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Press Releases :: October 24, 2008

Committee, Chinese Delegation Discuss R&D to Reduce Earthquake Damage

(Washington, DC) – Staff from the House Committee on Science and Technology met with a Chinese delegation to discuss earthquake hazard mitigation, in particular the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP).  The meeting was prompted by the catastrophic earthquake in the Sichuan province of China last May.    

“International cooperation is a valuable component of science and technology research and development,” said Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).  “This was a good opportunity for people to get together to share what we know.”

Created in 1977, NEHRP is a coordinated interagency effort that employs the expertise of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and U.S. Geological Survey to:  develop approaches for seismic retrofitting of the built environment in areas of seismic hazard; improve seismic risk assessment; and improve building codes in high-risk areas. The program focuses on R&D to make structures and communities more earthquake-resilient and on accelerating the implementation of available earthquake loss-reduction practices and policies. The main challenges for NEHRP have been finding ways to promote more effective agency planning and coordination and to ensure results of R&D are applied in buildings and other structures. 

The Chinese delegation was comprised of Members of the National People’s Congress, including the Committee on Education, Science Culture, & Public Health, and representatives from the Chinese Embassy.  Members of the delegation expressed interest in creating a similar R&D program to NEHRP.

For more information, please visit the Committee’s website

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