Press Releases

Natural Resources Committee Approves DelBene’s Bill to Protect Communities from Landslides

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Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019 | comments

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources voted to advance Rep. Suzan DelBene’s (WA-01) National Landslide Preparedness Act, which would help local communities prepare for and respond to landslides and other natural hazards. Her legislation was approved by unanimous consent.

“I’m very pleased the Natural Resources Committee moved swiftly to advance this critical legislation that will help communities like Oso and others around the country be better prepared for the possibility of these types of natural disasters,” said DelBene. She added, “I look forward to this legislation being voted on by the full House of Representatives.”

On March 22, 2014, a massive landslide near Oso, Washington killed 43 people, engulfed 42 homes, and severely damaged public infrastructure and private property. DelBene’s bill would help protect communities and property, save lives and improve emergency preparedness and planning by targeting key gaps in current science and mapping critical to understanding landslide hazards and risks.

In addition, the bill would also direct the USGS to implement a 3D Elevation Program to update and coordinate the collection of elevation data across the country, using enhanced, high-resolution data. Enhanced elevation data are critically needed to help communities plan for and respond to natural hazards; to update the nation’s topographical maps; and to inform a myriad of uses including public safety, national security, planning, infrastructure, transportation, agriculture and natural resource management.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) are all original cosponsors of legislation in the House.

DelBene represents Washington’s first congressional district.

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