Committee Passes Legislation to Advance Green Transportation Research, Fire Safety and Border Security
(Washington, DC) Today, the House Science and Technology Committee favorably passed three bills improving the environment, public safety, and border security.
Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) led the markup on H.R. 5161, the Green Transportation Infrastructure Research and Technology Transfer Act; H.R. 4847, the United States Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2008; and H.R. 3916, a bill to provide for the next generation of border and maritime security technologies.
"These three bills deal with public safety, improving the environment and border security – addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues," said Gordon. "I strongly support each of these bills, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee to advance this important legislation in the House."
H.R. 5161, introduced by Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Chairman David Wu (D-OR), authorizes research and educational programs within the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Research Innovative Technology Administration’s (RITA) University Transportation Centers program.
"Green transportation infrastructure is a simple and exciting set of technologies, techniques and materials that can help solve substantial pollution problems in our communities, while increasing energy efficiency and potentially decreasing total cost," said Wu.
The new programs will provide contractors, builders, and policymakers with information regarding the implementation and benefits of green transportation and infrastructure. This legislation will also authorize the FHWA to include green infrastructure and construction training in the National Highway Institute (NHI)’s curriculum.
H.R. 4847, sponsored by Technology and Innovation Subcommittee Vice Chairman Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), reauthorizes the United States Fire Administration (USFA) through FY2012. This bill, which enables new training, technology and tactics for fighting wildfires across the nation, was co-sponsored by Subcommittee Ranking Member Phil Gingrey (R-GA). The legislation supports the USFA’s ongoing effort to fight large-scale or multiple fires in the wildland-urban interface by encouraging fire prevention research.
"The U.S. Fire Administration is an invaluable resource for the thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel around the country. Through training, educational materials, data collection, and other services, USFA provides tools and leadership to the fire service and the communities they serve," said Mitchell. "H.R. 4847 is the product of bipartisan collaboration and significant input from the fire service community, and the Committee’s support of this bill is a reflection of that community’s great service in cities and towns across the country."
Finally, the Committee cleared H.R. 3916 introduced by Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX), and co-sponsored by Chairman Gordon. This legislation supports the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) R&D programs and instructs the DHS Science and Technology Directorate to expand R&D in the area of border security. The bill seeks to provide DHS with the next generation of border and maritime security technologies necessary to assist with their long-term security goals.
"I believe this Committee is ideally positioned to strengthen control of our nation’s borders through this legislation supporting effective, efficient, and evolving border defenses," said Hall. "The bill highlights three long-term research areas, unmanned aerial vehicles, tunnel detection, and anti-counterfeit technologies, that promise to significantly improve border security across all the threats we currently face."
The text of amendments to these bills and further information regarding this markup can be found on our website at www.house.gov/science.