43 U.S.C. § 31a Findings and Purpose

LibraryUnited States Statutes
Edition2023 Edition
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-19 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/06/2023)

(a) Findings

The Congress finds and declares that-

(1) although significant progress has been made in the production of geologic maps since the establishment of the national cooperative geologic mapping program in 1992, no modern, digital, geologic map exists for approximately 75 percent of the United States;

(2) geologic maps are the primary data base for virtually all applied and basic earth-science investigations, including-

(A) exploration for and development of mineral, energy, and water resources;

(B) screening and characterizing sites for toxic and nuclear waste disposal;

(C) land use evaluation and planning for homeland and environmental protection;

(D) earthquake hazards reduction;

(E) identifying volcanic hazards;

(F) design and construction of infrastructure requirements such as utility lifelines, transportation corridors, and surface-water impoundments;

(G) reducing losses from landslides and other ground failures;

(H) mitigating effects of coastal and stream erosion;

(I) siting of critical facilities;

(J) recreation and public awareness; and

(K) basic earth-science research;

(3) Federal agencies, State and local governments, private industry, and the general public depend on the information provided by geologic maps to determine the extent of potential environmental damage before embarking on projects that could lead to preventable, costly environmental problems or litigation;

(4) the combined capabilities of State, Federal, and academic groups to provide geologic mapping are not sufficient to meet the present and future needs of the United States for national security, environmental protection, and energy self-sufficiency of the Nation;

(5) States are willing to contribute 50 percent of the funding necessary to complete the mapping of the geology within the State;

(6) the lack of proper geologic maps has led to the poor design of such structures as dams and waste-disposal facilities;

(7) geologic maps have proven indispensable in the search for needed fossil-fuel and mineral resources;

(8) geologic map information is required for the sustainable and balanced development of natural resources of all types, including energy, minerals, land, water, and biological resources;

(9) advances in digital technology and geographical information system science have made geologic map databases increasingly available as decision support tools for land and resource management; and

(10) a comprehensive nationwide program of geologic mapping of surficial and bedrock deposits is required in order to systematically build the Nation's geologic-map data base at a pace that responds to increasing demand.

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