in Alaska and Hawaii.
  Other areas of the United States can be vulnerable to 
tsunami. According to USGS, there is a 10 to 14 percent chance 
of a similar earthquake and tsunami centered in the Cascadia 
subduction zone off the coasts of Oregon and Northern 
California within the next 50 years. If an earthquake did occur 
in this region, coastal communities in Washington, Oregon, and 
northern California could experience a local tsunami with no 
more than 10 to 20 minutes of warning time. While tsunami are 
less frequent in the Atlantic Ocean, there is a fault zone in 
the Caribbean, and while it is not very seismically active, the 
possibility for a tsunami does exist. In addition, an undersea 
formation off the coast of the Canary Islands is being 
monitored by scientists for stability. If the formation were to 
collapse, an undersea landslide would result and trigger a 
tsunami that could possibly travel across the Atlantic and 
strike the east coast of the United States.
  Providing sufficient warning is crucial for minimizing the 
loss of life due to tsunami. The NOAA is responsible for 
coordinating tsunami-related activities in the United States 
and works closely with the USGS and the National Science 
Foundation (NSF), which provide, respectively, seismographic 
information and science and research capabilities. NOAA also 
represents the United States as a member of the International 
Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific, the only international 
tsunami warning system, and hosts the operational center of the 
international system at the National Weather Service offices in 
Hawaii. The international system was established by the 
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United 
Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization 
(UNESCO) in 1965. While the system can detect earthquakes 
through measurements taken through a global seismic network, it 
has tsunami forecasting and warning capability only for 
locations in the Pacific.
  Tsunami preparedness requires adequate systems to address 
detection and warning; research, education and preparedness; 
hazard mitigation; and international participation and 
cooperation. The United States tsunami warning program, first 
established in 1948, is run by NOAA through 2 tsunami warning 
centers, located in Hawaii and Alaska, which collate and 
analyze seismic data from the USGS, sea level data from 
numerous coastal monitoring stations, and pressure data from an 
array of 6 Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami 
(DART) buoys.
  The 2 tsunami warning centers that serve the United States 
and international systems are the Richard H. Hagemeyer Pacific 
Tsunami Warning Center located in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and the 
West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center located in Palmer, 
Alaska. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is responsible for 
tsunami warnings for Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and all 
other United States interests in the Pacific. It also issues 
warnings for regional and distant tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean 
to almost every country around the Pacific Rim and to most 
Pacific Island States that participate in the International 
Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific. In 2003 the Pacific 
Tsunami Warning Center began providing earthquake magnitude and 
location data to Puerto Rico in the absence of a tsunami 
warning center in the Atlantic. The Alaska Center issues 
tsunami warnings for Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, 
Oregon, and California.
  Scientists at both warning centers continually monitor the 
detection hardware (seismic sensors, sea level gauges and data 
buoys) to determine whether a tsunami has been generated, its 
potential magnitude, and where it will strike land. From these 
evaluations, the warning centers determine whether a tsunami 
warning is issued, continued, increased to cover a broader 
area, or terminated. The United States tsunami detection system 
measures seismic activity, sea level, tidal height, and wave 
propagation after a seismic event. Seismic data and sea level 
measurements from coastal tide stations alone cannot provide 
direct verification that a destructive tsunami is propagating 
across the Pacific toward distant coastal communities. These 
limitations resulted in a large number of false alarms (75 
percent rate in 1996), which undermined the credibility of the 
system and incurred large evacuation costs. To improve accuracy 
and reduce the number of false alarms, these stations have 
increased in number and have been upgraded to provide real-time 
reporting. NOAA operates roughly one hundred sea level gauges 
in conjunction with other organizations in Japan, Russia, 
Chile, France, and Australia. Today, 33 of the 175 continuously 
operating NOAA water level stations in the Pacific have been 
fitted with the software needed to support NOAA's tsunami 
warning system.
  In 2001, further improvements to distant tsunami forecasting 
were instituted through full deployment of an array of 6 DART 
buoys, developed by NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental 
Laboratory (PMEL). DART systems consist of a seafloor pressure 
recorder and a moored surface buoy, which transmits the 
recorded information via a Geostationary Operational 
Environmental Satellite (GOES) link to ground stations which 
disseminate the information to NOAA's Tsunami Warning Centers 
and other offices. Of the 6 buoys deployed, 3 are located in 
the North Pacific, south of the Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian 
Islands where they provide data on tsunamis headed toward 
Hawaii and the United States West Coast, and two are off the 
Washington and Oregon coast and provide data on tsunami 
generated along the Cascadia subduction zone as well as those 
moving toward Washington and Oregon from other areas of the 
Pacific. The sixth buoy is deployed just south of the equator 
in the eastern Pacific to provide readings of tsunami generated 
in South America as they head toward Hawaii and the West Coast.
  Another integral part of the tsunami warning system is the 
National Earthquake Information Center operated by the USGS, 
which sends out alerts to NOAA's tsunami warning centers based 
on data received from the Global Seismographic Network (GSN). 
The GSN consists of 130 international seismographic stations 
around the world, operated by each host country, most of which 
have real-time detection capability. The USGS network of 
seismic sensors, known as ``Earthworm,'' can detect and 
describe geologic events around the world, and in 1999, the 
tsunami warning centers were tied into the USGS ``Earthworm,'' 
allowing for real time access to the seismic sensors. This 
provided earlier detection of tsunami-generating events, 
greater accuracy modeling a potential tsunami, and earlier 
warnings to affected communities.
  Approaches and expectations for tsunami warning and 
preparedness differ depending upon whether a tsunami is of a 
local or distant origin. The greatest risk is posed by local 
tsunami, which may give residents only a few minutes to seek 
safety and can be devastating in impact. Tsunami of distant 
origin may give residents more time to evacuate threatened 
coastal areas, but there is greater need for timely and 
accurate assessment of the hazard to avoid costly false alarms. 
The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) is a 
Federal-State partnership consisting of NOAA, USGS, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the States of Alaska, 
California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. This program was 
established through Congressional action following the 1992 
earthquake and tsunami off of California, for which no warning 
was issued because of outdated detection instrumentation and 
technology. The resulting NTHMP consists of 3 program areas: 
(1) warning guidance (relating to the detection system); (2) 
mitigation; and (3) hazard assessment.
  NTHMP's Mitigation efforts focus on preparing communities at 
risk before a tsunami strikes to lessen the impact. This 
includes educating the community, local businesses, planners, 
emergency managers and government officials on the risk of 
tsunami, tsunami hazard signs, evacuation routes, and how to 
recognize and respond to signs of an impending tsunami. In 
addition, under NOAA's voluntary Tsunami Ready Program, a 
community is certified as ``Tsunami Ready'' based on its 
establishment of an emergency operations center, the ability to 
disseminate tsunami warnings, a tsunami hazard plan, community 
awareness, and the ability to receive multiple tsunami 
warnings. As of March 9, 2005, there were 16 Tsunami Ready 
communities located throughout the west coast States and 
  Another mitigation facet is Hazard Guidance, which develops 
inundation mapping to determine areas prone to flooding from 
tsunami. This goal of developing inundation maps for every at-
risk coastal community is carried out by NOAA's Center for 
Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts (TIME), which works closely 
with the States to develop mapping standards, quality control 
criteria, and certification requirements.
  Continuous improvement of tsunami warnings, mitigation, and 
hazard preparedness efforts requires a coordinated research 
program. NOAA's Tsunami Research Program is headquartered at 
PMEL, in Seattle, Washington. The program provides research 
support to all aspects of the tsunami program in the United 
States. This includes the continued development of the DART 
buoy system; inundation modeling for TIME; maintaining a 
database of tsunami events and data from these events; tsunami 
modeling at the Pacific Disaster Center and the Maui High 
Performance Computer Center; and any other research related to 
the NTHMP.
  The United States system needs to be repaired and expanded to 
improve detection and warning accuracy, and to cover areas not 
currently included. Of NOAA's 6 DART buoys, 3 were out of 
service at the start of 2005 (2 off the coast of the Aleutian 
Islands and 1 off the coast of the Washington-Oregon border), 
and the overall quality of the buoys' performance has decreased 
50 percent over the past 15 months. This reduced coverage 
impaired NOAA's ability both to detect and warn of a tsunami 
and also identify costly false alarms. Strengthening 
reliability of the detection system and further development of 
a real-time two-way warning system will greatly contribute to 
the security and well-being of United States coastal 
communities. Improved mapping and community preparedness is 
also a key component of any effective warning system, and not 
all vulnerable communities have been determined to be Tsunami 
  On January 14, 2005, the Administration announced its plan 
for an improved tsunami warning system throughout the entire 
Pacific, Caribbean, and mid-Atlantic oceans, including 
increased preparedness and research activities. The plan 
envisions the establishment of an integrated global tsunami 
warning system that will be part of the Global Earth 
Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), an international effort 
by 54 participating nations (including India, Indonesia, and 
Thailand) to establish a system that will include improved 
coastal topography, ocean floor bathymetry, real-time data from 
tide gauges, enhanced communications systems, regional 
warnings, and improved information dissemination.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

  The Tsunami Preparedness Act (S. 50) was introduced by 
Senator Inouye and Senator Stevens in the Senate on January 24, 
2005, and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation. There are 23 cosponsors of S. 50 
including Senators Burns, Boxer, Smith, Cantwell, Snowe, Kerry, 
Bill Nelson, and Lautenberg. The Committee held a hearing on 
the bill on February 2, 2005. On March 10, 2005, the Committee 
considered the bill in open Executive Session. Senators Inouye, 
Stevens, Smith and Cantwell offered a substitute amendment to 
the bill, making a number of technical and conforming changes 
to the bill as introduced, and adding new sections, including 
section 3(d) on data management, and section 7(e) encouraging 
the Administrator to seek cost sharing for international 
activities. The substitute also added a new section 8, entitled 
Coastal Community Vulnerability and Adaptation Program, which 
would encourage collaboration among Federal, State, local, and 
regional efforts to improve preparedness for all coastal 
hazards through a small suite of regional pilot projects. The 
program would be authorized at $5 million annually for FY 2006 
through 2012. The Committee, without objection, adopted the 
substitute amendment and ordered the bill reported as amended.

                            ESTIMATED COSTS

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 

S. 50--Tsunami Preparedness Act

    Summary: S. 50 would direct the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to establish and implement new 
programs to research, detect, monitor, and mitigate the effects 
of tsunamis in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The bill would 
direct the agency to upgrade and improve existing systems and 
data management efforts and would authorize it to provide 
technical and financial aid to those affected by tsunamis, 
including local and international entities. For those purposes, 
the bill would authorize the appropriation of $40 million for 
each of fiscal years 2006 through 2012, including $8 million 
annually for pilot projects to assess the vulnerability of 
coastal areas of the United States.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 50 would cost a total of 
$124 million over the 2006-2010 period, assuming appropriation 
of the amounts authorized. We estimate that about $136 million 
would be spent after 2010, including $80 million authorized to 
be appropriated for 2011 and 2012. Enacting S. 50 could affect 
direct spending, but CBO estimates any offsetting receipts and 
subsequent spending would not exceed $500,000 in any year. 
Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
    S. 50 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). 
Coastal states and local communities would benefit from the 
programs and grants authorized in this bill. Any costs they 
face to participate in those programs would be incurred 
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 50 is shown in the following table. The 
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

                                                                       By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                       2006     2007     2008     2009     2010
Authorization Level................................................       40       40       40       40       40
Estimated Outlays..................................................        8       16       20       40       40

    For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 50 will be enacted 
by the beginning of 2006 and that the entire amounts authorized 
will be appropriated for each year. Estimated outlays are based 
on historical spending patterns of similar scientific programs. 
Some of the costs of carrying out a global tsunami warning and 
mitigation program may be offset by reimbursements from other 
countries participating in the program, but CBO estimates that 
such reimbursements would be less than $500,000 annually.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 50 contains 
no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in 
UMRA. Coastal states and local communities would benefit from 
the programs and grants authorized in this bill. Any costs they 
face to participate in those programs would be incurred 
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Theresa Gullo; and 
Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.


  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  The reported bill would establish a national tsunami warning 
system within NOAA and authorize appropriations for the program 
for fiscal years 2006 through 2012. It does not authorize any 
new regulations and therefore will not subject any individuals 
or businesses to new regulations.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  Section 8 authorizes $35 million to the Administrator of NOAA 
for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2012 to carry out the 
purposes of S. 50. An additional $5 million shall be provided 
to NOAA for FY 2006 through 2012 for activities carried out 
under section 8. These funding levels are not expected to have 
an inflationary impact on the nation's economy.


  The reported bill will not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.


  The reported bill will not increase paperwork requirements 
for the private sector. Those non-governmental partners that 
participate in the Tsunami Research Program established in 
section 5 would likely increase their development of detection, 
prediction, communication, and mitigation science and 
technology for tsunami forecasts and warnings. Also, 
communities and their respective local governmental entities 
that participate in the Integrated Coastal Vulnerability and 
Adaptation Program will need to develop vulnerability maps for 
potential hazards, better integration of risk management with 
community planning, training of public officials in risk 
management leadership, development of risk assessment 
technologies, creation of new data services to support the new 
risk management activities, and development of new risk 
communications systems.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Sec. 1. Short title

  Section 1 establishes the short title of the bill as the 
``Tsunami Preparedness Act.''

Sec. 2. Findings and purposes

  Section 2(a) sets forth the findings for the Act.
  Section 2(b) sets forth the purposes for the Act, which are: 
(1) to improve tsunami detection, forecast, warnings, 
notification, preparedness, and mitigation in the United States 
and elsewhere in the world; (2) to improve the existing Pacific 
Tsunami Warning System and expand detection and warning systems 
to other vulnerable States and United States territories, 
including the Caribbean/Atlantic/Gulf region; (3) to increase 
and accelerate mapping, modeling, research, assessment, 
education, and outreach efforts; (4) to provide technical and 
other assistance to speed international efforts to establish 
regional tsunami warning systems in vulnerable areas worldwide; 
and (5) to improve Federal, State, and international 
coordination for tsunami and other coastal hazard warnings, and 

Sec. 3. Tsunami detection and warning system

  Section 3(a) directs the Administrator of NOAA to operate 
regional tsunami warning systems for the Pacific Ocean region 
and the region encompassing the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, and 
Gulf of Mexico.
  Section 3(b) states that the system shall consist of both a 
Pacific tsunami warning system, to cover the entire Pacific 
Ocean area, including the Western, Central, North, Eastern, 
South, and Arctic areas, as well as an Atlantic and Caribbean 
system. The Atlantic and Caribbean system would cover areas 
that the Administrator determines to be geologically active or 
have the potential for geological activity, and pose measurable 
risks of tsunami for States along the coastal areas of the 
Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. The section also states 
that the system shall (1) utilize an array of deep ocean 
detection buoys; (2) include an associated tide gauge system; 
(3) include any other sensors needed to support related ocean 
and earth observing systems); (4) provide for cooperation 
between NOAA and the USGS; (5) provide for information and data 
processing through the tsunami warning centers; (6) be 
integrated into United States and global ocean and earth 
observing systems, including the Global Earth Observing System 
of Systems; and (7) provide a communications infrastructure for 
at-risk tsunami communities. This section also directs the 
Administrator to leverage assistance and assets of the United 
States Coast Guard and United States Navy in deploying and 
maintaining detection buoys.
  Section 3(c) directs the Administrator to establish tsunami 
warning centers to provide a link between detection and warning 
systems and the tsunami hazard mitigation program, including 
the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii and the West 
Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Alaska. The 
responsibilities of these centers shall include (1) continuous 
monitoring of data from seismological, deep ocean, and tidal 
monitoring stations and the provision of this data to the 
national tsunami archive; (2) evaluating earthquakes that have 
potential to generate tsunami; (3) evaluating deep ocean buoy 
and tidal monitoring station data; and (4) disseminating 
information and warning bulletins for local and distant 
  Section 3(d) directs the Administrator to maintain a national 
and regional data management system to address the data 
requirements of the tsunami detection and monitoring system, 
including (1) quality control and assurance; (2) archival and 
maintenance of data; (3) support integration of data from the 
tsunami observation system with data from other observation 
systems; and (4) support the development and access of data 
products to the assessment and adaptation programs covered in 
section 8.

Sec. 4. Tsunami hazard mitigation program

  Section 4(a) authorizes the Administrator to conduct a 
community-based tsunami hazard mitigation program to improve 
tsunami preparedness of at-risk areas.
  Section 4(b) requires the Administrator to establish a 
coordinating committee consisting of representatives of NOAA, 
USGS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the 
National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST), and affected coastal States 
and territories. This section envisions the inclusion of State, 
local and non-governmental entities, such as academic 
institutions, in the program.
  Section 4(c) sets forth, as components of the tsunami hazard 
mitigation program, the following: (1) improving the quality 
and extent of inundation mapping; (2) promoting and improving 
community outreach and education networks and programs; (3) 
integrating tsunami awareness, preparedness, and mitigation 
programs into ongoing hazard warnings and risk management 
programs in affected areas; (4) promoting the adoption of 
tsunami warning and mitigation measures by Federal, State, 
tribal, and local government and non-government entities; (5) 
developing tsunami-specific rescue and recovery guidelines, 
with FEMA as the lead agency; (6) requiring budget coordination 
through the Administration to ensure that participating 
agencies provide necessary funds; and (7) providing for 
periodic external review of the program.

Sec. 5. Tsunami research program

  Section 5(a) requires the Administrator to establish, in 
coordination with other agencies and academic institutions, a 
tsunami research program to develop detection, prediction, 
communication, and mitigation science and technology that 
supports tsunami forecasts and warnings. This program will 
include sensing techniques, tsunami tracking, and forecast 
modeling to (1) help determine whether an earthquake or seismic 
event will result in a tsunami, and the likely path, severity, 
duration and travel time of a tsunami; (2) develop techniques 
and technologies that may be used to quickly and effectively 
communicate tsunami warnings and forecasts; (3) develop 
techniques and technologies to support evacuation products; and 
(4) develop techniques for utilizing remote sensing 
technologies in rescue and recovery situations.
  Section 5(b) directs the Administrator, in consultation with 
the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and 
Information and the Federal Communications Commission, to 
investigate the potential for improved communications systems 
for tsunami and other hazard warnings, including telephones, 
wireless and satellite technology, the Internet, automatic 
alert televisions and radios; innovative and low-cost 
combinations of such technologies; and other technologies that 
may be developed.

Sec. 6. Tsunami system upgrade

  Section 6(a) directs the Administrator to (1) authorize the 
direct and immediate repair of existing deep ocean detection 
buoys; (2) ensure the deployment of an array of deep ocean 
detection buoys; and (3) ensure expansion and upgrade of the 
tide gauge network.
  Section 6(b) sets forth requirements for the Administrator in 
carrying out this section with respect to the transfer of 
technology, maintenance and upgrades, including: (1) 
promulgating specifications and standards for forecast, 
detection, and warning systems; (2) developing and executing a 
plan for the transfer of technology from ongoing research to 
long-term operations; (3) ensuring the maintenance and 
operation of detection equipment; (4) obtaining priority 
treatment in budgeting for the acquiring, transporting, and 
maintenance of tsunami detection system equipment; and (5) 
ensuring the integration of the tsunami detection system with 
other United States and global and coastal observation systems.
  Section 6(c) requires that, before appropriated amounts are 
obligated or expended for the acquisition of services for 
construction or deployment of tsunami detection equipment, the 
Administrator must certify to the Senate Committee on Commerce, 
Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives 
Committees on Science and Resources within 60 calendar days 
after the President submits the Budget of the United States 
that: (1) each contractor has met contract requirements; (2) 
constructed equipment is capable of becoming fully operational 
without additional expenditures of appropriated funds; and (3) 
there are no foreseeable delays in deployment and operation.
  Section 6(d) requires that the Administrator notify the 
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and 
the House of Representatives Committees on Science and 
Resources of impaired regional detection coverage due to 
equipment or system failure, and significant contractor 
failures or delays in completing work associated with the 
tsunami detection and warning system.
  Section 6(e) requires the Administrator to submit an annual 
report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation, and the House of Representatives Committee on 
Science, on the status of the tsunami detection and warning 
  Section 6(f) requires the National Academy of Sciences to 
review the tsunami detection, forecast, and warning system, and 
transmit a report on its findings and recommendations to the 
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and 
the House of Representatives Committee on Science within 24 
months after the date of enactment.

Sec. 7. Global tsunami warning and mitigation network

  Section 7(a) requires the Administrator, in coordination with 
the other members of the United States Interagency Committee of 
the National Tsunami Mitigation Program, to provide technical 
assistance and advice to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic 
Commission of UNESCO, the World Meteorological Organization, 
and other international entities, as part of international 
efforts to develop a fully functional global tsunami warning 
  Section 7(b) directs the Administrator to establish and 
operate an International Tsunami Information Center (Center) 
for all nations participating in the International Tsunami 
Warning System of the Pacific and other nations participating 
in UNESCO's global tsunami warning system. The Center's 
responsibilities will include (1) monitoring international 
tsunami warnings in the Pacific; (2) assisting member States in 
establishing their own tsunami warning systems; (3) maintaining 
a library of tsunami-related materials for use by the global 
scientific community; and (4) dissemination of tsunami related 
  Section 7(c) directs the Administrator to give priority to 
assisting nations in identifying vulnerable coastal areas, 
creating inundation maps, obtaining and designing detection and 
reporting equipment, and establishing communication and warning 
networks. It also states that the Administrator may establish a 
process for the transfer of detection and communication 
technology to affected nations in order to establish an 
international tsunami warning system and that the Administrator 
shall provide technical and other assistance to support 
international tsunami education, response, vulnerability, and 
adaptation programs.
  Section 7(d) prohibits the Administrator from providing 
assistance for any region unless all affected nations in that 
region participating in the tsunami warning network agree to 
share relevant data associated with the development and 
operation of the network.
  Section 7(e) directs the Administrator, in coordination with 
the Secretary of State, to seek financial assistance from 
participating nations in order to ensure a fully functional 
global tsunami warning system.
  Section 7(f) allows the Administrator to accept payment to, 
or reimbursement of NOAA from, or on the behalf of, 
international organizations and foreign authorities, for 
expenses incurred by the Administrator in carrying out any 
activity under this Act.

Sec. 8. Coastal community vulnerability and adaptation program

  Section 8(a) directs the Administrator to establish an 
Integrated Coastal Vulnerability and Adaptation Program focused 
on improving the resilience of coastal communities to natural 
hazards and disasters. The following 6 areas of activity are 
suggested: (1) development of vulnerability maps for coastal 
communities to a wide array of potential hazards; (2) efforts 
to better integrate risk management with community planning; 
(3) risk management leadership training for public officials; 
(4) development of risk assessment technologies; (5) new data 
services to support the new risk management activities; (6) new 
risk communication systems.
  Section 8(b) directs the Administrator to begin three 
regional pilot projects incorporating the activities described 
in section 8(a). These projects should begin no more than one 
year after the enactment of this bill and provide regional 
assessments of United States coastal vulnerability to hazards 
associated with tsunami and other coastal hazards including sea 
level rise, increases in severe weather events, and climate 
variability and change. Regional assessments should consider 
the social, physical, and economic impacts of such hazards. The 
assessments should also include a description of ways to 
enhance the resilience of at-risk communities, economic sectors 
and natural resources.
  Section 8(c) identifies the selection criteria to be used in 
picking appropriate regional pilot projects. These include (1) 
vulnerability to the hazards discussed above; (2) dependence on 
economic sectors and resources that may be particularly at 
risk; (3) opportunities to link and use existing risk 
management programs; (4) evidence of strong interagency 
collaboration in the area of risk management; and (5) access to 
NOAA and other Federal programs, facilities, and 
  Section 8(d) directs the Administrator to submit regional 
adaptation plans to Congress three years after the 
implementation of the pilot programs. These plans should be 
based on the regional assessments discussed in section 8(b) and 
be developed with the participation of agencies at all levels 
of government as well as various non-governmental entities that 
have a stake in the pilot projects. The assessments should 
include recommendations for (1) targets and strategies for 
addressing the hazards discussed above; (2) short and long term 
adaptation strategies; (3) Federal flood insurance programs; 
(4) areas that have been identified as high risk; (5) enhancing 
the effectiveness of State coastal zone management programs in 
mitigating the hazards discussed above; (6) mitigation 
incentives; (7) land and property owner education; (8) economic 
plans for small at risk communities; and (9) funding 
requirements and mechanisms.
  Section 8(e) directs the Administrator to establish a 
coordinated program to provide technical planning and 
assistance to coastal States, tribes and local governments as 
they implement strategies developed under this section. This 
program would also make available to these same entities all 
products, information, tools, and technical expertise generated 
through the regional assessments and adaptation plans.

Sec. 9. Authorization of appropriations

  Section 9 authorizes $35 million to the Administrator of NOAA 
for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2012 to carry out the 
purposes of this Act. An additional $5 million shall be 
provided to NOAA for FYs 2006 through 2012 for activities 
carried out under section 8, of which at least $3 million is to 
be used for the pilot programs annually.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the bill as 
reported would make no change to existing law.