H. Rept. 110-559 - 110th Congress (2007-2008)
March 31, 2008, As Reported by the Science and Technology Committee

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House Report 110-559 - UNITED STATES FIRE ADMINISTRATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2008




[House Report 110-559]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-559

======================================================================



 
     UNITED STATES FIRE ADMINISTRATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

 March 31, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, from the Committee on Science and Technology, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4847]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Science and Technology, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4847) to reauthorize the United States Fire 
Administration, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................2
  II. Purpose of the Bill.............................................5
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................5
  IV. Hearing Summary.................................................6
   V. Committee Actions...............................................6
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill.........................7
 VII. Section-by-Section Analysis.....................................8
VIII. Committee Views.................................................9
  IX. Cost Estimate..................................................11
   X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................11
  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4...............................13
 XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............13
XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........13
 XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................13
  XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................13
 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act...............................13
XVII. Earmark Identification.........................................13
XVIII.Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........13

 XIX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........13
  XX. Committee Recommendations......................................18
 XXI. Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................19
XXII. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup.......................43
XXIII.Exchange of Letters............................................77


                              I. Amendment

      The amendment is as follows:
      Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2008''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds the following:
          (1) The loss of life due to fire has dropped significantly 
        over the last 25 years in the United States. However, the 
        United States still has one of the highest fire death rates in 
        the industrialized world. In 2005 the National Fire Protection 
        Association reported 3,675 civilian fire deaths, 17,925 
        civilian fire injuries, and $10,672,000,000 in direct losses 
        due to fire.
          (2) Every year, over 100 firefighters die in the line of 
        duty. The United States Fire Administration should continue its 
        leadership to help local fire agencies dramatically reduce 
        these fatalities.
          (3) Members of the fire service community should continue to 
        work together to further the promotion of national voluntary 
        consensus standards that increase firefighter safety.
          (4) The United States Fire Administration provides crucial 
        support to the Nation's 30,300 fire departments through 
        training, emergency incident data collection, fire awareness 
        and education, and support of research and development 
        activities for fire prevention, control, and suppression 
        technologies.
          (5) The collection of data on fire and other emergency 
        incidents is a vital tool both for policy makers and emergency 
        responders to identify and develop responses to emerging 
        hazards. Improving the United States Fire Administration's data 
        collection capabilities is essential for accurately tracking 
        and responding to the magnitude and nature of the Nation's fire 
        problem.
          (6) The research and development performed by the National 
        Institute of Standards and Technology, the United States Fire 
        Administration, other government agencies, and non-governmental 
        organizations on fire technologies, techniques, and tools 
        advance the capabilities of the Nation's fire service to 
        suppress and prevent fires.
          (7) The United States Fire Administration is one of the 
        strongest voices representing the Nation's fire service within 
        the Federal Government, and, as such, it should have a 
        prominent place within the Department of Homeland Security.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR UNITED STATES FIRE 
                    ADMINISTRATION.

  Section 17(g)(1) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 
1974 (15 U.S.C. 2216(g)(1)) is amended--
          (1) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``and'' after the 
        semicolon;
          (2) in subparagraph (D), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting a semicolon; and
          (3) by adding after subparagraph (D) the following new 
        subparagraphs:
                  ``(E) $70,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, of which 
                $2,520,000 shall be used to carry out section 8;
                  ``(F) $72,100,000 for fiscal year 2010, of which 
                $2,595,600 shall be used to carry out section 8;
                  ``(G) $74,263,000 for fiscal year 2011, of which 
                $2,673,468 shall be used to carry out section 8; and
                  ``(H) $76,490,890 for fiscal year 2012, of which 
                $2,753,672 shall be used to carry out section 8.''.

SEC. 4. NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY TRAINING PROGRAM MODIFICATIONS AND 
                    REPORTS.

  (a) Amendments to Fire Academy Training.--Section 7(d)(1) of the 
Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2206(d)(1)) 
is amended--
          (1) in subparagraph (H), by striking ``terrorist-caused 
        national catastrophes'' and inserting ``terrorist-caused and 
        other national catastrophes'';
          (2) in subparagraph (K), by striking ``forest'' and inserting 
        ``wildland'';
          (3) in subparagraph (M), by striking ``response tactics and'' 
        and inserting ``response, tactics, and'';
          (4) by redesignating subparagraphs (I) through (N) as 
        subparagraphs (M) through (R), respectively; and
          (5) by inserting after subparagraph (H) the following new 
        subparagraphs:
                  ``(I) response, tactics, and strategies for fighting 
                large-scale fires or multiple fires in a general area 
                that cross jurisdictional boundaries;
                  ``(J) response, tactics, and strategies for fighting 
                fires occurring at the wildland-urban interface;
                  ``(K) response, tactics, and strategies for fighting 
                fires involving hazardous materials;
                  ``(L) advanced emergency medical services 
                training;''.
  (b) Triennial Reports.--Section 7 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 2206) is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(m) Triennial Report.--In the first annual report filed pursuant to 
section 16 for which the deadline for filing is after the expiration of 
the 18-month period that begins on the date of the enactment of the 
United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008, and in 
every third annual report thereafter, the Administrator shall include 
information about changes made to the Academy curriculum, including--
          ``(1) the basis for such changes, including a review of the 
        incorporation of lessons learned by emergency response 
        personnel after significant emergency events and emergency 
        preparedness exercises performed under the National Exercise 
        Program; and
          ``(2) the desired training outcome of all such changes.''.
  (c) Authorizing the Administrator To Enter Into Contracts To Provide 
On-Site Training Through Certain Accredited Organizations.--Section 
7(f) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 2206(f)) is amended to read as follows:
  ``(f) Assistance.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Administrator is authorized to provide 
        assistance to State and local fire service training programs 
        through grants, contracts, or otherwise.
          ``(2) Authorization to enter into contracts to provide on-
        site training through certain accredited organizations.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The Administrator is authorized to 
                enter into a contract with one or more nationally 
                recognized organizations that have established on-site 
                training programs that comply with national voluntary 
                consensus standards for fire service personnel to 
                facilitate the delivery of the education and training 
                programs outlined in subsection (d)(1) directly to fire 
                service personnel.
                  ``(B) Restrictions.--The Administrator shall not 
                enter into a contract with such organization unless 
                such organization--
                          ``(i) operates a fire service training 
                        program accredited by a nationally recognized 
                        accreditation organization experienced with 
                        accrediting such training; or
                          ``(ii) at the time the Administrator enters 
                        into the contract, provides training under such 
                        a program under a cooperative agreement with a 
                        Federal agency.
          ``(3) Restriction on use of funds.--The amounts expended by 
        the Administrator to carry out this subsection in any fiscal 
        year shall not exceed 4 per centum of the amount authorized to 
        be appropriated in such fiscal year pursuant to section 17 of 
        this Act.''.
  (d) Incident Command Training Course for Fires at Ports Required.--
Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Administrator of the United States Fire Administration, in consultation 
with the Superintendent of the National Academy for Fire Prevention and 
Control, shall consolidate and integrate into the current Academy 
curriculum a course on incident command training for fire service 
personnel for fighting fires at United States ports and in marine 
environments, including fires on the water and aboard vessels.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL FIRE INCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM UPGRADES.

  (a) Incident Reporting System Database.--Section 9 of the Federal 
Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2208) is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d) National Fire Incident Reporting System Update.--Of the amounts 
made available pursuant to subparagraphs (E), (F), and (G) of section 
17(g)(1), the Administrator shall use no more than an aggregate amount 
of $5,000,000 during the 3-year period consisting of fiscal years 2009, 
2010, and 2011 to carry out activities necessary to update the National 
Fire Incident Reporting system to an Internet-based, real-time incident 
reporting database, including capital investment, contractor 
engagement, and user education.''.
  (b) Technical Correction.--Section 9(b)(2) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 
2208(b)(2)) is amended by striking ``assist State,'' and inserting 
``assist Federal, State,''.

SEC. 6. FIRE TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE AND RESEARCH DISSEMINATION.

  (a) Assistance to Fire Services for Fire Prevention and Control in 
Wildland-Urban Interface.--Section 8(d) of the Federal Fire Prevention 
and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2207(d)) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``Rural Assistance'' in the heading and 
        inserting ``Rural and Wildland-Urban Interface Assistance'';
          (2) by striking ``The Administrator'' and inserting ``(1) The 
        Administrator''; and
          (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(2) The Administrator is authorized to assist the Nation's fire 
services, directly or through contracts, grants, or other forms of 
assistance, to sponsor and encourage research into approaches, 
techniques, systems, and equipment to improve fire prevention and 
control in the wildland-urban interface.''.
  (b) Technology Research Dissemination.--Section 8 of such Act (15 
U.S.C. 2207) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
subsection:
  ``(h) Research Dissemination.--Beginning 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of the United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act 
of 2008, the Administrator, in collaboration with the relevant 
departments and agencies of the Federal Government, shall make 
available to the public information about all ongoing and planned fire-
related research funded by the Administration during fiscal year 2007 
and each fiscal year thereafter, as well as the results generated from 
such research, through a regularly updated Internet-based database.''.

SEC. 7. ENCOURAGING ADOPTION OF STANDARDS FOR FIREFIGHTER HEALTH AND 
                    SAFETY.

  The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 
et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 37. ENCOURAGING ADOPTION OF STANDARDS FOR FIREFIGHTER HEALTH AND 
                    SAFETY.

  ``The Administrator shall promote adoption by fire services of 
national voluntary consensus standards for firefighter health and 
safety, including such standards for firefighter operations, training, 
staffing, and fitness, by educating fire services about such standards, 
encouraging the adoption at all levels of government of such standards, 
and making recommendations on other ways in which the Federal 
government can promote the adoption of such standards by fire 
services.''.

SEC. 8. COORDINATION REGARDING FIRE SERVICE-BASED EMERGENCY MEDICAL 
                    SERVICES.

  (a) In General.--Section 21(e) of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2218(e)) is amended to read as follows:
  ``(e) Coordination.--
          ``(1) In general.--To the extent practicable, the 
        Administrator shall utilize existing programs, data, 
        information, and facilities already available in other Federal 
        Government departments and agencies and, where appropriate, 
        existing research organizations, centers, and universities.
          ``(2) Coordination of fire prevention and control programs.--
        The Administrator shall provide liaison at an appropriate 
        organizational level to assure coordination of the 
        Administrator's activities with State and local government 
        agencies, departments, bureaus, or offices concerned with any 
        matter related to programs of fire prevention and control with 
        private and other Federal organizations and offices so 
        concerned.
          ``(3) Coordination of fire service-based emergency medical 
        services programs.--The Administrator shall provide liaison at 
        an appropriate organizational level to assure coordination of 
        the Administrator's activities with State and local government 
        agencies, departments, bureaus, or offices concerned with 
        programs related to emergency medical services provided by fire 
        service-based systems with private and other Federal 
        organizations and offices so concerned.''.
  (b) Fire Service-Based Emergency Medical Services Best Practices.--
Section 8(c) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 2207(c)) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (4) as paragraphs 
        (3) through (5), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new 
        paragraph:
  ``(2) The Administrator is authorized to conduct, directly or through 
contracts or grants, studies of the operations and management aspects 
of fire service-based emergency medical services and coordination 
between emergency medical services and fire services. Such studies may 
include the optimum protocols for on-scene care, the allocation of 
resources, and the training requirements for fire service-based 
emergency medical services.''.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS.

  Section 4 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 
U.S.C. 2203) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``Administration'' and 
        inserting ``Administration, who is the Assistant Administrator 
        of the Federal Emergency Management Agency'';
          (2) in paragraph (7), by striking ``and'' after the 
        semicolon;
          (3) in paragraph (8), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; and'';
          (4) by redesignating paragraphs (6), (7), and (8) as 
        paragraphs (7), (8), and (9), respectively;
          (5) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following new 
        paragraph:
          ``(6) `hazardous materials' has the meaning given such term 
        in section 5102(2) of title 49, United States Code;''; and
          (6) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(10) `wildland-urban interface' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 101(16) of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act 
        of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511(16)).''.

                        II. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of this bill is to authorize appropriations for 
fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 for the U.S. Fire 
Administration (USFA), and to authorize USFA's activities in 
training, fire education and awareness, data collection, 
research, and standards development and promotion.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation

    USFA is housed within the Federal Emergency Management 
Administration (FEMA) at the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS). It was created by the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-498). The agency's mission is to 
reduce the incidence of fire and fire-related deaths, injuries, 
and property damage in the U.S., and to better prepare the 
Nation's fire service as primary local emergency responders. To 
accomplish its mission, USFA engages in the following core 
activities: public fire education and awareness programs; 
firefighter and emergency responder training delivery and 
curriculum development; fire-focused applied research and 
technology development; data collection through the National 
Fire Data Center; and logistical and programmatic support for 
DHS grants to firefighters under the Assistance to Firefighters 
Grants (AFG) program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and 
Emergency Response (SAFER) grants program.
    USFA's stated goal upon its establishment in 1974 was to 
reduce fire-related fatalities in the Nation by half--bringing 
the number to approximately six thousand per year within a 
generation. The agency met this goal by 1988, and the number of 
deaths continues to decline. However, according to the National 
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the U.S. still has one of 
the highest rates of death, injury, and property loss due to 
fire among all industrialized nations. NFPA reports that in 
2006 there were 3,245 civilian fire deaths, 16,400 fire 
injuries, and an estimated $11.307 billion in direct property 
losses due to fire. They estimate that the fire fatality rate 
is 14.8 per million. USFA also reports that every year an 
average of 100 firefighters die in the line of duty. The agency 
works to reduce these statistics, as well as help firefighters 
prepare for the growing number of hazards and emergencies 
calling for firefighter response, such as natural disasters, 
hazardous materials events, and terrorist attacks.

                          IV. Hearing Summary

    On Tuesday, October 2, 2007, the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology 
held a hearing to examine U.S. Fire Administration programs and 
activities. Witnesses testified on the needs and priorities of 
the Nations fire service regarding the services and programs 
provided by USFA.
    The Subcommittee heard testimony from Chief Gregory Cade, 
the U.S. Fire Administrator; Dr. Shyam Sunder, the director of 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and 
Fire Research Lab; Chief Steven P. Westermann, President and 
Chief Fire Officer for the International Association of Fire 
Chiefs; Captain Robert Livingston of the Salem, Orgegon Fire 
Department, testifying on behalf of the International 
Association of Fire Fighters; Chief Gordon Henderson, past 
president of the Georgia State Firefighters' Association, 
testifying on behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council; 
and Dr. John R. Hall, the Assistant Vice President for Fire 
Analysis and Research at the National Fire Protection 
Association (NFPA). Witnesses discussed the status of core USFA 
activities, such as public education and outreach, fire 
research and data analysis, and emergency responder training 
programs. The witnesses identified firefighter health and 
safety, training for fighting fires in the wildland urban 
interface, training for advanced topics in emergency medical 
services (EMS) and improvement of the National Fire Incident 
Reporting System (NFIRS) as pressing needs for USFA and the 
fire service. The witnesses also testified that USFA needed 
higher funding levels to fully meet the demand from fire 
service and emergency personnel for USFA programming and 
courses.

                          V. Committee Actions

    The Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation heard 
testimony in the 110th Congress relevant to the programs 
authorized in H.R. 4847 at a hearing held on October 2, 2007. 
During this hearing, the Subcommittee heard testimony from the 
Director of the U.S. Fire Administration, the Director of the 
National Institute of Standards and Technology's Building and 
Fire Research Laboratory, and four outside witnesses 
representing different sectors of the fire service community.
    On December 19 2007, Representative Harry Mitchell, Vice 
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation of 
the Committee on Science and Technology, for himself and 
Representative Phil Gingrey, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee 
on Technology and Innovation, introduced H.R. 4847, the U.S. 
Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007, a bill to 
authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 
2012 for the U.S. Fire Administration, and for other purposes.
    The Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation met to 
consider H.R. 4847 on Thursday, February 15, 2008 and 
considered the following amendment to the bill:
    Mr. Mitchell offered a manager's amendment to change 
references in the bill to ``voluntary national consensus 
standards'' to ``national voluntary consensus standards'', the 
preferred term, and to make a technical change to subsection 
(c) of section 4.
    Mr. Gingrey moved that the Subcommittee favorably report 
the bill, H.R. 4847, as amended, to the Full Committee. The 
motion was agreed to by voice vote.
    The Full Committee on Science and Technology met on 
Wednesday, February 27, 2008, to consider H.R. 4847 and the 
following amendments to the bill:
    An amendment was offered by Mr. Mitchell to make technical 
changes to the language in section 4 and to broaden the types 
of organizations that Administrator is authorized to enter into 
contracts with to deliver USFA training to state and local fire 
service personnel, to include groups that, at the time of 
contracting, offer training to state and local personnel on 
behalf of another Federal agency. The amendment was adopted by 
voice vote.
    An amendment was offered by Mr. Gingrey to authorize the 
U.S. Fire Administrator to conduct studies, either directly or 
through contracts or grants, on the operation and management 
aspects of fire service-based emergency medical services. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote.
    An amendment was offered by Ms. Richardson to require the 
U.S. Fire Administration, in consultation with the National 
Fire Academy Superintendent, to consolidate and integrate into 
the current National Fire Academy curriculum a course on 
incident command training for fire service personnel fighting 
fires at U.S. ports and in marine environments, including on 
the water and shipboard fires. The amendment was adopted by 
voice vote.
    Mr. Baird moved that the Committee favorably report the 
bill, H.R. 4847, as amended to the House with the 
recommendation that the bill, as amended, do pass, and that the 
staff be instructed to make technical and conforming changes to 
the bill as amended and prepare the legislative report and that 
the Chairman take all necessary steps to bring the bill before 
the house for consideration. The motion was agreed to by voice 
vote.

              VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    H.R. 4847 authorizes a total of $292 million for the U.S. 
Fire Administration for fiscal years 2009 through 2012. It also 
authorizes the National Fire Academy to engage in training 
activities related to firefighting in the wildland-urban 
interface; multiple, large- scale fires that cross 
jurisdictions and stretch resources; hazardous material 
incidents; and advanced topics in emergency medical services 
(EMS). The bill authorizes the U.S. Fire Administrator to enter 
into contracts with qualified third-party organizations to 
deliver USFA training to state and local entities, and the bill 
requires USFA, in every third annual report to Congress, to 
detail any changes made to the Fire Academy curriculum, and to 
provide the rational and objectives for those changes. The bill 
requires the Administrator to consolidate and integrate into 
the NFA curriculum a course on incident command training for 
fires at ports and in marine environments. H.R. 4847 authorizes 
the Administrator to spend up to $5 million over three years to 
update and improve the National Fire Incident Reporting System 
to allow real-time, web-based reporting that will provide data 
to users in a more timely and efficient manner. The bill 
requires USFA to keep an updated website of past and present 
research projects, and requires the Administrator to educate 
local fire departments on national voluntary consensus 
standards for firefighter health and safety and to promote 
their adoption. Lastly, H.R. 4847 requires the Administrator to 
include EMS in his liaison and coordination activities across 
the Federal Government, and it authorizes the Administrator to 
conduct studies of the operation and management aspects of fire 
based-EMS.

                    VII. Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    The United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act 
of 2008''

Section 2. Findings

    Finds that the rate of life and property loss due to fire 
in the U.S. is still one of the highest in the industrialized 
world and that a significant number of firefighters die or 
suffer injury each year. Finds that the U.S. Fire 
Administration (USFA) provides vital resources and leadership 
to the Nation's fire service and should have a prominent voice 
at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Section 3. Authorizations of appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations: $70,000,000 for FY2009; 
$72,100,000 for FY2010; $74,263,000 for FY2011; and $76,490,890 
for FY2012. Each fiscal year, 3.6 percent of the funds 
authorized are authorized to be used to carry out fire 
technology research and related activities.

Section 4. National Fire Academy training program modifications and 
        reports

    Amends the list of training activities the National Fire 
Academy is authorized to engage in by expanding terrorism 
specific catastrophe response to all-hazard catastrophe 
response; authorizes training for response to large-scale fire 
events that involve multiple jurisdictions and stretch 
resources; authorizes training for firefighting activities in 
the wildland-urban interface; authorizes training for fire and 
emergencies involving hazardous materials; and authorizes 
training for advanced issues related to emergency medical 
services.
    Requires the Administrator to include a description of any 
changes to the National Fire Academy (NFA) curriculum in every 
third annual USFA report to Congress.
    Authorizes the Administrator to enter into contracts to 
provide on-site training through accredited or otherwise 
qualified organizations experienced with delivering such 
training.
    Requires the Administrator to consolidate and integrate 
into the NFA curriculum a course on incident command for fires 
in marine and port environments into the NFA's incident command 
training.

Section 5. National Fire Incident Reporting System improvements

    Authorizes the Administrator to use a maximum of $5 million 
dollars from the total appropriated over the years FY2009 to 
FY2011 to upgrade the National Fire incident Reporting System 
(NFIRS).

Section 6. Fire technology assistance and research dissemination

    Authorizes USFA to engage in research related to 
technologies, techniques, approaches, etc., to address fire 
suppression and prevention for fires in the wildland-urban 
interface.
    Requires USFA to maintain a web database of research and 
related activities.

Section 7. Encouraging the adoption of standards for firefighter health 
        and safety

    Directs the Administrator to promote the adoption of 
national voluntary consensus standards for firefighter health 
and safety by educating the fire service; encouraging standards 
adoption at all levels of government; and making 
recommendations on other ways the Federal government can 
encourage state, local, and federal fire agencies to comply 
with these standards.

Sec. 8. Coordination on fire service-based emergency medical services

    Amends Section 21(e) of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974 by directing the Administrator to include 
fire service-based emergency medical services (EMS) in his 
liaison and coordination activities across the Federal 
government.
    Authorizes the Administrator to conduct studies, either 
directly or through contracts, on the operations and management 
aspects of fire service-based EMS.

Sec. 9. Definitions

    Defines wildland urban interface and hazardous materials.

                         VIII. Committee Views


                             GENERAL VIEWS

    The U.S. Fire Administration's mission is to reduce the 
loss of life and property from fire and related emergencies. 
The agency accomplishes this mission by providing critical 
resources and leadership to firefighters and fire personnel 
around the country. Each year, fire injures and kills more 
Americans than all other natural disasters combined. While this 
number has significantly decreased since USFA's establishment 
in 1974, the U.S. still has one of the highest rates of death 
and injury from fire in the industrialized world.
    Firefighters are the Nation's primary local first 
responders. They are the first responders to a wide scope of 
incidents, which includes hurricanes, terrorist attacks, 
vehicular accidents, and wildland fires that encroach into 
communities. USFA's fire service training programs, educational 
and fire awareness programs, fire data collection, and fire 
related research activities help the fire service meet these 
dynamic and growing challenges. The Committee urges USFA to 
maintain a multi-hazards approach in the agency's training and 
programs.
    USFA is the main voice for the fire service within the 
Federal Government. The President's FY2009 budget request 
transfers USFA from a stand-alone account to the FEMA 
Operations, Management, and Administration account. The U.S. 
Fire Administration was created in response to specifically 
address the high loss of life, injury, and damage from fire 
endured by the Nation each year. Fire death rates in the U.S. 
are among the highest in the industrialized world and the 
country still faces over $11 billion in property losses each 
year. The Committee feels there is still a strong need for an 
agency with a mission specifically devoted to reducing losses 
from fire. This authorization underscores the importance the 
Committee places on USFA as an intact, stand-alone account 
rather than one subsumed into an agency with a much broader 
mandate.

                    AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

    The Committee feels that the authorization levels set out 
in this bill are consistent with providing for USFA to fully 
carry out its mission to protect the public and enhance the 
Nation's firefighting and emergency response capability.

                    DIRECT DELIVERY OF USFA TRAINING

    The Administrator is authorized to use up to four percent 
of the USFA budget for training through the National Fire 
Academy (NFA) for delivering training directly to state and 
local fire personnel. Section 4 explicitly authorizes the 
Administrator to contract through qualified third-party 
organizations to deliver this training to state and local fire 
service personnel. To qualify, groups must either have the 
proper accreditation from a nationally recognized organization 
experienced in offering such accreditation or they must already 
offer relevant training through another Federal agency. The 
Committee believes that the Administrator should have the 
discretion to contract with qualified organizations to offer 
USFA training if the training is equivalent to the training 
USFA offers; will benefit local first responders; and does not 
place unnecessary costs on the Federal government. The 
Committee believes that this flexibility will give USFA a range 
of options that will allow the agency to deliver the best 
possible training to firefighters.

            NATIONAL FIRE INCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM (NFIRS)

    Section 5 authorizes the Administrator to use up to $5 
million to improve NFIRS over three years. NFIRS provides data 
vital to tracking trends in fires and other emergency incidents 
across the country. However, currently only about half of these 
incidents are captured by the system. Local departments send 
their data by paper or computer file to a state agency who will 
then periodically upload data to the NFIRS database at the 
National Fire Data Center. The delayed pace at which data are 
reported and posted decreases the database's utility to local 
decision makers. The Committee believes USFA should modernize 
this system to create a user friendly, web-based interface that 
will speed up incident reporting, capture a higher percentage 
of the fire and emergency incidents across the country, and be 
useful to fire personnel and policy makers.

  COORDINATION OF FIRE SERVICE-BASED EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS)

    Emergency medical care has become an increasingly important 
part of fire-service training and response. In many localities 
these services are provided through fire service-based medical 
systems that provide cross-training between firefighting and 
emergency medical treatment. In other localities EMS is 
provided by third-party entities that coordinate with fire-
services to respond to emergencies that require medical 
intervention in addition to safety and rescue expertise. The 
Committee believes that the Administrator must recognize the 
growing role of EMS within many fire departments and provide 
appropriate services to those departments.
    It is the Committee's intent that as a general practice the 
Administrator shall utilize the programs and research available 
from the DHS Office of Health Affairs, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 
and other relevant federal agencies in developing 
recommendations for the operations and management of fire 
services with the proviso that all out-of-hospital medical care 
should be provided under medical direction. The Administrator 
shall seek inclusion on appropriate coordination mechanisms 
such as the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical 
Services (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300d-4). To the extent that 
information is not available through these partners, the 
Administrator may conduct new studies focused on the needs of 
fire services.

                           IX. Cost Estimate

    A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been timely submitted to 
the Committee on Science and Technology prior to the filing of 
this report and is included in Section X of this report 
pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 4847 does not contain new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that the sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 
4847 does authorize additional discretionary spending, as 
described in the Congressional Budget Office report on the 
bill, which is contained in Section X of this report.

              X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate


H.R. 4847--United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 
        2008

    Summary: H.R. 4847 would reauthorize the United States Fire 
Administration (USFA) through 2012. The USFA conducts research 
and development in fire-related technology, collects and 
disseminates information about fire and other emergency 
incidents, and provides training to firefighters and emergency 
responders. Based on historical expenditure data and assuming 
appropriation of the specified amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 4847 would cost $291 million over the 2009-
2013 period. Enacting this legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    H.R. 4847 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 4847 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 450 
(community and regional development).


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                   2008    2009    2010    2011    2012    2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Spending Under Current Law for the U.S. Fire Administration:
    Budget Authority............................................      43       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      42      13       0       0       0       0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level.........................................       0      70      72      74      76       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       0      49      71      73      75      23
Spending Under H.R. 4847 for the U.S. Fire Administration:
    Authorization Level/Budget Authority........................      43      70      72      74      76       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      42      62      71      73      75      23
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: H.R. 4847 would authorize the 
appropriation of $292 million over the 2009-2012 period for the 
USFA to carry out research and development activities related 
to fire technology, collect and disseminate information through 
the National Fire Data Center, and provide training to 
firefighters and emergency responders. Such funding would 
include $5 million to upgrade the National Fire Incident 
Reporting System to accommodate real-time, Web-based incident 
reporting. In 2008, the Congress appropriated about $43 million 
to the USFA (see Public Law 110-161).
    In addition to its current activities, H.R. 4847 would 
authorize several new functions for the USFA. The bill would 
direct the National Fire Academy to provide training on: 
incidents occurring at ports and in areas where structures and 
other human development intersect with undeveloped land, multi-
jurisdictional fires, hazardous materials incidents, and 
advanced emergency medical services. The Administrator of the 
USFA would be authorized to enter into contracts with qualified 
organizations to provide on-site training in those and other 
fire-related topics to firefighters and emergency personnel. 
The bill also would direct USFA to conduct several studies on 
the operation, management, and coordination of fire and 
emergency medical services.
    Based on historical expenditure patterns, CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 4847 would cost $291 million over the 
2009-2013 period. This estimate assumes that the bill will be 
enacted by the end of fiscal year 2008 and that the amounts 
authorized by the bill will be appropriated for each fiscal 
year.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4847 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. Those governments would benefit from the 
authorization of appropriations in the bill for grants, 
training, and technical assistance.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Daniel Hoople; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; 
Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    H.R. 4847 contains no unfunded mandates.

         XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    The oversight findings and recommendations of the Committee 
on Science and Technology are reflected in the body of this 
report.

      XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause (3)( c) of House rule XIII, the goal of 
H.R. 4847 is to reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration and 
enable USFA to meet the evolving needs of the Nation's fire 
service.

                XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 4847.

                XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 4847 does not establish nor authorize the 
establishment of any advisory committee.

                 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds at H.R. 4847 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

                      XVII. Earmark Identification

    H.R. 4847 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of Rule XXI.

     XVIII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

       XIX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

FEDERAL FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT OF 1974

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                              DEFINITIONS

  Sec. 4. As used in this Act, the term--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the 
        United States Fire [Administration] Administration, who 
        is the Assistant Administrator of the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (6) ``hazardous materials'' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 5102(2) of title 49, United States 
        Code;
          [(6)] (7) ``local'' means of or pertaining to any 
        city, town, county, special purpose district, 
        unincorporated territory, or other political 
        subdivision of a State;
          [(7)] (8) ``place of public accommodation affecting 
        commerce'' means any inn, hotel, or other establishment 
        not owned by the Federal Government that provides 
        lodging to transient guests, except that such term does 
        not include an establishment treated as an apartment 
        building for purposes of any State or local law or 
        regulation or an establishment located within a 
        building that contains not more than 5 rooms for rent 
        or hire and that is actually occupied as a residence by 
        the proprietor of such establishment; [and]
          [(8)] (9) ``State'' means any State, the District of 
        Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin 
        Islands, the Canal Zone, Guam, American Samoa, the 
        Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and any other 
        territory or possession of the United States[.]; and
          (10) ``wildland-urban interface'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 101(16) of the Healthy 
        Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511(16)).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            NATIONAL ACADEMY FOR FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  Sec. 7. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Program of the Academy.--The Superintendent is authorized 
to--
          (1) train fire service personnel in such skills and 
        knowledge as may be useful to advance their ability to 
        prevent and control fires, including, but not limited 
        to--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (H) response, tactics, and strategies for 
                dealing with [terrorist-caused national 
                catastrophes] terrorist-caused and other 
                national catastrophes;
                  (I) response, tactics, and strategies for 
                fighting large-scale fires or multiple fires in 
                a general area that cross jurisdictional 
                boundaries;
                  (J) response, tactics, and strategies for 
                fighting fires occurring at the wildland-urban 
                interface;
                  (K) response, tactics, and strategies for 
                fighting fires involving hazardous materials;
                  (L) advanced emergency medical services 
                training;
                  [(I)] (M) use of and familiarity with the 
                Federal Response Plan;
                  [(J)] (N) leadership and strategic skills, 
                including integrated management systems 
                operations and integrated response;
                  [(K)] (O) applying new technology and 
                developing strategies and tactics for fighting 
                [forest] wildland fires;
                  [(L)] (P) integrating the activities of 
                terrorism response agencies into national 
                terrorism incident response systems;
                  [(M)] (Q) [response tactics and] response, 
                tactics, and strategies for fighting fires at 
                United States ports, including fires on the 
                water and aboard vessels; and
                  [(N)] (R) the training of present and future 
                instructors in the aforementioned subjects;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(f) Assistance.--The Administrator is authorized to provide 
assistance to State and local fire service training programs 
through grants, contracts, or otherwise. Such assistance shall 
not exceed 4 per centum of the amount authorized to be 
appropriated in each fiscal year pursuant to section 17 of this 
Act.]
  (f) Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator is authorized to 
        provide assistance to State and local fire service 
        training programs through grants, contracts, or 
        otherwise.
          (2) Authorization to enter into contracts to provide 
        on-site training through certain accredited 
        organizations.--
                  (A) In general.--The Administrator is 
                authorized to enter into a contract with one or 
                more nationally recognized organizations that 
                have established on-site training programs that 
                comply with national voluntary consensus 
                standards for fire service personnel to 
                facilitate the delivery of the education and 
                training programs outlined in subsection (d)(1) 
                directly to fire service personnel.
                  (B) Restrictions.--The Administrator shall 
                not enter into a contract with such 
                organization unless such organization--
                          (i) operates a fire service training 
                        program accredited by a nationally 
                        recognized accreditation organization 
                        experienced with accrediting such 
                        training; or
                          (ii) at the time the Administrator 
                        enters into the contract, provides 
                        training under such a program under a 
                        cooperative agreement with a Federal 
                        agency.
          (3) Restriction on use of funds.--The amounts 
        expended by the Administrator to carry out this 
        subsection in any fiscal year shall not exceed 4 per 
        centum of the amount authorized to be appropriated in 
        such fiscal year pursuant to section 17 of this Act.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (m) Triennial Report.--In the first annual report filed 
pursuant to section 16 for which the deadline for filing is 
after the expiration of the 18-month period that begins on the 
date of the enactment of the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2008, and in every third annual report 
thereafter, the Administrator shall include information about 
changes made to the Academy curriculum, including--
          (1) the basis for such changes, including a review of 
        the incorporation of lessons learned by emergency 
        response personnel after significant emergency events 
        and emergency preparedness exercises performed under 
        the National Exercise Program; and
          (2) the desired training outcome of all such changes.

                            FIRE TECHNOLOGY

  Sec. 8. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Management Studies.--(1) * * *
  (2) The Administrator is authorized to conduct, directly or 
through contracts or grants, studies of the operations and 
management aspects of fire service-based emergency medical 
services and coordination between emergency medical services 
and fire services. Such studies may include the optimum 
protocols for on-scene care, the allocation of resources, and 
the training requirements for fire service-based emergency 
medical services.
  [(2)] (3) The Administrator is authorized to conduct, 
directly or through contracts or grants, research concerning 
the productivity and efficiency of fire service personnel, the 
job categories and skills required by fire services under 
varying conditions, the reduction of injuries to fire service 
personnel, the most effective fire prevention programs and 
activities, and techniques for accurately measuring and 
analyzing the foregoing.
  [(3)] (4) The Administrator is authorized to conduct, 
directly or through contracts, grants, or other forms of 
assistance, development, testing, and demonstration projects to 
the extent deemed necessary to introduce and to encourage the 
acceptance of new technology, standards, operating methods, 
command techniques, and management systems for utilization by 
the fire services.
  [(4)] (5) The Administrator is authorized to assist the 
Nation's fire services, directly or through contracts, grants, 
or other forms of assistance, to measure and evaluate, on a 
cost-benefit basis, the effectiveness of the programs and 
activities of each fire service and the predictable 
consequences on the applicable local fire services of 
coordination or combination, in whole or in part, in a 
regional, metropolitan, or statewide fire service.
  (d) [Rural Assistance.--The Administrator] Rural and 
Wildland-Urban Interface Assistance.--(1) The Administrator is 
authorized to assist the Nation's fire services, directly or 
through contracts, grants, or other forms of assistance, to 
sponsor and encourage research into approaches, techniques, 
systems, and equipment to improve fire prevention and control 
in the rural and remote areas of the Nation.
  (2) The Administrator is authorized to assist the Nation's 
fire services, directly or through contracts, grants, or other 
forms of assistance, to sponsor and encourage research into 
approaches, techniques, systems, and equipment to improve fire 
prevention and control in the wildland-urban interface.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (h) Research Dissemination.--Beginning 1 year after the date 
of the enactment of the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2008, the Administrator, in 
collaboration with the relevant departments and agencies of the 
Federal Government, shall make available to the public 
information about all ongoing and planned fire-related research 
funded by the Administration during fiscal year 2007 and each 
fiscal year thereafter, as well as the results generated from 
such research, through a regularly updated Internet-based 
database.

                       NATIONAL FIRE DATA CENTER

  Sec. 9. (a) * * *
  (b) Methods.--In carrying out the program of the Data Center, 
the Administrator is authorized to--
          (1) * * *
          (2) encourage and [assist State,] assist Federal, 
        State, local, and other agencies, public and private, 
        in developing and reporting information; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) National Fire Incident Reporting System Update.--Of the 
amounts made available pursuant to subparagraphs (E), (F), and 
(G) of section 17(g)(1), the Administrator shall use no more 
than an aggregate amount of $5,000,000 during the 3-year period 
consisting of fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011 to carry out 
activities necessary to update the National Fire Incident 
Reporting system to an Internet-based, real-time incident 
reporting database, including capital investment, contractor 
engagement, and user education.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS

  Sec. 17. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g)(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided with respect 
to the payment of claims under section 11 of this Act, there 
are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the purposes of 
this Act--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (C) $66,796,000 for fiscal year 2007, of which 
        $2,404,000 shall be used to carry out section 8(f); 
        [and]
          (D) $68,800,000 for fiscal year 2008, of which 
        $2,476,000 shall be used to carry out section 8(f)[.];
          (E) $70,000,000 for fiscal year 2009, of which 
        $2,520,000 shall be used to carry out section 8;
          (F) $72,100,000 for fiscal year 2010, of which 
        $2,595,600 shall be used to carry out section 8;
          (G) $74,263,000 for fiscal year 2011, of which 
        $2,673,468 shall be used to carry out section 8; and
          (H) $76,490,890 for fiscal year 2012, of which 
        $2,753,672 shall be used to carry out section 8.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                       ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

  Sec. 21. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(e) Coordination.--To the extent practicable, the 
Administrator shall utilize existing programs, data, 
information, and facilities already available in other Federal 
Government departments and agencies and, where appropriate, 
existing research organizations, centers, and universities. The 
Administrator shall provide liaison at an appropriate 
organizational level to assure coordination of his activities 
with State and local government agencies, departments, bureaus, 
or offices concerned with any matter related to programs of 
fire prevention and control with private and other Federal 
organizations and offices so concerned.]
  (e) Coordination.--
          (1) In general.--To the extent practicable, the 
        Administrator shall utilize existing programs, data, 
        information, and facilities already available in other 
        Federal Government departments and agencies and, where 
        appropriate, existing research organizations, centers, 
        and universities.
          (2) Coordination of fire prevention and control 
        programs.--The Administrator shall provide liaison at 
        an appropriate organizational level to assure 
        coordination of the Administrator's activities with 
        State and local government agencies, departments, 
        bureaus, or offices concerned with any matter related 
        to programs of fire prevention and control with private 
        and other Federal organizations and offices so 
        concerned.
          (3) Coordination of fire service-based emergency 
        medical services programs.--The Administrator shall 
        provide liaison at an appropriate organizational level 
        to assure coordination of the Administrator's 
        activities with State and local government agencies, 
        departments, bureaus, or offices concerned with 
        programs related to emergency medical services provided 
        by fire service-based systems with private and other 
        Federal organizations and offices so concerned.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 37. ENCOURAGING ADOPTION OF STANDARDS FOR FIREFIGHTER HEALTH AND 
                    SAFETY.

  The Administrator shall promote adoption by fire services of 
national voluntary consensus standards for firefighter health 
and safety, including such standards for firefighter 
operations, training, staffing, and fitness, by educating fire 
services about such standards, encouraging the adoption at all 
levels of government of such standards, and making 
recommendations on other ways in which the Federal government 
can promote the adoption of such standards by fire services.

                     XX. Committee Recommendations

    On February 27, 2008, the Committee on Science and 
Technology favorably reported The United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008 by a voice vote, and 
recommended its enactment.



 XXI. PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY AND 
    INNOVATION ON H.R. 4847, THE UNITED STATES FIRE ADMINISTRATION 
                      REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2007

                              ----------                              


                       THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2008

                  House of Representatives,
         Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:15 a.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. David Wu 
[Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Wu. Good morning. The Subcommittee on Technology 
and Innovation will now come to order. Pursuant to notice, the 
Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation meets to consider the 
following measures: H.R. 4847, the United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007. It appears to me 
that we are no longer in 2007. Is that going to be an 
administrative amendment? Terrific--as read, 2007; H.R. 5161, 
the Green Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology 
Transfer Act, and H.R. 3916, To provide for the next generation 
of border and maritime security technologies.
    We will now proceed with the markup, beginning with opening 
statements, and the Chairman recognizes himself.
    First of all, I would like to welcome everyone to the first 
Science and Technology Committee markup of 2008. We had a very 
productive first session in 2007, and I am looking forward to 
working with my colleagues to pass more good legislation this 
year. Today we will be considering three bills, each of which 
deals with protecting and enhancing our nation's critical 
infrastructure our environment. H.R. 4847, introduced by the 
Vice Chair of the Subcommittee, Representative Mitchell, the 
gentleman from Arizona, and with Subcommittee Ranking Member 
Gingrey as an original co-sponsor, reauthorizes the United 
States Fire Administration. USFA is an important resource for 
our nation's firefighters, providing training, fire safety 
awareness for the public, data collection services, and fire-
suppression and prevention research and technology. I am 
pleased we are considering H.R. 4847 today, a bill worked on 
hard by both Republicans and Democrats, and will authorize USFA 
to continue its role as a leader and resource for the Nation's 
fire service, and help enable firefighters to meet the dynamic 
and growing mission of the fire service in the 21st century.
    We will also be considering H.R. 5161, the Green 
Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer 
Act. As you may remember, this past May, we heard from the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, as well as local governments and industry. They 
agreed that we have a great opportunity in this country to 
manage and protect our water resources through the use of 
innovative technologies and also serve as transportation 
infrastructure and as means for managing and filtering storm 
water runoff.
    The EPA witness, Assistant Administrator for Water, Ben 
Grumbles, is already making a great effort to promote the 
expanded use of such infrastructure around the U.S., but he and 
the other witnesses found a number of barriers, which this bill 
works to overcome through research and education programs at 
the U.S. Department of Transportation.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, introduced by Ranking Member Hall, 
authorizes programs at the Department of Homeland Security to 
improve the technology used to protect the Nation's borders and 
ports of entry. Border security officers have an incredibly 
difficult job. It is part law enforcement, part first 
responder, part diplomat, and part detective. It is clear that 
these agents need the help of new technology to do their jobs 
better and to make our borders more secure. Technology can act 
as additional eyes and ears for Border Patrol agents.
    This bill has special importance for me, as these 
technologies help reinforce security efforts at ports in 
addition to land borders. The Port of Portland processed more 
than fourteen million tons of cargo in 2007, and our 
international airport also screened in a number of people 
coming in from overseas. I know that the hardworking officers 
managing security at the Port of Portland could use the 
assistance of these innovative technologies.
    These three bills share an important common theme: the use 
of research and technology to solve some of our nation's most 
pressing problems. I am eager to join my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle in advancing these important objectives.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Wu follows:]
                Prepared Statement of Chairman David Wu
    First of all, I'd like to welcome everyone to the first Science and 
Technology Committee markup of 2008. We had a very productive first 
session, and I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues to pass 
good legislation this year. Today we will be considering three bills, 
each of which deals with protecting and enhancing our nation's critical 
infrastructure and environment.
    H.R. 4847, introduced by the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee, 
Representative Mitchell, and with Subcommittee Ranking Member Gingrey 
as an original co-sponsor, reauthorizes the U.S. Fire Administration. 
The U.S. Fire Administration is an important resource for our nation's 
firefighters, providing training, fire safety awareness for the public, 
data collection services, and fire suppression and prevention research 
and technology.
    I am pleased we are considering H.R. 4847 today, a bipartisan piece 
of legislation that will authorize USFA to continue its role as a 
leader and resource for the Nation's firefighters, and help 
firefighters save lives and meet the dynamic mission of the fire 
service in the 21st century.
    We will also be considering H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation 
Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer Act. This past May this 
subcommittee held a hearing that included witnesses from the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, 
and representatives of local government and industry. The witnesses 
agreed that we have a great opportunity to manage and protect our 
nation's water resources by using of innovative techniques and 
technologies that simultaneously serve as transportation infrastructure 
and as means for managing and filtering storm water.
    The EPA witness, Assistant Administrator for Water Ben Grumbles, is 
already making great efforts to promote the expanded use of green 
infrastructure around the U.S. But he and the other witnesses described 
a number of barriers, which this bill works to overcome through 
research and education efforts at the U.S. Department of 
Transportation.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, introduced by Ranking Member Hall, authorizes 
programs at the Department of Homeland Security to improve the 
technology used to protect the Nation's borders and ports of entry. 
Border security officers have an incredibly difficult job. It is part 
law enforcement, part first responder, part diplomat, and part 
detective. It is clear that these agents need the help of new 
technology to do their jobs better and to make our borders more secure. 
Technology can act as additional eyes and ears for Border Patrol 
agents.
    This bill has special importance for me, as these technologies help 
reinforce security efforts at ports in addition to land borders. The 
Port of Portland processed more than fourteen million tons of cargo in 
2007, and I know that the hardworking officers managing security there 
could use the assistance these innovative technologies would provide.
    These three bills share an important common theme--the use of 
research and technology to solve some of our nation's most pressing 
problems. I'm eager to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in 
advancing this important legislation.

    Chairman Wu. And now, I recognize the Ranking Member of the 
Subcommittee, Dr. Gingrey, the gentleman from Georgia, to 
present his opening remarks.
    Mr. Gingrey. Chairman Wu, I thank you for holding this 
subcommittee markup on the three pieces of legislation that 
address a wide range of issues under the jurisdiction of the 
Technology and Innovation Subcommittee. We have the privilege 
today to be conducting the Science Committee's first official 
business of the year, and the 2nd session of 110th Congress.
    Today, we consider H.R. 4847, the United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007; H.R. 5161, the 
Green Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology 
Transfer Act; and finally, H.R. 3916, a border-security 
technology bill.
    As we consider each piece of legislation, we will reaffirm 
that the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee plays an 
important role in a number of issues urgently facing our 
country. Today, we will be examining issues facing first 
responders in local communities on a daily basis, the impact 
that our transportation infrastructure has on the contamination 
of our water supplies, and developing the next-generation 
technologies for the Federal Government to keep our borders 
secure.
    Mr. Chairman, I want to also thank you for the way the 
Subcommittee has conducted the process by which each piece of 
legislation is being considered today. Each of the bills being 
marked up today has gone through a--what we all refer to and 
know as regular order. The Subcommittee held an individual 
hearing on each bill, last year in 2007, and that provided 
Members with the opportunity to ask questions of these experts, 
in order for us to be better informed as we crafted each bill 
to, hopefully, perfection or near-perfection.
    Furthermore, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you. I want to 
thank you for allowing us to work in a bipartisan manner on 
each piece of legislation. As these three bills demonstrate, we 
can accomplish more for the American people when Republicans 
and Democrats work together. Mr. Chairman, I applaud you and 
your staff for working with me and my Republican staff on the 
Committee to balance all perspectives to make these bills sound 
policy.
    So Mr. Chairman, I hope this markup is an indication of how 
we can expect the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee to 
continue to operate throughout the year 2008. I look forward to 
working with on these issues that we will discuss and debate 
today, as well as other matters that will come before the 
Subcommittee for the rest of this year.
    And with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gingrey follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Phil Gingrey
    Chairman Wu, I want to thank you for holding this subcommittee 
mark-up on three pieces of legislation that address a wide range of 
issues under the jurisdiction of the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee. We have the privilege today to be conducting the Science 
Committee's first official business of this year and the 2nd Session of 
the 110th Congress.
    Today, we consider H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2007; H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation 
Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer Act; and H.R. 3916, a 
border security technology bill.
    As we consider each piece of legislation, we will reaffirm that the 
Technology and Innovation Subcommittee plays an important role in a 
number of issues currently facing our country. Today, we will be 
examining issues facing first responders in local communities on a 
daily basis; the impact that our transportation infrastructure has on 
the contamination of our water supplies; and developing next generation 
technologies for the Federal Government to keep our borders secure.
    Mr. Chairman, I want to also thank you for the way the Subcommittee 
has conducted the process by which each piece of legislation is being 
considered today. Each of the bills being marked up today has gone 
through regular order. The Subcommittee held an individual hearing on 
each bill in 2007, providing Members the opportunity to ask questions 
of the experts in order for us to be better informed as we crafted each 
bill. Furthermore Mr. Chairman, I also want to thank you for allowing 
us to work in a bipartisan manner on each piece of legislation. As 
these three bills demonstrate, we can accomplish more for the American 
people when Republicans and Democrats work together. Mr. Chairman, I 
applaud you and your staff for working with me and the Republican staff 
on the Committee to balance all perspectives to make these bills into 
sound policy. Mr. Chairman, I hope that this markup is an indication of 
how we can expect the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee to 
continue to operate throughout 2008. I look forward to working with you 
on these issues that we will discuss and debate today, as well as other 
matters that will come before the Subcommittee for the rest of the 
year.
    With that Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Wu. Thank you very much, Dr. Gingrey, and without 
objection, Members may place statement may place statements in 
the record at this point.
    We will now consider H.R. 4847, the United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007. I yield to Mr. 
Mitchell, the gentleman from Arizona, five minutes to describe 
this bill.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very pleased 
that the Subcommittee is marking up H.R. 4847, a bill to 
reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration, introduced by myself 
with the original co-sponsorship of the Subcommittee Ranking 
Member, Dr. Gingrey.
    The wildfires this past fall in California reminded us all 
of the vital role the fire service plays in protecting our 
communities. Although we have made significant strides in 
reducing fire-related deaths and injuries since Congress 
created the Fire Administration in the early 1970s, over 3,000 
Americans a year still die in fires, and many more than that 
are injured. The Nation also suffers over $11 billion in fire-
related property losses, annually. Fire clearly continues to be 
a major problem in the U.S.
    The U.S. Fire Administration is an invaluable resource for 
the thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel around 
the country. Through training, educational materials, data 
collection, and other services, USFA provides tools and 
leadership to the fire service and the communities they serve. 
H.R. 4847 authorizes this important agency, for four years, at 
funding levels consistent for USFA to fully carry out its 
mission, and it authorizes USFA to focus its resources on 
pressing challenges for today's first responders, like fighting 
fires in the wild, and urban interface, and responding to 
incidents involving hazardous materials.
    The bill also directs the USFA to improve the national 
fire-incident reporting system, which provides important data 
on fire events to policy-makers at all levels of government.
    At the hearing the Subcommittee held last October, we 
learned that today's firefighters are called on to respond to 
and prepare for an increasing number of emergencies. This 
reauthorization gives USFA the authority and direction to meet 
the dynamic and evolving mission of the Nation's fire service. 
The bill also directs USFA to continue its leadership in 
addressing firefighter health and safety. Tragically, every 
year, over 100 firefighters die in the line of duty. H.R. 4847 
directs the fire administrator to educate local departments on 
voluntary national-consensus standards that address firefighter 
health and safety and encourage communities to adopt these 
standards.
    H.R. 4847 is the product of bipartisan collaboration and 
considerable input from the fire service community. The 
resources and leadership of USFA are an essential part of the 
ability of the fire service to protect our cities, towns, and 
communities, and I urge the Subcommittee to pass this bill and 
report it out favorably, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Mitchell follows:]
         Prepared Statement of Representative Harry E. Mitchell
    Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'm very pleased that the Subcommittee is 
marking up H.R. 4847, a bill to reauthorize the U.S. Fire 
Administration, introduced by myself with the original co-sponsorship 
of the Subcommittee Ranking Member, Mr. Gingrey.
    The wildfires this past fall in California reminded us all of the 
vital role the fire service plays in protecting our communities. 
Although we have made significant strides in reducing fire related 
deaths and injuries since Congress created the Fire Administration in 
the early 1970's, over 3,000 Americans a year still die in fires and 
many more than that are injured. The Nation also suffers over $11 
billion fire-related property losses annually. Fire clearly continues 
to be a major problem in the U.S.
    The U.S. Fire Administration is an invaluable resource for the 
thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel around the country. 
Through training, educational materials, data collection, and other 
services, USFA provides tools and leadership to the fire service and 
the communities they serve.
    H.R. 4847 reauthorizes this important agency for four years at 
funding levels consistent for USFA to fully carry out its mission. It 
authorizes USFA to focus its resources on pressing challenges for 
today's first responders, like fighting fires in the wildland-urban 
interface and responding to incidents involving hazardous materials. 
The bill also directs USFA to improve the National Fire Incident 
Reporting System, which provides important data on fire events to 
policy-makers at all levels of government. At the hearing the 
Subcommittee held last October, we learned that today's firefighters 
are called on to respond to, and prepare for, an increasing number of 
emergencies.
    This reauthorization gives USFA the authority and direction to meet 
the dynamic and evolving mission of the Nation's fire service.
    The bill also directs USFA to continue it leadership in addressing 
firefighter health and safety. Tragically, every year over 100 
firefighters die in the line of duty. H.R. 4847 directs the Fire 
Administrator to educate local departments on voluntary national 
consensus standards that address firefighter health and safety and 
encourage communities to adopt these standards.
    H.R. 4847 is the product of bipartisan collaboration and 
considerable input from the fire service community. The resources and 
leadership of USFA are an essential part of the ability of the fire 
service to protect our cities, towns, and communities, and I urge the 
Subcommittee to pass this bill and report it out favorably.

    Chairman Wu. Thank you very much, Mr. Mitchell, and now, I 
would like to recognize Dr. Gingrey, the co-sponsor of the 
legislation for any remarks that he may have.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for 
providing our subcommittee with the opportunity to consider 
H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2007.
    As the lead Republican sponsor of this legislation, I want 
to commend, of course, the bill's sponsor, Mr. Mitchell, from 
Arizona, for bringing forward this legislation to reauthorize 
the U.S. Fire Administration. I am very pleased that we have 
worked, again, in a bipartisan manner over these past few 
months to prepare the bill we have before us today.
    The mission of USFA is to reduce life and economic losses 
due to fire and related emergencies through leaderships, 
advocacy, coordination, and support. This organization provides 
vital assistance in the areas of training, fire education, and 
awareness, and it awards grants to a number of local fire 
departments across this country. These activities have made a 
substantial impact over the past 30 years.
    Mr. Chairman, it is important to note that because of the 
work of the USFA, smoke alarms are now standard issue in 
residences across the country. Over a million firefighters have 
received advanced training, and firefighter equipment and 
safety continually improves. USFA should be proud of its record 
of achievement; however, it is also clear that improvements can 
still be made.
    In the last ten years, deaths have--that are related to 
fires have decreased by approximately 25 percent, from nearly 
5,000 in 1996 to 3,675 in 2006. Although that decreases in 
fire-related deaths is commendable, the United States still has 
one of the highest death rates from fire in the entire 
industrialized world. Additionally, Mr. Chairman, despite 
decreases in the number of fires, direct-damage costs are 
increasing and surpassed $10 billion per year. To put it 
another way, in an average year, fires cause as much damage in 
the United States as hurricanes. That's a surprising statistic. 
The reauthorization of USFA will allow the agency to continue 
to improve our preparedness and reduce our vulnerability to 
fire.
    Mr. Chairman, however, I think you know I have some 
concerns about the adequacy and potentially duplicative nature 
of fire-administrating activities in the realm of EMS services, 
emergency medical services, in regard to what is already 
provided in some communities. As we move forward on H.R. 4847, 
I hope that other Members of the Science Committee and the fire 
community can continue to discuss better ways to implement best 
practices for training, system design, and on-the-scene care 
for fire-based EMS, emergency medical services while making 
sure to work with the existing medical services in these 
communities. You can imagine a situation where you have three 
or four competing first responders, if you will, all skilled in 
cardiopulmonary resuscitation, fighting for--or trying to save 
the lives of either a victim or one of our brave firefighters, 
so I want to make sure you understand why I am concerned about 
that. I just want good, close coordination.
    The current bill is an important and well-crafted step 
forward for USFA. I urge all of my colleagues on the 
Subcommittee to support the bill and support the upcoming 
manager's amendment. It makes minor, technical changes to the 
underlying legislation. And with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield 
back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Wu. I thank the gentleman, and I understand that 
Mr. Hall, the Ranking Member of the Full Committee, would like 
to make a statement at this point.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I will be brief. I 
just want to add to what the gentleman from Georgia said. You 
know, we have always heard it said that water and fire are 
wonderful friends but fearful enemies, and we have to 
appreciate both of them, water and fire, for the good they do, 
but we know that they bring devastation. And the tornado that 
hit over in Kentucky and Tennessee brought to light the work of 
the firefighters and the good work that they do.
    I think it is a shame that it took 9/11 for the American 
people to really, truly appreciate firefighters and others that 
defend us and protect our property and our lives, so I think it 
is great to take our hat off to them, and express our thanks 
and our gratitude to them. I thank the Chairman for having this 
hearing, and I thank the gentleman from Georgia for his very 
appropriate statements. I am very pro-firefighters. I don't 
know how you can say enough about the good things they have 
done, but they are part of the treasures of this country, and 
it is good for this committee and for this Congress to honor 
them every chance we get. I yield back my time.
    Chairman Wu. Thank you, Mr. Hall, and as always, your 
comments are so pithy and also provide a launch point. You 
referred to the fearsome adversarial nature of fire and water, 
potentially, and I just want to add that what was ignored prior 
to our amendments that this committee worked--the Full 
Committee, six years ago, fire on water, that's marine fires, 
were not included in eligible training programs and research 
under the fire administration, and that's something we changed, 
this committee changed, several years ago, and that is an 
important change that we retain in the current legislation. 
Thank you for your comments, and thank you Dr. Gingrey and Mr. 
Mitchell.
    I ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point, and that Members proceed 
with amendments in the order of the roster. Without objection, 
so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is a manager's amendment 
offered by the gentleman from Arizona. Mr. Mitchell, are you 
ready to proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Mitchell. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Wu. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 4847 offered by Mr. Mitchell 
of Arizona.
    Chairman Wu. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the 
reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize the gentleman from Arizona for five minutes to 
explain his amendment.
    Mr. Mitchell. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am introducing 
this amendment to H.R. 4847 to change references in the bill to 
``voluntary national consensus standards'' to read ``national 
voluntary consensus standards,'' the preferred term. It also 
makes a technical change to Subsection C of Section 4.
    And I yield back.
    Chairman Wu. I think the gentleman. Is there further 
discussion of the amendment? If not, the vote occurs on the 
amendment. All in favor, say aye. Those opposed, say no. The 
ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to.
    Are there any other amendments? Hearing none, the vote is 
on the bill H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2007, as amended. All those in favor 
will say aye. All those opposed will say no. In the opinion of 
the Chair, the ayes have it.
    I now recognize Dr. Gingrey to make a motion.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Subcommittee 
favorably report H.R. 4847, as amended, to the Full Committee, 
and furthermore, I move that staff be instructed to prepare the 
Subcommittee legislative report and make necessary technical 
and conforming changes to the bill, as amended, in accordance 
with the recommendation of the Subcommittee.
    Chairman Wu. The question is on the motion to report the 
bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify by 
saying aye. Opposed will say no. The ayes have it, and the bill 
is favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. Subcommittee Members may submit additional or 
Minority views on the measure.
    I want to thank Members of the Committee and the 
Subcommittee for their attendance, and with our typical, 
across-the-aisle-workmanship is not the right term, but our 
work across the aisle, and our head-spinning efficiency. We 
have again moved multiple pieces of legislation and conclude 
this subcommittee markup. Thank you all very much.
    [Whereupon, at 11:05 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


        H.R. 4847, Section-by-Section Analysis, Amendment Roster





<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

                     Section-by-Section Analysis of
      H.R. 4847, U.S. Fire Administration Reauthorization of 2007

Section 1. Short Title

    ``The United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 
2007''

Section 2. Findings

    Finds that the rate of life and property loss due to fire in the 
U.S. is still one of the highest in the industrialized world and that a 
significant number of firefighters die or suffer injury each year. 
Finds that USFA provides vital resources and leadership to the Nation's 
fire service and should have a prominent voice at the Department of 
Homeland Security.

Section 3. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations: $70,000,000 for FY 2009; $72,100,000 for 
FY 2010; $74,263,000 for FY 2011; and $76,490,890 for FY 2012. Each 
fiscal year, 3.6 percent of the funds authorized are authorized to be 
used to carry out fire technology research and related activities.

Section 4. National Fire Academy Training Program Modifications and 
                    Reports

    Amends the list of training activities the National Fire Academy 
(NFA) is authorized to engage in by broadening authorized NFA training 
activities from terrorism specific to all-hazard; authorize training 
for response to large-scale fire events that involve multiple 
jurisdictions and stretch resources; authorize training for 
firefighting activities in the wildland-urban interface; authorize 
training for hazmat firefighting; and authorize training for advanced 
issues related to emergency medical services.
    Requires the Administrator to include a description of any changes 
to the NFA curriculum in every third USFA yearly report to Congress.
    Authorizes the Administrator to enter into contracts to provide on-
site training through accredited or otherwise qualified organizations 
experienced with delivering such training.

Section 5. National Fire Incident Reporting System Upgrades

    Authorizes the Administrator to use a maximum of $5 million dollars 
from the total appropriated over the years FY 2009 to FY 2011 to 
upgrade NFIRS.

Section 6. Fire Technology Assistance and Research Dissemination

    Authorizes USFA to engage in research related to technologies, 
techniques, approaches, etc., to address fire suppression and 
prevention for fires in the wildland-urban interface.
    Requires USFA to maintain a web database of these activities.

Section 7. Encouraging the Adoption of Standards for Firefighter Health 
                    and Safety

    Directs the Administrator to promote the adoption of national 
voluntary consensus standards for firefighter health and safety by 
educating the fire service, encouraging their adoption at all levels of 
government and making recommendations on other ways the Federal 
Government can encourage State, local, and federal fire agencies to 
comply with these standards.

Section 8. Coordination on Fire Service-Based Emergency Medical 
                    Services

    Amends Section 21(e) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act 
of 1974 by directing the Administrator to include fire service-based 
emergency medical services in his liaison and coordination activities 
across the Federal Government.

Section 9. Definitions

    Defines wildland-urban interface and hazardous materials.
    <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>
    


XXII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 4847, THE UNITED 
         STATES FIRE ADMINISTRATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2007

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2008

                  House of Representatives,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:06 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon 
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Gordon. The Committee will come to order pursuant 
to notice the Committee on Science and Technology meets to 
consider the following measures: H.R. 4847, the United States 
Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007; H.R. 5161, the 
Green Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology 
Transfer Act; and H.R. 3916, To provide for the next generation 
of border and maritime security technologies.
    I would like to welcome everyone to this morning's markup, 
the first Full Committee markup of 2008. Today we will consider 
the three bills reported out of the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee with unanimous support. These three bills deal 
with public safety, improving the environment and border 
security, addressing some of the Nation's most pressing issues.
    H.R. 4847, introduced by the Vice Chair of the 
Subcommittee, Representative Mitchell, and co-sponsored by the 
Subcommittee Ranking Member Gingrey, reauthorizes the U.S. Fire 
Administration.
    The U.S. Fire Administration is an important resource for 
our nation's firefighters, providing training, fire safety 
awareness for the public, data collection, and R&D on fire 
suppression and prevention research and technology.
    This important bill will help ensure the continued success 
of the USFA in its mission to protect lives and property from 
fire.
    We will also consider H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation 
Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer Act, introduced 
by Chairman Wu.
    This bipartisan bill supports the development and use of 
green technology to protect our nation's water supply through 
innovative technologies and materials that can be integrated 
into transportation infrastructure such as roads and parking 
lots. By filtering stormwater and slowing runoff, green 
infrastructure mitigates pollution while saving money and 
energy.
    The bill builds upon the good work going on now in the 
Department of Transportation to promote green infrastructure 
widespread use.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, introduced by Ranking Member Hall, 
authorizes programs at the Department of Homeland Security to 
improve technology used to protect the Nation's borders and 
ports of entry.
    Border Patrol agents are responsible for securing nearly 
7,000 miles of land borders to the north and south, as well as 
95,000 miles of shoreline. Technology can play a vital role in 
extending observational capabilities, helping Border Patrol 
agents locate suspects, and monitor the border more 
efficiently.
    Mr. Hall's bill authorizes important programs to enhance 
the Border Patrol's ability to carry out its mission by 
supporting short- and long-term research priorities. It also 
ensures that new technologies will be useful to Border Patrol 
agents by mandating that DHS work to meet cost and training 
needs to end-users when developing these technologies.
    I want to commend the T&I Subcommittee for bringing these 
issues to the Committee's attention. All three of these bills 
were developed via a regular order process of identifying the 
problem, holding a hearing, and then developing legislation.
    I strongly support each of these bills and look forward to 
working with my colleagues on the Committee to advance this 
important legislation.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon

Full Committee Mark-Up:


  H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration 
Reauthorization Act of 2007;


  H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation Infrastructure Research 
and Technology Transfer Act;


  H.R. 3916, To provide for the next generation of border and 
maritime security technologies

    I'd like to welcome everyone to this morning's markup, the first 
Full Committee markup of 2008.
    Today we will consider three bills reported out of the Technology 
and Innovation Subcommittee with unanimous support. These three bills 
deal with public safety, improving the environment and border 
security--addressing some of the Nation's most pressing issues.
    H.R. 4847, introduced by the Vice Chair of the Subcommittee, 
Representative Mitchell, and co-sponsored by Subcommittee Ranking 
Member Gingrey, reauthorizes the U.S. Fire Administration. The U.S. 
Fire Administration is an important resource for our nation's 
firefighters, providing training, fire safety awareness for the public, 
data collection, and R&D on fire suppression and prevention research 
and technology. This important bill will help ensure the continued 
success of the USFA in its mission to protect lives and property from 
fire.
    We will also consider H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation 
Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer Act, introduced by 
Chairman Wu. This bipartisan bill supports the development and use of 
green technology to protect our nation's water supply through 
innovative techniques and materials that can be integrated into 
transportation infrastructure such as roads and parking lots. By 
filtering stormwater and slowing runoff, green infrastructure mitigates 
pollution while saving money and energy. This bill builds upon the good 
work going on at the Department of Transportation to promote green 
infrastructure's widespread use.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, introduced by Ranking Member Hall, authorizes 
programs at the Department of Homeland Security to improve the 
technology used to protect the Nation's borders and ports of entry. 
Border Patrol agents are responsible for securing nearly seven thousand 
miles of land borders to the North and South, as well as ninety-five 
thousand miles of shoreline. While our current corps of Border Patrol 
agents is doing a commendable job, their job is daunting. Technology 
can play a vital role in extending observational capabilities, helping 
Border Patrol agents locate suspects and monitor the border more 
effectively.
    Mr. Hall's bill authorizes important programs to enhance the Border 
Patrol's ability to carry out its mission by supporting short- and 
long-term research priorities. It also ensures that new technologies 
will be useful to Border Patrol agents by mandating that DHS work to 
meet cost and training needs of end-users when developing these 
technologies.
    I want to commend the T&I Subcommittee for bringing these issues to 
the Committee's attention. All three of these bills were developed via 
a regular order process of identifying the problem, holding a hearing, 
and then developing legislation.
    I strongly support each of these bills, and look forward to working 
with my colleagues on the Committee to advance this important 
legislation.

    Chairman Gordon. I now recognize Mr. Hall to present 
opening remarks.
    Mr. Hall. I thank you, Chairman Gordon. I am looking 
forward to a productive start for the Committee in this second 
session of the 110th Congress.
    Today the Full Committee is considering three bills 
previously considered by the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee. As you have said to begin with, we will be 
considering the reauthorization for the United States Fire 
Administration. USFA provides critical support to our nation's 
firefighters through training, through research and 
development, and logistical support. This is an extremely 
important agency in this committee's jurisdiction, and I would 
like to thank Mr. Mitchell and Dr. Gingrey for their hard work 
over the past few months on this matter.
    Now, we will be considering Mr. Wu's Green Transportation 
Infrastructure Bill, which provides funding for the Department 
of Transportation's University Transportation Centers to 
examine and hopefully implement technologies that significantly 
reduce non-point source water pollution from our roadways and 
other paved surfaces.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, a bill near and dear to me, focuses on 
the technology needs for the Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast 
Guard. I started writing this bill last year in response to a 
real need to develop and employ next generation technologies to 
help secure our border. I am pleased that many Members of the 
Committee on both sides of the aisle have co-sponsored this 
bill, and I would like to thank all of you for supporting my 
bill. I thank you, Chairman Gordon, specifically for your 
support and guidance.
    These are all significant pieces of legislation that the 
Committee can be proud of advancing. I look forward to working 
with Chairman Gordon to insure that these bills continue to 
progress through their other committee referrals and onto the 
House Floor.
    I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
    Thank you Chairman Gordon, I'm looking forward to a productive 
start for the Committee in this second session of the 110th Congress. 
Today the Full Committee is considering three bills previously 
considered by the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee. To begin 
we'll be considering the reauthorization for the United States Fire 
Administration (USFA). USFA provides critical support to our nation's 
firefighters through training, research and development, and logistical 
support. This is an extremely important agency in this committee's 
jurisdiction and I'd like to thank Mr. Mitchell and Dr. Gingrey for 
their hard work over the past few months on this matter.
    Next we'll be considering Mr. Wu's green transportation 
infrastructure bill, which provides funding for the Department of 
Transportation's University Transportation Centers to examine and 
hopefully implement technologies that significantly reduce non-point 
source water pollution from our roadways and other paved surfaces.
    Finally, H.R. 3916, a bill near and dear to me, focuses on the 
technology needs of the Border Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard. I began 
writing this bill last year in response to a real need to develop and 
employ next generation technologies to help secure our border. I'm 
pleased that many Members of this committee on both sides of the aisle 
have co-sponsored the bill and I'd like to thank all of you for 
supporting my bill.
    These are all significant pieces of legislation that the Committee 
can be proud of advancing. I look forward to working with Chairman 
Gordon to ensure that these bills continue to progress through their 
other Committee referrals and onto the House Floor.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall. You can be assured 
that we will all be working together to see these bills go to 
the Floor and then find a way to the Senate.
    We will now consider H.R. 4847, the United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007. I yield Mr. 
Mitchell five minutes to describe his bill.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very pleased 
that the Committee is marking up H.R. 4847 to reauthorize the 
U.S. Fire Administration. This bill was introduced by myself 
and the Ranking Member of the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee, Dr. Phil Gingrey. The Fire Service provides 
critical assistance in protecting our communities in emergency 
events. From house fires to terrorist events to tornadoes, 
firefighters are generally the first on the scene and the last 
to leave.
    However, fire continues to be a major problem in the U.S. 
Although fire-related deaths and injuries have been reduced 
significantly since the Fire Administration's creation in the 
early 1970s, over 3,000 Americans a year still die in fires and 
many more are injured. There are also $11 billion in annual 
direct property losses caused by fires.
    The U.S. Fire Administration is an invaluable resource for 
the thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel around 
the country. Through training, educational materials, data 
collection, and other services, USFA provides tools and 
leadership to the fire service and the communities they serve.
    H.R. 4847 reauthorizes this important agency for four years 
at the funding levels consistent for USFA to fully carry out 
its mission. It also addresses a number of priorities that 
members of the fire service community raised to the Technology 
and Innovation Subcommittee at a hearing last fall.
    This legislation authorizes USFA to focus its resources on 
pressing challenges for today's first responders like fighting 
fires in the wildland-urban interface and responding to 
incidents involving hazardous materials. It directs USFA to 
improve the National Fire Incident Reporting System which 
provides important data on fire events to policy-makers at all 
levels of government.
    This bill also addresses a very serious issue for the fire 
service, and that is firefighter health and safety. As we heard 
at the hearing last October, every year over 100 firefighters 
die in the line of duty. USFA has shown strong leadership in 
promoting firefighter health and safety. H.R. 4847 directs the 
USFA Administrator to continue this leadership by educating 
local fire departments on national voluntary consensus 
standards for firefighter health and safety and encouraging 
communities to adopt these standards.
    This legislation is the product of bipartisan collaboration 
and considerable input from the fire service community. Two 
weeks ago the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee 
unanimously reported this bill favorably. The resources and 
leadership of the USFA are an essential part of the ability of 
the fire service to protect our cities, towns, and communities, 
and I urge all my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill.
    And I yield back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Mitchell follows:]
         Prepared Statement of Representative Harry E. Mitchell
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'm very pleased that the Committee is 
marking up H.R. 4847, to reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration. This 
bill was introduced by myself and the Ranking Member of the Technology 
an Innovation Subcommittee, Dr. Phil Gingrey.
    The fire service provides critical assistance in protecting our 
communities in emergency events. From house fires to terrorist events 
to tornadoes, firefighters are general the first on the scene and the 
last to leave.
    However, fire continues to be a major problem in the U.S. Although 
fire-related deaths and injuries have been reduced significantly since 
the Fire Administration's creation in the early 1970s, over 3,000 
Americans a year still die in fires and many more are injured. There 
are also $11 billion in annual direct property losses cause by fires.
    The U.S. Fire Administration is an invaluable resource for the 
thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel around the country. 
Through training, educational materials, data collection, and other 
services, USFA provides tools and leadership to the fire service and 
the communities they serve.
    H.R. 4847 reauthorizes this important agency for four years at 
funding levels consistent for USFA to fully carry out its mission. It 
also addresses a number of priorities that members of the fire service 
community raised to the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee at a 
hearing last fall.
    This legislation authorizes USFA to focus its resources on pressing 
challenges for today's first responders, like fighting fires in the 
wildland-urban interface and responding to incidents involving 
hazardous materials. It directs USFA to improve the National Fire 
Incident Reporting System, which provides important data on fire events 
to policy-makers at all levels of government.
    This bill also addresses a very serious issue for the fire 
service--firefighter health and safety. As we heard at the hearing last 
October, every year over 100 firefighters die in the line of duty. USFA 
has shown strong leadership in promoting firefighter health and safety. 
H.R. 4847 directs the USFA Administrator to continue this leadership by 
educating local fire departments on national voluntary consensus 
standards for firefighter health and safety and encouraging communities 
to adopt these standards.
    This legislation is the product of bipartisan collaboration and 
considerable input from the fire service community. Two weeks ago, the 
Technology and Innovation Subcommittee unanimously reported this bill 
favorably. The resources and leadership of USFA are an essential part 
of the ability of the fires service to protect our cities, towns, and 
communities, and I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill.

    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Hall is recognized for any remarks he 
might have.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I am pleased, of 
course, the Committee held a hearing on this bill and took the 
time to consult with both sides as you did and as you have 
done. I yield the balance of my time to Dr. Gingrey to speak on 
the bill.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding his time, and I thank you as well.
    As the lead Republican sponsor of the legislation, I would 
like to commend my colleague from Arizona, Mr. Mitchell, for 
bringing forward this legislation to reauthorize the United 
States Fire Administration. I am very pleased that we have 
worked in a bipartisan manner over the past few months to 
prepare the bill that we have before us today.
    Mr. Chairman, I am also pleased that this bill has also 
gone through the regular order process. In October the 
Technology and Innovation Subcommittee held a hearing on the 
reauthorization of USFA, and just three weeks ago H.R. 4847 was 
unanimously reported back to the Full Committee from the 
Technology and Innovation Subcommittee chaired by Chairman Wu.
    The mission of USFA is the reduce life and economic losses 
due to fire and related emergencies through leadership, 
advocacy coordination and support. This organization provides 
vital assistance in the areas of training, fire education, and 
awareness and awards grants to a number of local fire 
departments across the country. These activities have made a 
substantial impact over the last 30 years as the gentleman from 
Arizona has just pointed out.
    Mr. Chairman, it is important to note that, because of the 
work of the USFA, smoke alarms are now standard issue in 
residences across the country. Over a million firefighters have 
received advanced training and firefighter equipment and safety 
continues to improve. USFA should be proud of its record of 
achievement; however, it is also clear that improvements can 
still be made. In the last 10 years deaths related to fires 
have decreased by approximately 25 percent from nearly 5,000 in 
1996, to 3,675 in 2006.
    Although that decrease in fire-related deaths is 
commendable, the United States still has one of the highest 
death rates from fire in the industrialized world. 
Additionally, Mr. Chairman, despite the decreases in the number 
of fires, direct damage costs are increasing and have surpassed 
10 billion, that is with a B, $10 billion per year. Put it 
another way, in an average year fire causes as much damage in 
the United States as do hurricanes.
    The reauthorization of USFA will allow the agency to 
continue to improve our preparedness and reduce our 
vulnerability to fire. Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, last year 
we saw wildfires that ravaged southern California and the need 
to develop a more cohesive way of combating these fires. I am 
happy to see this legislation specifically addresses the issue 
of fighting fires in an urban-wildland interface by 
implementing methods to better respond and prepare for fires 
that move from wildlands to suburban and our urban areas, our 
cities.
    The current bill is important and well crafted to step 
forward for USFA. I want to urge all of my colleagues on the 
Committee to support the bill. Again, to thank our gentleman 
from Arizona, Mr. Mitchell, and with that, Mr. Chairman, I 
yield back the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gingrey follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Phil Gingrey
    As the lead Republican sponsor of this legislation, I would like to 
commend my colleague, Mr. Mitchell from Arizona, for bringing forward 
this legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Fire Administration. I am very 
pleased that we have worked in a bipartisan manner over these past few 
months to prepare the bill we have before us today.
    Mr. Chairman, I am also pleased that this bill is also gone through 
the regular order process. In October, the Technology and Innovation 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the reauthorization of USFA, and just 
three weeks ago, H.R. 4847 was unanimously reported back to the Full 
Committee from the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee.
    The mission of USFA is to ``reduce life and economic losses due to 
fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, 
coordination and support.'' This organization provides vital assistance 
in the areas of training, fire education and awareness, and awards 
grants to a number of local fire departments across the country. These 
activities have made a substantial impact over the last 30 years.
    Mr. Chairman, it is important to note that because of the work of 
the USFA, smoke alarms are now standard issue in residences across the 
country; over a million firefighters have received advanced training; 
and firefighter equipment and safety continually improves.
    USFA should be proud of its record of achievement. However, it's 
also clear that improvements can still be made. In the last ten years, 
deaths related to fires have decreased by approximately 25 percent, 
from nearly 5,000 in 1996 to 3,675 in 2006. Although that decrease in 
fire-related deaths is commendable, the United States still has one of 
the highest death rates from fire in the industrialized world.
    Additionally Mr. Chairman, despite decreases in the numbers of 
fires, direct damage costs are increasing and have surpassed $10 
billion per year. Put another way, in an average year, fires cause as 
much damage in the United States as hurricanes. The reauthorization of 
USFA will allow the agency to continue to improve our preparedness and 
reduce our vulnerability to fire.
    Unfortunately Mr. Chairman, last year we saw wildfires that ravaged 
Southern California and the need to develop a more cohesive way of 
combating these fires. I am happy to see that this legislation 
specifically addresses the issue of fighting fires in an urban-wildland 
interface by implementing methods to better respond and prepare for 
fires that move from wildlands to suburban and urban areas.
    The current bill is an important and well-crafted step forward for 
USFA. I urge all of my colleagues on the Committee to support the bill. 
With that Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Gingrey. Does anyone else 
wish to be recognized for remarks?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Rohrabacher is recognized.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Yes. Let me just congratulate the 
gentleman who has worked so hard on this bill, Mr. Mitchell, 
and let us note that in the past Curt Weldon, who is no longer 
here, spent an awful lot of time on this issue and actually 
laid the groundwork for the things that will actually bear 
fruit in the future and that we are building on right now. And 
so I just would like to make sure that we put Curt Weldon's 
name in the record when dealing with these issues. He spent so 
much time and effort as a Member of Congress on firefighting 
issues.
    The second thing is just a note that Boeing Aircraft 
Company has recently developed new firefighting technology that 
will, at low tech rather than high tech, I might add, well, a 
combination of low tech and high tech, which makes any airplane 
with a cargo ramp in the back, C-130s, C-17s, et cetera, makes 
them capable of very effective water drops by--and this 
technology uses GPS system, and it is a great promise, and I 
would hope that as we move forward, the Firefighting 
Administration moves forward with this next five-year 
authorization, that that is one of the projects that they look 
at.
    So with that said, thank you very much for your leadership, 
as well as the hard work of our two colleagues.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher. Anybody else 
wish to be recognized?
    If not, let me just also thank, as Dr. Gingrey said, going 
through regular order I think that we developed a good bill 
here. You know, oftentimes we don't think much about our 
firefighters until we need them, and this is legislation that 
affects real people. My mother grew up way out in the country. 
I mean, way out in the country, and when she was a child, their 
house burned, and literally it was just their lives and the 
clothes on their back is all that survived.
    And even today when my mother hears a fire truck or a fire 
engine or a siren, she tells me that story, just like she had 
never, you know, told me before. It is just like Pavlo, and it 
is such, you know, it is such a traumatic experience for folks 
to go through that they will never get over it.
    And so we are not going to stop all the fires, but 
hopefully this bill will help reduce some of those fires and 
help reduce some of the trauma that folks have gone through.
    So with, if no one else to be, wishes to be recognized.
    Mr. Hall. The gentleman yield?
    Chairman Gordon. Yes, sir, Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. I imagine there is a lot of us in this room that 
are glad that she pulled a little old kid out of there, too, 
and led him out to give us guidance and bring fineness to a 
committee.
    And as you said, it is kind of a shame that it took a 9/11 
to make people really and truly appreciate firefighters and men 
and women that protect us day and night.
    Yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall.
    I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point and that the Members proceed 
with the amendments in the order of the roster.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is the manager's 
amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Mitchell. 
Are you ready to proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Mitchell. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 020, amendment to H.R. 4847, 
offered by Mr. Mitchell of Arizona.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    And I recognize the gentleman for five minutes to explain 
his amendment.
    Mr. Mitchell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I am introducing this amendment to H.R. 4847 to make minor 
technical changes to the bill. The amendment also changes the 
provision in Section 4 authorizing the Administrator to deliver 
USFA training through qualified groups to qualified 
organizations that contract with other federal agencies to 
deliver training on their behalf to State and local emergency 
response personnel.
    And I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on the 
amendment?
    If not, the vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    The second amendment on the roster is offered by the 
gentleman from Georgia, Dr. Gingrey. Are you ready to proceed 
with your amendment?
    Mr. Gingrey. I am, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I bring forward----
    Chairman Gordon. Excuse me. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 014, amendment to H.R. 4847, 
offered by Mr. Gingrey of Georgia.
    Chairman Gordon. If you would repeat the amendment number 
so we are sure we are in the right order here.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 071, amendment to H.R. 4847, 
offered by Mr. Gingrey of Georgia.
    Chairman Gordon. Right. Thank you very much, and I ask 
unanimous consent to dispense with the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentleman is recognized for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
    I bring forward today a common sense, I think, amendment 
that will allow the Administrator to perform studies related to 
the management of emergency medical services.
    All fire departments have a significant role in pre-
hospital care, whether through in-house EMS or coordinating 
with third parties. Firefighters are called upon to extract 
victims from car crashes, building fires or collapses, or other 
emergencies. It is critical that patients receive consistent 
care under medical direction.
    I do not expect the USFA to pursue studies into the medical 
care EMS patients should receive. This is best left to the 
medical community and other federal agencies such as NIH and 
NHTSA, the National Highways Transportation Safety 
Administration. But instead, Mr. Chairman, this amendment 
simply seeks to give the Administrator the authority to conduct 
studies into training, system design, and on-the-scene patient 
management while making sure to work with appropriate federal 
agencies and existing medical services in these local 
communities.
    Basically, Mr. Chairman, to cut to the chase, to just be 
able to avoid the possibility of mass confusion at the scene of 
a fire where a lot of responders are there, and we want to just 
make sure that there is an appropriate hand-off so that 
everybody is doing what they are best trained to do.
    And with that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gingrey follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Phil Gingrey
    Mr. Chairman, I bring forward today a common sense amendment that 
will allow the Administrator to perform studies related to the 
management of emergency medical services. All fire departments have a 
significant role in pre-hospital care whether through in-house EMS or 
coordinating with third-parties.
    Firefighters are called upon to extract victims from car crashes, 
building fires or collapses, or other emergencies. It is critical that 
patients receive consistent care under medical direction. I do not 
expect USFA to pursue studies into the medical care EMS patients should 
receive; this is best left to the medical community and other federal 
agencies such as the NIH and National Highway Transportation Safety 
Administration (NHTSA).
    Instead Mr. Chairman, this amendment simply seeks to give the 
Administrator the authority to conduct studies into training, system 
design, and on-scene patient management while making sure to work with 
appropriate federal agencies and existing medical services in these 
local communities.
    Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Dr. Gingrey.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    If no, the vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    The third amendment on the roster is offered by the 
gentlelady from California, Ms. Richardson. Are you ready to 
proceed with your amendment?
    Ms. Richardson. Yes, I am, Mr. Chairman, and I have an 
amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment number 014, amendment to H.R. 4847, 
offered by Ms. Richardson of California.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentlelady is recognized for five minutes to explain 
the amendment.
    Ms. Richardson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Ranking Member Hall and fellow Members of the Science and 
Technology Committee, this amendment that I propose before you 
is very clear cut. The amendment calls for the Administrator of 
the United States Fire Administration to consult and work with 
the Superintendent of the National Fire Academy in order to 
consolidate and integrate into the current Fire Academy 
curriculum, a course on incident command training for fire 
service personnel for fighting fires at ports, and also 
responding to emergencies at ports and in marine environments 
in general.
    When we recall incidences such as Hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita, the one thing we have learned is how vulnerable our 
nation's 126 shipping ports can be in their reaction to a 
disaster. In the aftermath of that storm, ports from Alabama to 
Texas were entirely shut down and many are still recovering, as 
in Port Forshun, a major supplier of gas and natural oil.
    Also, I would point out to you that the key of having 
integrated training, we also learned from Hurricane Katrina and 
the aftermaths of 9/11, that oftentimes we are calling from 
personnel in various different states. So where one particular 
state may not need the expertise of responding to a port, they 
may be called upon to assist in another area.
    Likewise we also know how valuable our nation's ports are 
in terms of the goods movement and their impact on our economy. 
In some areas ports can impact the Nation's economy to as high 
as a billion dollars a day that can be lost when they are shut 
down.
    Therefore, it goes without saying how critical it is for 
our firefighters to have the ability to respond in a swift and 
efficient and coordinated manner. Every second in a response 
can make a difference between life or death and also the loss 
of valuable goods that we all depend upon in our daily lives.
    Always being mindful of creating, of being mindful of not 
creating additional costs to our federal agencies and the 
limited budgets that we have, this amendment creates no new 
costs for the United States Fire Administration. In fact, this 
is not a new stand-alone course, but it allows for valuable 
lessons to be taught and learned that will be implemented in 
already existing courses at the Fire Academy.
    More importantly, this amendment grants the Administrator 
and the Superintendent the discretion to determine how they 
will integrate this course into already-existing courses. This 
amendment provides for two years to implement this course so 
that there will be ample time for the Fire Academy to develop 
and deliver to our brave men and women the necessary 
instruction on how to respond to an emergency, if necessary, at 
our nation's ports.
    I want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle, Mr. Bartlett, for his kind co-sponsorship and support, 
Mr. Rohrabacher's ongoing partnership as we work together in 
our neighborhoods, and I would also like to thank the Science 
and Technology staff, in particular, Meghan Housewright, for 
all of her hard work. And I would also be remiss not to 
acknowledge representatives from the United States Fire 
Administration who worked with us on this effort.
    In closing, Mr. Chairman, thank you for your support of 
this amendment, and it is straightforward as I have laid out. 
It is essential for the readiness of our men and women that we 
have an opportunity to learn from lessons across this country. 
It is vital that we provide them with that support and we 
protect our nation's economy.
    I yield back the remainder of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Richardson follows:]
         Prepared Statement of Representative Laura Richardson
    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Hall and fellow Members of the Science 
and Technology Committee, the amendment proposed before you is clear 
cut. The amendment calls on the Administrator of the United States Fire 
Administration, to consult and work with the Superintendent of the 
National Fire Academy, in order to consolidate and integrate into the 
current Fire Academy curriculum a course on incident command training 
for fire service personnel for fighting fires at ports, and responding 
to emergencies at ports and marine environments in general. When we 
recall incidents such as Hurricane Katrina, the one thing that we have 
learned is how vulnerable our nation's 126 shipping ports can be in 
reaction to a disaster. In the aftermath of that storm, ports from 
Alabama to Texas were entirely shut down and many are still trying to 
recover, like Port Fourchon, a major supplier of gas and natural oil. 
Likewise, we all know how valuable our nation's ports are to the 
movement of goods, and thus, the general health of our economy. In some 
areas the shutdown of ports can impact the national economy to as high 
as $1 billion dollars a day. Therefore it goes without saying how 
crucial it is for our firefighters to have the ability to respond in a 
swift, efficient, and coordinated manner. Every second in response can 
make the difference between life or death, and the lost of valuable 
goods that we all depend on upon in our daily lives.
    Always mindful of creating additional cost for any federal agency 
working with a limited budget, this amendment creates no new cost for 
the United States Fire Administration. This is not a new stand alone 
course, but the valuable lessons to be taught and learned will be 
implemented into the already existing courses at the Fire Academy. More 
importantly, this amendment grants the Administrator and the 
Superintendent the discretion to determine how they will integrate this 
course into already existing courses. This amendment provides two years 
to implement this course so there will be ample time for the Fire 
Academy to develop and deliver to our brave men and women the necessary 
instruction on how to respond to an emergency, if necessary, at our 
nation's ports. I want to thank my colleague on the other side of the 
aisle, Mr. Bartlett for his co-sponsorship support, and Mr. 
Rohrabacher's for his partnership on all matters related to the port. 
Mr. Rohrabacher was a co-sponsor of my resolution honoring the port of 
Los Angeles, and I look forward to working with him on future 
legislation. I would like to thank the Science and Technology staff, in 
particular Meghan Housewright for all of her hard-work, and I would be 
remiss if I did not thank Chairman Gordon for his support of my 
amendment. This amendment is straightforward, it is essential to our 
readiness and ability to respond to man made and natural disasters, it 
is vital to the steady movement of goods, and I encourage my colleagues 
to support it. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I yield back my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Ms. Richardson. I know you had 
a particular interest and passion in this bill, and your input 
helped make it a better bill. Thank you not only for the 
amendment but also the earlier work on the core bill.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Rohrabacher is recognized.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I would like to commend my colleague, Ms. 
Richardson, for the job that she has done on this amendment. It 
obviously is a really an important amendment and covering an 
issue of great significance.
    Fires at our port areas that can be not only threatening to 
life, but are tremendously threatening to our economy. An out-
of-control fire at a port can cripple an economy. We have had 
slowdowns and problems at our ports that cost billions of 
dollars to the American economy, and this low-cost preventative 
measure that she is offering could yield great results for us 
in the future, and I commend her for her hard work on this 
amendment, and of course, totally support it.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Any further discussion?
    Mr. Bartlett. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Bartlett is recognized.
    Mr. Bartlett. I am honored to have the National Fire 
Academy in my district, and I go there a couple of times each 
year for very impressive ceremonies, and I am very pleased that 
our committee has a large role to play in support of this very 
important institution. Thank you.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion?
    Dr. Gingrey is recognized.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, thank you, and I, too, want to 
commend the gentlelady from California who I know has the port 
of Long Beach in her district, and there are many other ports.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Gingrey. I will be glad to yield to my friend.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. You are close. It is my district, but we 
share it.
    Mr. Gingrey. That is right. That is right. You, I think 
you, Mr. Rohrabacher, you serve outside some of those ports but 
I am glad to be supportive of our colleagues from California. 
And, indeed, it is not just her district or his district that 
is so important in regard to ports. There are 300 or more ports 
across the country and including two in my great State of 
Georgia, the port of Savannah and the port of Brunswick, and I 
am sure the Georgia Ports Authority would be supportive of this 
amendment that the gentlewoman is bringing forward.
    But I do have some concerns. I worry that the current 
language of the amendment may shift scarce resources from 
higher-priority needs in order to fund course development in 
this particular area.
    Mr. Chairman, the USFA is consistently funding, as we all 
know, below the authorized levels, and I believe the Committee 
should resist the urge to micro-manage these limited funds 
unless absolutely essential. I am not saying that this is not 
absolutely essential, by the way, but additionally, I think 
that before implementing this amendment, hopefully the USFA 
needs to have a more complete understanding of the needs and 
current training protocols of marine firefighting. I mean, it 
is very possible that we are already doing a lot of that in the 
current curriculum.
    USFA should have the discretion, I think, to utilize their 
limited resources to best serve the needs of the 1.3 million 
firefighters across this country.
    For example, Mr. Chairman, one specific need outlined in 
this legislation is the necessity for better urban-wildland 
interface firefighting. So I hope that the USFA will have the 
discretion to implement this amendment, Ms. Richardson's 
amendment, as it sees fit to best address this issue within the 
context of its greater role supporting the most pressing needs 
of firefighters across the country.
    And Mr. Chairman, as I say, I am supportive of the 
gentlewoman's amendment. I know she has worked very hard, and 
it is extremely important, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gingrey follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Phil Gingrey
    Mr. Chairman, while I am sympathetic to my colleague from 
California's real concern about the difficulty in fighting fires in 
commercial ports and the potential for catastrophic economic and 
environmental consequences, I worry that the current language of the 
amendment may shift scarce resources from higher priority needs in 
order to fund course development in this area.
    Mr. Chairman, the USFA is consistently funded below the authorized 
level and I believe the Committee should resist the urge to micro-
manage the limited funds available.
    Additionally, I think that before implementing this amendment, the 
USFA needs to have a more complete understanding of the needs and 
current training protocols of marine firefighting. USFA should have the 
discretion to utilize their limited resources to best serve the needs 
of the 1.3 million firefighters across our nation.
    For example Mr. Chairman, one specific need outlined in this 
legislation is the necessity for better urban-wildland interface 
firefighting.
    I hope that the USFA will have the discretion to implement this 
amendment as it sees fit to best address this issue within the context 
of its greater role supporting the most pressing needs of firefighters 
across the country.
    Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Gingrey, and obviously your 
concerns will be part of the record.
    Is there further discussion?
    Ms. Richardson. Mr. Chairman, may I respond very briefly?
    Chairman Gordon. The gentlelady from California is 
recognized, Ms. Richardson.
    Ms. Richardson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. 
Gingrey, for expressing your concerns, and I am happy that you 
shared them because it gave me another opportunity to make sure 
we are very clear.
    First of all, we met with the USFA several times and had 
the discussions, and it is my understanding they are in support 
of this amendment as proposed. We did have other options, but 
for several reasons why, I think it addressed your concerns.
    Number one, the USFA is given the full discretion in 
conjunction with the Superintendent. Number two, they do have 
two years to implement this. They have plenty of time to 
implement it into the curriculum with the normal printing, et 
cetera, not to increase any costs. Further, it is very clear 
according to the amendment that this is to be incorporated into 
existing courses. So there is no additional courses or time or 
anything of that matter.
    So, thank you for your support of this amendment, and I 
look forward to working with you on its implementation.
    Chairman Gordon. It is my understanding from all involved 
that Ms. Richardson spent a great deal of time massaging this 
issue and trying to get it right in consultation with all those 
involved, and that the final product is, I would say, a hybrid 
improvement of the way things started, and that is why you have 
regular order.
    Is there further discussion?
    If no, the vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    Are there other amendments?
    If no, then the vote occurs on the bill, H.R. 4847, as 
amended. All those in favor will say aye. Opposed, no. And in 
the opinion of the Chair the ayes have it.
    I now recognize Mr. Baird to offer a motion.
    Mr. Baird. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee 
favorably report H.R. 4847, as amended, to the House with the 
recommendation that the bill do pass. Furthermore, I move that 
the staff be instructed to prepare the legislative report and 
make necessary technical and conforming changes, and that the 
Chairman take all necessary steps to bring the bill before the 
House for consideration.
    Chairman Gordon. The question is on the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The bill is 
favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to table is reconsidered and 
laid upon the table. Members will have two subsequent calendar 
days in which to submit supplemental, Minority, or additional 
views on the measure, ending Monday, March the 3rd, at 9:00 
a.m.
    I move pursuant to Clause 1 of Rule 22 of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives that the Committee authorize the 
Chairman to offer such motions as may be necessary in the House 
to adopt and pass H.R. 4847, the United States Fire 
Administration Reauthorization Act of 2007, as amended.
    Without objection, so ordered.
    Let me thank the Members for coming back from the last 
vote. This was an important bill, and I appreciate your 
attendance. I want to thank the staff for the hard work that 
they have put in and the good work on doing this. I think we 
did a good day's work today, and I thank everyone.
    The meeting is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:32 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


   Subcommittee Markup Report, H.R. 4847 as amended, Amendment Roster





                  COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

               SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION

                    REPORT FROM SUBCOMMITTEE MARKUP

                            FEBRUARY 7, 2008

            H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration
                      Reauthorization Act of 2007

I. Purpose

    The purpose of this bill is to authorize appropriations for fiscal 
years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 for the U.S. Fire Administration 
(USFA), and to authorize USFA's activities in training, fire education 
and awareness, data collection, research, and standards development and 
promotion.

II. Background and Need for Legislation

    USFA is housed within the Federal Emergency Management 
Administration at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was 
created by the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 
93-498). The agency's mission is to reduce the incidents of fire and 
fire-related deaths, injuries, and property damage in the U.S., and to 
better prepare the Nation's fire service as the primary local emergency 
responders. To accomplish its mission, USFA engages in the following 
core activities: public fire education and awareness programs; 
firefighter and emergency responder training delivery and curriculum 
development; fire-focused applied research and technology development; 
data collection through the National Fire Data Center; and logistical 
and programmatic support for DHS grants to firefighters under the 
Assistance to Firefighters Grants program and the Staffing for Adequate 
Fire and Emergency Response grants program.
    USFA's stated goal, upon its establishment in 1974, was to reduce 
fire-related fatalities in the Nation by half--bringing the number to 
approximately six thousand per year within a generation. The agency met 
this goal by 1988, and these numbers continue to decline. However, 
according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the U.S. 
still has one of the highest rates of death, injury, and property loss 
due to fire among all industrialized nations. NFPA reports that in 2006 
there were 3,245 civilian fire deaths, 16,400 fire injuries, and an 
estimated $11.307 billion in direct property losses due to fire. They 
estimate that the fire fatality rate is 14.8 per million. USFA also 
reports that every year, an average of 100 firefighters die in the line 
of duty. The agency works to reduce these statistics, as well as help 
firefighters prepare for the growing number of hazards and emergencies 
calling for firefighter response.

III. Subcommittee Actions

    The Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation heard testimony in 
the 110th Congress relevant to the programs authorized in H.R. 4847 at 
a hearing held on October 2, 2007. During this hearing, the 
Subcommittee heard testimony from the Director of the U.S. Fire 
Administration, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology's Building and Fire Research Laboratory, and four outside 
witnesses representing different sectors of the Nation's fire service 
community.
    On December 19 2007, Representative Harry Mitchell, Vice Chairman 
of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation of the Committee on 
Science and Technology, for himself and Representative Phil Gingrey, 
Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, 
introduced H.R. 4847, the U.S. Fire Administration Reauthorization Act 
of 2007, a bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009, 
2010, 2011, and 2012 for the U.S. Fire Administration, and for other 
purposes.
    The Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation met to consider H.R. 
4847 on Thursday, February 15, 2008 and considered the following 
amendment to the bill:
    Mr. Mitchell offered a manager's amendment to change references in 
the bill to ``voluntary national consensus standards'' to ``national 
voluntary consensus standards'' which is the preferred term, and to 
make a technical change to subsection (c) of section 4.
    Mr. Gingrey moved that the Subcommittee favorably report the bill, 
H.R. 4847, as amended, to the Full Committee. The motion was agreed to 
by a voice vote.

IV. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    H.R. 4847 authorizes $292 million for the U.S. Fire Administration 
for fiscal years 2009-2012. It also authorizes the National Fire 
Academy to engage in training activities related to firefighting in the 
wildland-urban interface; multiple, large-scale fires that cross 
jurisdictions and stretch resources; hazardous material incidents; 
advanced topics in emergency medical services. The bill would allow the 
Administrator to enter into contracts with qualified, third-party 
organizations to deliver USFA training to State and local entities, and 
the bill requires USFA, in every third annual report to Congress, to 
detail any changes made to the Fire Academy curriculum the curriculum, 
as well as the rational and objectives for those changes. H.R. 4847 
authorizes the Administrator to spend up to $5 million over three years 
to update and improve the National Fire Incident Reporting System to 
allow real-time, web-based reporting, that will provide to users in a 
more timely and efficient manner. The bill requires USFA to keep an 
updated website of past and present research projects, and requires the 
Administrator to promote the adoption of national voluntary consensus 
standards for firefighter health and safety among local departments and 
to educate local departments about these standards. Lastly, H.R. 4847 
requires the Administrator to include emergency medical services in his 
liaison and coordination activities across the Federal Government.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Bill, as reported by the 
                    Subcommittee

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE

    ``The United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 
2007''

SEC. 2. FINDINGS

    Finds that the rate of life and property loss due to fire in the 
U.S. is still one of the highest in the industrialized world and that a 
significant number of firefighters die or suffer injury each year. 
Finds that USFA provides vital resources and leadership to the Nation's 
fire service and should have a prominent voice at the Department of 
Homeland Security.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS

    Authorizes appropriations: $70,000,000 for FY 2009; $72,100,000 for 
FY 2010; $74,263,000 for FY 2011; and $76,490,890 for FY 2012. Each 
fiscal year, 3.6 percent of the funds authorized are authorized to be 
used to carry out fire technology research and related activities.

SEC. 4. NATIONAL FIRE ACADEMY TRAINING PROGRAM MODIFICATIONS AND 
                    REPORTS

    Amends the list of training activities the National Fire Academy 
(NFA) is authorized to engage in by broadening authorized NFA training 
activities from terrorism specific to all-hazard; authorize training 
for response to large-scale fire events that involve multiple 
jurisdictions and stretch resources; authorize training for 
firefighting activities in the wildland-urban interface; authorize 
training for hazmat firefighting; and authorize training for advanced 
issues related to emergency medical services.
    Requires the Administrator to include a description of any changes 
to the NFA curriculum in every third USFA yearly report to Congress.
    Authorizes the Administrator to enter into contracts to provide on-
site training through accredited or otherwise qualified organizations 
experienced with delivering such training.

SEC. 5. NATIONAL FIRE INCIDENT REPORTING SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS

    Authorizes the Administrator to use a maximum of $5 million dollars 
from the total appropriated over the years FY 2009 to FY 2011 to 
upgrade NFIRS.

SEC. 6. FIRE TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE AND RESEARCH DISSEMINATION

    Authorizes USFA to engage in research related to technologies, 
techniques, approaches, etc., to address fire suppression and 
prevention for fires in the wildland-urban interface.
    Requires USFA to maintain a web database of these activities.

SEC. 7. ENCOURAGING THE ADOPTION OF STANDARDS FOR FIREFIGHTER HEALTH 
                    AND SAFETY

    Directs the Administrator to promote the adoption of national 
voluntary consensus standards for firefighter health and safety by 
educating the fire service, encouraging their adoption at all levels of 
government and making recommendations on other ways the Federal 
Government can encourage State, local, and federal fire agencies to 
comply with these standards.

SEC. 8. COORDINATION ON FIRE SERVICE-BASED EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES

    Amends Section 21(e) of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act 
of 1974 by directing the Administrator to include fire service-based 
emergency medical services in his liaison and coordination activities 
across the Federal Government.

SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS

    Defines wildland-urban interface and hazardous materials.
    <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>