Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council applauds yesterday’s passage by Congress of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (S. 1768). Congress established NEHRP in 1977 to reduce the long-term risk posed by earthquakes and associated seismic events like tsunamis and landslides. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as the lead agency, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) jointly oversee the program, which was last reauthorized in 2004.
The Code Council administers the development of the International Codes (I-Codes), a family of fifteen model codes, and thirteen standards used for residential and commercial buildings throughout the world that cover structural, fire, plumbing, mechanical, resiliency and more. The I-Codes have been adopted or are used in every state in the U.S and are the basis for the design of federal buildings and U.S. military facilities.
The 2018 NEHRP Reauthorization Act emphasizes NIST’s role in research and development to improve community resilience through building codes and standards. It reemphasizes FEMA’s role in providing grants to states to develop mitigation plans; conduct seismic safety inspections; and update the I-Codes they have in place to enhance seismic safety. The reauthorization also charges FEMA with using research to provide seismic resistant design guidance on building codes and supporting the I-Codes as our nation’s model building codes to promote best practices and reduce losses from earthquakes. Finally, the bill establishes a committee of government and nongovernment experts to recommend options for performance goals pertaining to post-earthquake re-occupancy and functional recovery time.
“We are pleased to see NEHRP reauthorized with a focus on community resilience,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “This important legislation ensures that the I-Codes continue to benefit from cutting edge research and provides resources for jurisdictions to enhance local mitigation efforts through code updates.”
About the International Code Council
The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.
S.1768 – National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2018