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in number, are characterized as to length, slip rate, segmentation, and maximum earthquake. We know that earthquakes are produced on faults. These realistic fault replace the vaguely defined "seismic source zones” of previous hazard maps and permít a tremendously improved characterization of the hazard.
Is the job complete? The seismic codes are updated every three years. A good earth scientist could select any one of the hundreds of faults and describe a whole series of additional questions, which, when answered by additional research, would yield a much improved estimate of the hazard represented by that fault. Key characteristics of most of the faults in the 1997 hazard maps database are still not known or very poorly known. Moreover, in the Central and Eastern U.S., hardly any of the active faults extend to the surface, and because of the long recurrence intervals of earthquakes there, it is very difficult to tell active frominactive faults. Therefore, the vague seismic source zones are still used in the 1997 maps for the Central and Eastern U.S. Even in the West, blind thrust faults such as the source fault for the Northridge earthquake show that many active faults remain unidentified.
In summary then, the 1997 seismic hazard maps are an example of the great improvements that have resulted in the first 20 years of the NEHRP research. At the same time, however, they also illustrate the vast amount of work still to be done, before seismic hazards are well characterized (within small uncertainties) throughout the nation. And once that basic research work is done, the results will be implemented almost immediately in the ever-improving national seismic hazard maps. However, at the present NEHRP funding level, the progress will be slow; a much higher level of effort and support would translate directly into a faster, more acceptable pace toward achieving this fundamental goal of NEHRP. The Central and Eastern United States
In order to highlight the seismic hazard questions of regions that are remote from active plate boundaries, yet have the potential for infrequent, large earthquakes, 111 end these brief remarks with a few observations on my home state of Tennessee in particular and the Central and Eastern U.S. in general. Tennessee is a state bracketed by the two most active seismic zones in the central and eastern U.S.; the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which lies close to Memphis, to the west and the Southern Appalachian or East Tennessee seismic zone that underlies Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Chattanooga and TVA nuclear plants to the east. Truly understanding an earthquake zone means being able to accurately characterize its seismic hazard within low uncertainty bounds. In this sense, an understanding of New Madrid is roughly 1-2 decades behind California and the San Andreas system. And the East Tennessee zone would be a like distance behind New Madrid.
For a research seismologist in this region, these days are, to borrow from Dickens, “the best of time and the worst of times." The advance of knowledge in the eastern U.S. has been startling; it's an exciting time to be a researcher in this region. But with the continued erosion of the NEHRP funding base I see critical research going unfunded. For example in the New Madrid seismic zone, two areas- paleoseismology and direct measurement of crustal deformations around faults using the Global Positioning System (GPS) are huge advances that give us independent and synergistic means of estimating earthquake recurrence intervals. Both research areas are unfunded at bare subsistence levels. The amount of research money available to Central U.S. within the USGS External program has shrunk so small that most of my faculty at CERI no longer make the annual effort to get research grants funded. Even if they get a project funded, the budget usually is slashed to the point that the research can't effectively be done.
My sense is that the USGS does what it can within the budget available to it. But in 1996 its entire external program (not just Central U.S.) was cut in half from $8 million to $4 million. In FY97 $2 million was restored and that $6 million has become the new "base" budget used in FY98. I urge the committee to authorize restoration of the vital USGS external program to $8 million. And a modest increase to $10 million can be amply justified.
To conclude my testimony, I'll make note of a trend in NEHRP that should pay tremendous dividends in revitalizing and focusing earthquake research and directly linking it to information and mitigation efforts. These are the new partnerships that are forming within the NEHRP, mainly in the form of regional earthquake centers. A prime example of a very successful center is the Southern California Earthquake Center supported by the NSF and USGS. Also, IRIS, the university consortium supported by the NSF, focuses an outstanding research program in the academic community.
More such centers in other parts of the country may be formed through an exciting NSF competition for new Earthquake Engineering Research Centers. These will almost certainly be much more broadly structured than in the past so as to address
all aspects of the earthquake problem—from basic research, through engineering applications to aggressive implementation and public education and information. For example several institutions, including mine, in the central U.S., have proposed under this program, a center named simply the Mid-America Earthquake Center to emphasize it's intended broad base rather than a narrow technical focus.
Perhaps there will be time after the formal panel presentations to further discuss these or other NEHRP initiatives. Thank you for the opportunity to provide a glimpse of the successes and problems of the NEHRP program from a basic research and Central U.S. perspective.
Senator FRIST. Thank you, Dr. Johnston.
For all of you, your entire statements will be made a part of the record. I will ask you to all summarize. Then in our question-andanswers, feel free to bring anything else up. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD W. KRIMM, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE
DIRECTOR, MITIGATION DIRECTORATE, FEDERAL EMER-
My name is Dick Krimm. I am the Executive Associate Director for Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I do have two staff members here with me, Robert Volland and Gil Jamison. If we get into some really technical questions, I may refer the questions to them.
Senator FRIST. Fine. Welcome.
Mr. KRIMM. The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program is a very collegial program in many ways. FEMA is the lead agency in the program. It works closely with the United States Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The premise of the program is that while earthquakes may be inevitable, earthquake disasters are not. We, of course, saw that at Northridge. I personally was intimately involved with the Northridge Earthquake.
The program activities under the National Earthquake Hazards Reductions Program run the gamut, from basic research to applied research, technology development and transfer, to training, education, and advocacy for seismic risk reduction measures. In these activities, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program agencies work collaboratively with each other and with other Federal and State agencies, private companies, universities, regional, voluntary, and professional organizations.
This committee and others have expressed interest in what might be done to accelerate the adoption and enforcement of seismic loss reduction measures by State and local governments. While our Federal system has some inherent limitations, I believe that conditions are conspiring to increase interest in this area.
First, Northridge and Kobe provided powerful shocks to the financial and other segments of the business community. As a result, they are taking a greater interest in risk reduction for themselves and their customers.
Second, our ability to use the HAZUS computer model to estimate earthquake losses increases the power of our message to decisionmakers.
Third, at the Federal level, we are interested in getting ahead of the curve by encouraging the development of disaster-resistant
thercial and othedge and to
communities instead of responding to disasters, which are increasing every year in cost.
Responding to a request by some Members of Congress, the administration conducted a review of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, culminating in the release of a report by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, in 1996. The document, entitled “Strategy for National Earthquake Loss Reduction,” called for the formation of a National loss reduction program. The object of the National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program is to more formally involve all the agencies of the Federal Government that have programs or resources that could have a material effect in advancing earthquake risk reduction.
FEMA was designated as the lead agency for this effort, and we established an Earthquake Program Office in the Mitigation Directorate to support the lead agency functions for both the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and the National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program.
One of the primary objectives of the program office at this time is the development of a strategic plan for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and the National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program. With the support of our colleagues from the other three principal agencies, this is advancing very well.
I would like to review a few of the major activities of FEMA. First of all, we are training State government representatives on the use of the HAZUS, an earthquake loss estimation model, that provides a uniform means of computing and graphically displaying earthquake hazards vulnerability. This computer system will aid decisionmakers in determining the degree to which earthquake losses may be reduced by applying mitigation measures.
Second, by the end of 1997, we will have completed the triennial update of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings. The Provisions present criteria for the design and construction of buildings subject to earthquakes anywhere in the United States. The provisions have been adopted or influenced, really, changes to all three of the major building codes, and will be considered as part of the International Building Code which is being developed at this time.
Third, we are well into a multi-year study of the seismic performance of steel moment frame construction, following the unexpected problems with these buildings in the Northridge Earthquake. The first phase of the effort produced interim guidelines for the evaluation, repair, modification, and design of these structures. These guidelines, along with the work done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation, establish the de facto standard at this time.
The goal of the second phase is to research and identify longterm solutions, and to develop and verify reliable cost-effective seismic design criteria for steel moment frame buildings.
Fourthly, in September, we will publish the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings and a related Commentary, providing nationally applicable technical criteria, covering all building materials and types. These documents will permit a choice of design approaches
crite and to deve phase this time
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consistent with different levels of seismic safety, as dictated by location, building type, performance objective, or other considerations. Then companion documents will provide examples of how to apply the guidelines, and will discuss the societal implications to localities of undertaking extensive rehabilitation programs.
Fifth, FEMA continues its oversight of the implementation of the two Executive Orders dealing with new buildings leased, assisted or regulated by the Federal Government and with existing buildings owned by the Federal Government.
Sixth, FEMA continues its support of earthquake risk reduction activities by State and multi-state organizations, like the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, which is located in Memphis, TN. FEMA provides $5.4 million, approximately one-third of our total earthquake program budget, as grants or technical assistance to 38 participating States and three earthquake consortia. Both Tennessee and West Virginia are recipients of funds under these programs.
So, in closing, I express my appreciation for being here today and being able to address the committee, and ask for your support as we address the challenges before us. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Krimm follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF RICHARD W. KRIMM, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR,
MITIGATION DIRECTORATE, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am Richard Krimm, Executive Associate Director for Mitigation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is a pleasure to be here today to discuss the earthquake hazard reduction activities of the federal government.
Reducing earthquake losses is a matter of national concern. Northridge, a . moderate earthquake centered outside the most heavily populated region of a major metropolitan area caused damage recently estimated by the State of California to be $40 billion. One year later, the Kobe earthquake demonstrated the impact of a larger event directly under a major metropolitan area that bears a striking resemblance in many respects to Oakland, California. Were we to experience today a repeat of the epic earthquakes that occurred in the New Madrid seismic zone early in the last century, the impacts on our nation could be staggering.
Our authorizing statute, the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, has two basic goals. The first is to develop and foster an understanding of earthquakes and their associated risks. To this end, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), promotes and conducts basic and applied research in a range of disciplines, including earth sciences, engineering, architecture, and the social and behavioral sciences. The second goal is to implement, on a national scale, the knowledge and techniques that have been developed to reduce seismic risk. In this area the program supports the development of seismic guidelines for building codes, training of professionals in hazard-reduction techniques, and promotion of preparedness activities and conduct of awareness campaigns by state and local