+108th Congress, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2004, P.L. 108-360 (PDF — 101KB)
Disasters & the Law
UC Berkeley School of Law
6 entriesexpand all
+109th Congress, Tsunami Warning and Education Act, P.L. 109-424 (PDF — 43K)
+Henjum, Matt, The Clarksburg Old Sugar Mill Project: Proposed Residential Development in the Delta's Primary Zone (UC Berkeley School of Law, Law 224.9, Disasters & the Law, Spring 2007) (PDF — 100K)
"The vulnerability of California's Delta region to massive flooding stands as one of the state's most urgent policy issues. One of the state's few tools in place to curb urbanization in the Delta is the Delta Protection Act. Adopted in 1992, the Act created the Delta Protection Commission as the regulatory body charged with overseeing development in the Delta. Reflecting a spirit of political compromise, however, the Act limits the jurisdiction of the Commission to the Delta's primary zone while development in the secondary zone goes unregulated. The Delta Protection Commission was called into action for the first time in the fall of 2006 when the Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved a plan for residential development on land presumed to be within the primary zone. In February of 2007 the Commission voted to officially reject the development as a violation of the Delta Protection Act. The primary basis for the Commission's decision was that the Old Sugar Mill Project would 'expose the public to increased flood hazards.' The Commission's decision is, however, appealable in court, and, reflecting the Commission's grossly insufficient regulatory authority, it is uncertain whether the decision will withstand a legal challenge.
"Even if the Delta Protection Commission's decision is ultimately upheld in court, however, the Clarksburg situation demonstrates the irrationality, and unacceptability, of California's Delta land-use regulatory scheme. At present, developments that pose a clear risk to public safety and the long run health of both the Delta and state economy go unchallenged simply because certain land is designated as the secondary zone and, thus, falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of local governments. In order to alleviate this untenable situation California must create a dominant regulatory body with the authority to strictly oversee land-use throughout the Delta region."—Abstract.
+Holt, Mark & Anthony Andrews, Specialists in Energy Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities (CRS Report for Congess, Order Code RL34331) (January 18, 2008) (PDF — 96K)
"The physical security of nuclear power plants and their vulnerability to deliberate acts of terrorism was elevated to a national security concern following the events of September 11, 2001.
"Title VI of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 regarding nuclear security amended the Atomic Energy Act with the addition of new provisions for security evaluations and rulemaking to revise the 'Design Basis Threat.' The act included provisions for fingerprinting and criminal background checks of security personnel, their use of firearms, and the unauthorized introduction of dangerous weapons. The designation of facilities subject to enforcement of penalties for sabotage expanded to include treatment and disposal facilities.
"As part of security response evaluations, the act requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to conduct 'force-on-force' security exercises at nuclear power plants at least once every three years, and revise the 'design-basis threat' to consider a wider variety of potential attacks.
"The NRC has strengthened its regulations on nuclear power plant security, but critics contend that implementation by the industry has been too slow and that further measures are needed. Vulnerability to a deliberate aircraft crash remains an outstanding issue, as the latest NRC rulemaking addresses only newly designed plants. Shortcomings in the performance of security contractors has drawn the attention of Congress.
"This report will be updated as events warrant."—Summary.
+Platt, Rutherford H., Learning From Disasters: The Synergy of Law and Geography (Environmental Law Reporter, Volume 38, Issue 3, Page 10150) (March 2008) (PDF — 403K)
+Schwab, Anna K. & David J. Brower, Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards: Obstacles and Opportunities for Local Governments Under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Environmental Law Reporter, Volume 38, Issue 3, Page 10171) (March 2008) (PDF — 463K)