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115th Congress     }                                {          Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                {          115-501
======================================================================



 
        NATIONAL VOLCANO EARLY WARNING AND MONITORING SYSTEM ACT

                                _______
                                

January 9, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4475]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4475) to provide for the establishment of the 
National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Volcano Early Warning and 
Monitoring System Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States 
        Geological Survey.
          (2) System.--The term ``System'' means the National Volcano 
        Early Warning and Monitoring System established under section 
        3(a)(1).

SEC. 3. NATIONAL VOLCANO EARLY WARNING AND MONITORING SYSTEM.

  (a) Establishment.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish within the 
        United States Geological Survey a system, to be known as the 
        ``National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System'', to 
        monitor, warn, and protect citizens of the United States from 
        undue and avoidable harm from volcanic activity.
          (2) Purposes.--The purposes of the System are--
                  (A) to organize, modernize, standardize, and 
                stabilize the monitoring systems of the volcano 
                observatories in the United States, which include the 
                Alaska Volcano Observatory, California Volcano 
                Observatory, Cascades Volcano Observatory, Hawaiian 
                Volcano Observatory, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, 
                and other volcano observatories established under 
                subsection (d); and
                  (B) to unify the monitoring systems of volcano 
                observatories in the United States into a single 
                interoperative system.
          (3) Objective.--The objective of the System is to monitor all 
        the volcanoes in the United States at a level commensurate with 
        the threat posed by the volcanoes by--
                  (A) upgrading existing networks on monitored 
                volcanoes;
                  (B) installing new networks on unmonitored volcanoes; 
                and
                  (C) employing geodetic and other components when 
                applicable.
  (b) System Components.--
          (1) In general.--The System shall include--
                  (A) a national volcano watch office that is 
                operational 24 hours a day and 7 days a week;
                  (B) a national volcano data center; and
                  (C) an external grants program to support research in 
                volcano monitoring science and technology.
          (2) Modernization activities.--Modernization activities under 
        the System shall include the comprehensive application of 
        emerging technologies, including digital broadband 
        seismometers, real-time continuous Global Positioning System 
        receivers, satellite and airborne radar interferometry, 
        acoustic pressure sensors, and spectrometry to measure gas 
        emissions.
  (c) Management.--
          (1) Management plan.--
                  (A) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
                date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
                submit to Congress a 5-year management plan for 
                establishing and operating the System.
                  (B) Inclusions.--The management plan submitted under 
                subparagraph (A) shall include--
                          (i) annual cost estimates for modernization 
                        activities and operation of the System;
                          (ii) annual milestones, standards, and 
                        performance goals; and
                          (iii) recommendations for, and progress 
                        towards, establishing new, or enhancing 
                        existing, partnerships to leverage resources.
          (2) Advisory committee.--The Secretary shall establish an 
        advisory committee to assist the Secretary in implementing the 
        System, to be comprised of representatives of relevant agencies 
        and members of the scientific community, to be appointed by the 
        Secretary.
          (3) Partnerships.--The Secretary may enter into cooperative 
        agreements with institutions of higher education and State or 
        territorial agencies designating the institutions of higher 
        education and State or territorial agencies as volcano 
        observatory partners for the System.
          (4) Coordination.--The Secretary shall coordinate the 
        activities under this Act with the heads of relevant Federal 
        agencies, including--
                  (A) the Secretary of Transportation;
                  (B) the Administrator of the Federal Aviation 
                Administration;
                  (C) the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration; and
                  (D) the Director of the Federal Emergency Management 
                Administration.
  (d) Volcano Observatory in Pacific U.S. Territories.--
          (1) Feasibility study.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall conduct a 
        study to assess the feasibility of establishing volcano 
        observatories in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and 
        American Samoa to monitor volcanic activity across the western 
        and southern Pacific Ocean along the Ring of Fire, including 
        underwater volcanic activity in such region.
          (2) Consultation.--The Secretary shall consult with 
        appropriate territorial and local entities in conducting the 
        study.
          (3) Cooperative agreement.--If the study required by 
        paragraph (1) determines that such observatories are feasible, 
        then the Secretary, subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, may enter into cooperative agreements under 
        subsection (c)(3) with institutions of higher education or 
        territorial agencies to establish such volcano observatories as 
        part of the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring 
        System.
  (e) Annual Report.--In each of fiscal years 2018 through 2024, the 
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes the 
activities carried out under this Act.

SEC. 4. FUNDING.

  (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this Act $15,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2018 through 2024.
  (b) Effect on Other Sources of Federal Funding.--Amounts made 
available under this section shall supplement, and not supplant, 
Federal funds made available for other United States Geological Survey 
hazards activities and programs.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 4475 is to provide for the 
establishment of the National Volcano Early Warning Monitoring 
System.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program (VHP) 
mission is to ``enhance public safety and minimize social and 
economic disruption from eruptions through delivery of 
effective forecasts, warnings, and information of volcano 
hazards based on scientific understanding of volcanic 
processes.''\1\ The VHP monitors volcanoes to provide warnings 
of potential activity to managers and the public. Volcano 
monitoring networks collect data which are interpreted by 
scientists at the five volcano observatories in Alaska, 
California, Hawaii, Washington, and Wyoming.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program Website, 
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about.html
    \2\U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Observatories, https://
volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/observatories.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The United States is the third most active country for 
volcanic eruptions, ranking only behind Indonesia and Japan.\3\ 
It is home to 169 active volcanoes, of which 55 are considered 
to be threatening to life and property.\4\ Since 1980, 44 
volcanoes in the United States have produced 120 eruptions and 
produced 51 episodes of notable volcanic unrest.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\U.S. Geological Survey, ``Volcanos of the United States'', 
https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/volcus/ustext.html 
    \4\Id.
    \5\Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History 
Global Volcanism Program, http://volcano.si.edu/search_volcano.cfm
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Washington State, Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 
1980, causing 57 fatalities and destroying 27 bridges and 185 
miles of highways at an estimated cost of $1.1 billion.\6\ 
Although Mount St. Helens is well known, Mount Rainier near 
Seattle could cause far greater loss of life if it should erupt 
again. The same is true of the Yellowstone National Park 
caldera should it erupt, as it has roughly every 600,000 
years.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Geological Survey, ``Eruptions of Mount St. Helens: Past, 
present, and future'', https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/7000008
    \7\U.S. Geological Survey, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, https:/
/volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/yellowstone_sub_page_54.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Federal Aviation Administration reports that over 
80,000 large aircraft a year, carrying more than 30,000 
passengers a day, fly near many of Alaska's volcanoes, mostly 
on the heavily traveled great-circle routes between Europe, 
North America and Asia.\8\ In 1989, the Alaska Volcano 
Observatory could provide only a few days' notice before Mount 
Redoubt erupted. In 2009, after the center's capabilities had 
been expanded, it provided two months of notice before the 
volcano erupted again.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Alaska Volcano Observatory, https://avo.alaska.edu/faq.php 
    \9\U.S. Geological Survey, Volcano FAQ, https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/
vsc/file_mngr/file-153/FAQs.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System 
Act would provide the necessary resources and direction to 
modernize the networks that are relied on to monitor the many 
volcanoes in the United States.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 4475 was introduced on November 28, 2017, by 
Congressman Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources. On December 12, 2017, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. 
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) offered an amendment 
designated 032; it was adopted by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Don Young offered an amendment designated #1; it 
was adopted by unanimous consent. No further amendments were 
offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent 
on December 13, 2017.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, December 20, 2017.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4475, the National 
Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Robert Reese.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4475--National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act

    Summary: H.R. 4475 would authorize the appropriation of $15 
million for each year over the 2018-2024 period for the U.S. 
Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a system to improve 
monitoring of active volcanoes. The bill also would direct USGS 
to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing volcano 
observatories in the U.S. Pacific Island territories and would 
authorize USGS to enter into cooperative partnerships with 
states, territories, universities, and agencies to implement 
the system.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 4475 would cost $73 million 
over the 2018-2022 period.
    Enacting H.R. 4475 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting the bill would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 4475 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 4475 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation falls within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2018      2019      2020      2021      2022    2018-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level................................        15        15        15        15        15         75
Estimated Outlays..................................        14        14        15        15        15         73
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
bill will be enacted near the beginning of calendar year 2018 
and that the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each 
fiscal year.
    H.R. 4475 would authorize $15 million annually over the 
2018-2024 period for USGS to establish a system to streamline 
and update monitoring of active volcanoes. The bill would 
require USGS to:
            Replace 143 outdated seismometers 
        (instruments that measure the ground motion) on active 
        volcanoes,
            Create a volcano watch office that would be 
        in operation 7 days a week and 24 hours a day to 
        monitor active volcanoes,
            Create a national volcano data center to 
        collect and analyze data on volcanic activity,
            Implement a grant program to support 
        research on volcano monitoring, and
            Conduct a study to assess the feasibility 
        of establishing volcano observatories in Guam, the 
        Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
    USGS also would be authorized to enter into cooperative 
agreements with states, territories, and universities to assist 
in running the system.
    Based on historical spending patterns for similar 
activities, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4475 would 
cast $73 million over the 2018-2022 period and $32 million 
after 2022.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 4475 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Mandates: H.R. 4475 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as define in UMRA.
    Previous CBO estimate: On May 9, 2017, CBO transmitted an 
estimate for S. 346, the National Volcano Early Warning and 
Monitoring System Act, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on March 30, 2017. 
CBO's estimated costs for the two bills differ because H.R. 
4475 would authorize the appropriation of specific amounts 
while S. 346 would authorize the appropriation of such sums as 
are necessary.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Robert Reese, 
Mandates: Zach Byrum.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to provide for the establishment of 
the National Volcano Early Warning Monitoring System.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 
law.

                                  [all]