Senate and House introduce landslide bills to promote research and save lives

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March 22, 2017

Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan National Landslide Preparation Act (S.698) on March 22.

The bill directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program. This program would identify and characterize landslide risks, and work to improve emergency preparedness.  USGS would also establish a Cooperative Landslide Hazard Mapping and Assessment Program to provide grants to state, local, and tribal governments to study landslide hazards. The bill re-authorizes the USGS 3D-elevation program (3DEP) to better characterize landslide-prone regions. The 3DEP initiative collects high-resolution topographic data covering the U.S. that would be used to create and inform city planning and hazard risk assessment activities.

S.698 is being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It is matched on the House side by H.R.1675, which was introduced by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1) on March 22. The House bill is being reviewed by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.