Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said the USGS’s ShakeAlert system would protect property and infrastructure.
“Congress has remained steadfast in its bipartisan support for the system, and I will work to see that Congress resumes funding for the project just as we did last year when the budget zeroed it out,” Schiff said in a statement.
This is the second consecutive budget the Trump administration has proposed zero funds for the earthquake early warning system. Congress reversed Trump’s proposal to end development of the early warning system from the administration’s first proposed budget.
The USGS has been working on an earthquake early warning system for years, but the system remains short on funds. It’s estimated that the system will cost at least $38 million to build for the West Coast and $16 million annually to operate and maintain.
Nevertheless, the USGS has said it plans to begin limited public alerts of the early warning system by the end of this year, as long as funding isn’t cut. Southern California is one area where the network of seismic sensors is dense enough to begin early warning.
“With the decision to once again eliminate funding for the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System from his latest budget request, the President’s budget would leave the West Coast without the ability to alert residents to a potentially life-threatening emergency. ShakeAlert is a relatively inexpensive system that has the ability to save lives, reduce injuries, and protect property and infrastructure. Congress has remained steadfast in its bipartisan support for the system, and I will work to see that Congress resumes funding for the project just as we did last year when the budget zeroed it out,” Schiff said.