HR 5516: National Flood Research and Education Center Act

This bill establishes within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a National Flood Research and Education Center (NFREC), which shall consist of: (1) an office within NOAA; (2) one public university or college selected by the NOAA Administrator, which shall serve as the lead partner institution with NOAA; and (3) a consortium of other public universities or colleges selected by the Administrator and such lead partner institution based on their ability to fulfill specific purposes of NFREC.

The purposes of NFREC are listed, including to plan, conduct, and arrange for competent public research, data, education, and recommendations within the following categories as they relate to flooding issues nationwide, regionally, and locally: (1) physical sciences, social science, and economic, policy, and risk analysis; (2) risk management; and (3) improvement of existing, and testing of new, risk assessment tools and methods, monitoring and predicting strategies and techniques, and flood management and prevention strategies and techniques.

The bill sets forth criteria for selection of a lead partner institution and consortium members.

NFREC must: (1) partner with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Army Corps of Engineers; (2) collaborate on federal flood-related issues with specified federal agencies; and (3) collaborate and share best practices on regional, state, and locally specific flooding and flood-related issues with state and local governments and with watershed, agriculture, environmental, and business and development organizations.

Review and reporting requirements are set forth. NFREC must establish and make information available on a website.

NFREC may provide technical assistance and demonstration project grant assistance to state and local governments on a competitive basis to assist with implementing recommendations of NFREC or testing new or improved strategies or technologies.

HR 5516 is sponsored by Representative David Loebsack and was introduced on June 17, 2016.