Earthquake program authorization increased



House and Senate actions have substantially increased the funding potentially available for the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program in 1981. The Senate has passed a version of the legislation that would also extend authorization for 3 years, through 1983. The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act was due for reauthorization this year (EOS, 61, April 1 and May 6).

The Senate version of the legislation adds about $3.5 million to the administration's request for FY 1981; the House version, about $ 7 million. Most of the increase in both bills is slated for use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), the coordinating agency for the program. Fema is responsible for such actions as planning for public response to earthquake predict ions; making information available to and educating architects and engineers about incorporating seismic safety design in construction projects; and community planning for earthquake disasters.