House approves reauthorization of National Geologic Mapping Act

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November 13, 2018

The House of Representatives passed the National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4033) on November 13, sending the bill to the Senate where it currently awaits further action. The act, introduced by Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5), reauthorizes the National Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) through fiscal year 2023 and provides for the Associate Director for Core Science Systems to replace the Associate Director for Geology as the chairperson of the geologic mapping advisory committee.

Overseen by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the program was established in 1992 to produce detailed geologic maps of the United States. These maps can be used for a variety of Earth science applications, such as land-use management, natural resource conservation, and mitigating the impacts of natural hazards. The NCGMP works with federal, state, and university partners to produce the maps, which are then added to the National Geologic Map Database, a collection of standardized geologic maps of the United States. The program was last reauthorized in 2009, but that authorization of its federal funding recently expired at the end of fiscal year 2018. H.R. 4033 would reauthorize the NCGMP at its 2005 level of $64 million per fiscal year through fiscal year 2023.

The reauthorization bill was first introduced in the Senate as S. 1787 by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Angus S. King Jr. (I-ME) on September 11, 2017. Representative Lamborn introduced H.R. 4033 with identical language in the House on October 12, 2017. Though the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has reported favorably on their version of the bill, the bill has not yet reached the Senate floor for a vote.

Sources: Library of Congress; United States Geological Survey, National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program.