| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 549 (ih) To provide for the non-preemption of State prescription drug benefit laws in connection with Medicare+Choice plans. [Introduced in House] ...
H.R. 549 (ih) To provide for the non-preemption of State prescription drug benefit laws in connection with Medicare+Choice plans. [Introduced in House] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5499 To reduce the impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other windstorms through a program of research and development and technology transfer, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES October 19, 2000 Mr. Moore (for himself, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mrs. Morella, Mr. Etheridge, Mr. Clement, Mr. LaFalce, and Mr. Snyder) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerend _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To reduce the impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes, and other windstorms through a program of research and development and technology transfer, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Windstorm Hazard Reduction Research and Technology Transfer Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) Coastal States and many island States and territories are vulnerable to the hazards of windstorms. All Midwest, Southern, and Mid-Atlantic States are vulnerable to the hazards of tornadoes and thunderstorms and increased building activity is occurring in high-risk areas such as the seashore and ``tornado alley''. (2) Hurricanes cause enormous loss of life, injury, destruction of property, and economic and social disruption, as evidenced by the 56 deaths and $6,000,000,000 in property damage in 1999 from Hurricane Floyd. From 1990 to 1999 hurricanes caused an average of 14 deaths and $4,970,000,000 in property losses annually while tornadoes and other windstorms caused over 58 deaths and $871,000,000 in property losses annually. (3) Improved windstorm hazard reduction measures, including-- (A) cost-effective and affordable design and construction methods and practices; (B) informed land use decisions; (C) impact prediction methodologies and early warning systems; and (D) public education and involvement programs, have the potential over the next 10 years to reduce these losses. Losses will increase if steps are not taken to help communities reduce their vulnerability. (4) Wind engineering research needs to address both improving new structures and retrofitting existing ones. (5) There is an appropriate role for the Federal Government in the collection, preparation, coordination, and dissemination of windstorm hazards reduction information in order to protect public health and safety and in increasing public awareness of the dangers of windstorms and of affordable steps homeowners can take to preserve life and property. Improved mechanisms are needed to translate existing information and research findings into usable, state-of-the-art specifications, criteria, and cost-effective practices. (6) An effective Federal program in windstorm hazard reduction will require interagency coordination, input from individuals and institutions outside the Federal Government who are expert in the sciences of natural hazards reduction and in the practical application of mitigation measures, and improved mechanisms for the transfer of new knowledge to State and local officials, to homeowners, and to the design and construction industry. Tax credits are an appropriate means of helping homeowners apply mitigation measures. (7) Windstorms are a worldwide problem, and international cooperation is desirable for mutual learning and mitigation. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) The term ``Director'' means the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. (2) The term ``State'' means each of the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States. (3) The term ``windstorm'' means any storm with a damaging or destructive wind component, such as a hurricane, tropical storm, tornado, or thunderstorm. SEC. 4. NATIONAL WINDSTORM HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM. (a) Interagency Group.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director shall establish an Interagency Group, to be cochaired by the Director or the Director's designee and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or that Director's designee, consisting of representatives of appropriate Federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and other agencies with jurisdiction over housing, construction, and natural disaster mitigation and relief, to be responsible for the development and implementation of a coordinated Federal windstorm hazard reduction research, development, and technology transfer program. In establishing the Interagency Group, the Director is encouraged where appropriate to designate lead agencies and to preserve existing programs and functions of Federal agencies and organizations, and shall ensure regular agency coordination and information sharing and where appropriate coordination with other agencies. (b) Objective.--The objective of the windstorm hazard reduction program is the achievement, within 10 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, of major measurable reductions in losses that would otherwise have occurred to life and property from windstorms. The objective is to be achieved through the creation of a program involving cooperation among governments at all levels and the private sector featuring-- (1) pertinent basic and applied research which takes into account locality-specific weather, susceptibility to other hazards, and design and construction practices; (2) better understanding of impediments and disincentives to wind hazard reduction; (3) inventorying of existing buildings and related data for use in developing and deploying wind hazard mitigation measures; (4) dissemination of information on cost-effective and affordable wind hazard reduction research results, technology, and techniques to industry, State and local governments, homeowners, and the general public; (5) improved technology for prediction, storm warnings, advanced planning, and disaster response; (6) increased public awareness of the dangers of windstorms and of ways to preserve affected property and life; and (7) priority attention to critical lifelines, including infrastructure and utilities, that are especially needed in time of disaster. (c) Research and Development Elements.--The research and development elements of the program may include-- (1) basic wind characterization and micro-climate research; (2) development of methods to increase accuracy and reliability in the prediction of the track and magnitude of windstorms; (3) peer-reviewed research and development on and demonstration of wind-resistant systems and materials for new construction and retrofit, including composite materials; building envelope components, including windows, doors, and roofs; structural design; and design and construction techniques, through physical testing and through computer simulation when appropriate, taking into consideration cost- effectiveness, affordability, and regional differences including susceptibility to other hazards; (4) development of mechanisms for collecting information on building systems and materials performance in windstorms, information on mitigation priorities, and other pertinent information from sources such as the construction industry, insurance companies, and building officials; (5) development of updatable, cost-effective, and affordable systems, both for new construction and for retrofitting, and for inventorying information on components and materials and their interaction; (6) development of cost-effective and affordable planning, design, construction, rehabilitation, and retrofit methods and procedures, including utilization of mitigation measures, for critical lifelines and facilities such as hospitals, schools, public utilities, and other structures that are especially needed in time of disaster; (7) research and development on techniques, methodologies, and new technologies for the mapping in finer detail of windstorm hazard risks, to be coordinated with the mapping of other natural and manmade hazards; (8) development of improved systems for predicting damaging windstorm impact and for identifying, evaluating, and reliably characterizing windstorm hazards; (9) development of improved approaches for providing emergency services, reconstruction, and redevelopment after a windstorm; (10) development of quantitative assessment techniques for the delineation and evaluation of the socioeconomic effects of windstorms and their application on a regional basis, including exploration of adjustments that could be made to reduce windstorm vulnerability and to effectively exploit existing and developing mitigation techniques; and (11) studies of impediments and disincentives to effective wind hazard mitigation, preparedness, and response policies and innovations. (d) Technology Transfer.--The technology transfer elements of the program shall include-- (1) the collection, classification, presentation, and dissemination in a usable form to Federal, State, and local officials, community leaders, the design and construction industry, contractors, home owners, and the general public, of research results and other pertinent information regarding windstorm phenomena, the identification of locations and features which are especially susceptible to windstorm damage, ways to reduce the adverse consequences of windstorms, and related matters; (2) in coordination with the private sector, academia, and the States, curriculum development and related measures to facilitate the training of employees of the design and construction industry, the insurance industry, and State and local governments, and other interested persons; and (3) efforts to increase public awareness and information related to windstorm hazard mitigation. (e) Implementation Plan.--The Interagency Group established under subsection (a) shall refine, in conjunction with appropriate representatives of State and local units of government and private sector organizations, the objective stated in subsection (b), develop measurements related to the objective, including emphasis on cost- effectiveness and affordability, and develop a 10-year implementation plan for achieving the objective, deferring to the private sector and State and local government for implementation in all appropriate instances. Not later than 210 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Interagency Group shall submit to the Congress the implementation plan. The plan shall include-- (1) a statement of research and development goals and priorities; (2) plans for the development of improved forecasting techniques for windstorms, early warning systems, and systems for comprehensive response; (3) plans for the development of an inventory of buildings, building components, and damage to buildings from windstorms; (4) plans for transfer of technology and information to State, county, local, and regional governmental units and the private sector for appropriate application of research and development results; (5) provisions for dissemination, on a timely basis, of-- (A) delivery of information and technology in a form that is of use to the design professions, the construction industry, and other interested parties; and (B) other information and knowledge of interest to the public to reduce vulnerability to windstorm hazards; (6) a description of how Federal disaster relief and emergency assistance programs will incorporate research and development results; (7) establishment, consistent with this Act, of goals, priorities, and target dates for implementation of the program; (8) assignment of responsibilities with respect to each element of the program that does not already have a Federal lead agency; (9) a description of plans for cooperation and coordination in all phases of the program with interested governmental entities in all States, particularly those containing areas of high or moderate windstorm risk; and (10) staffing plans for the program and its components. (f) Participation.--The implementation plan shall avoid duplication whenever possible and assign responsibilities to Federal agencies with existing expertise. (g) Manufactured Housing Standards.--No design, construction method, practice, technology, material, mitigation methodology, or hazard reduction measure of any kind developed under this Act shall be required for a home certified under section 616 of the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5415), pursuant to standards issued under such Act, without being subject to the consensus development process and rulemaking procedures of that Act. SEC. 5. NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR WINDSTORM HAZARD REDUCTION. (a) Establishment.--A National Advisory Committee shall be established to review progress made under the program established under section 4, advise on any improvements that should be made to that program, and report to the Congress on actions that have been taken to advance the Nation's capability to reduce the impacts of windstorm hazards. (b) Membership.--The Advisory Committee shall be composed of 21 members to be appointed by the President (one of whom shall be designated by the President as chair). The members shall include representatives of a broad cross-section of interests such as the research, technology transfer, architectural, engineering, and financial communities; materials and systems suppliers; State, county, and local governments concerned with the reduction of windstorm hazards; the residential, multifamily, and commercial sectors of the construction industry; and the insurance industry, and other representatives (not including members of Federal agencies) from areas impacted by windstorm hazards.
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