National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Legislation in the 115th Congress [May 9, 2018] [open pdf - 173KB]
"In the 115th Congress, two bills authorizing a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System (NVEWS) have been reported out of committee (H.R. 4475, reported out of the House Natural Resources Committee and S. 346, reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee). Legislation nearly identical to S. 346 is included as Title X, Subtitle A, of S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017. (A hearing has been held on this bill.) The activities authorized in these bills include directing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a nationwide volcano early warning and monitoring system to lower the impacts of volcanic eruptions on U.S. citizens. USGS is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. USGS has indicated that progressively implementing an NVEWS to address a monitoring gap within its Volcano Hazards Program has been a priority since 2005. These bills would provide an explicit authorization for an NVEWS, with an objective to monitor U.S. volcanoes at a level commensurate with the volcanic threat. Assessing the volcanic threat involves combining the volcano hazards--the destructive phenomena produced by a volcano, such as lava flows, ash clouds, volcanic landslides--and the exposure to the hazard, such as the people and property at risk from a volcanic eruption (Figure 1). The bills state that the NVEWS would have two purposes: (1) to organize, modernize, standardize, and stabilize the monitoring systems of the five U.S. volcano observatories (the Alaska Volcano Observatory, California Volcano Observatory, Cascades Volcano Observatory, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and Yellowstone Volcano Observatory) and (2) to unify the monitoring systems of these observatories into a single interoperative system."
CRS Insight, IN10898
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html