Program cut reduces quake studies


  • Susan Bush


The proposed decrease of $15 million in the Fiscal Year 1992 budget for the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (EHRP) will significantly reduce earthquake studies. Congress provided expanded support of the program in FY91 as a continuation of support following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, when Congress gave a supplemental appropriation. As created by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, EHRP is a major component of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Betty Goodrich, Acting Budget Officer of USGS, notes that the cut is in response to a “tight fiscal situation and not that Congress is against the earthquake program.” She also attributes the reduction in the program to competing priorities among other major initiatives. “EHRP just did not make it through,” she said.