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Senate Bill (S)517 - Weather Modification Research and Development Policy Authorization Act of 2005

 
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Senate Bill (S)517 - Weather Modification Research and Development Policy Authorization Act of 2005
[link to www.govtrack.us]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Weather Modification Research and Development Policy Authorization Act of 2005'.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

It is the purpose of this Act to develop and implement a comprehensive and coordinated national weather modification research policy and a national cooperative Federal and State program of weather modification research and development.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act: (1) BOARD- The term `Board' means the Weather Modification Research Advisory Board. (2) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT- The term `research and development' means theoretical analysis, exploration, experimentation, and the extension of investigative findings and theories of a scientific or technical nature into practical application for experimental and demonstration purposes, including the experimental production and testing of models, devices, equipment, materials, and processes. (3) WEATHER MODIFICATION- The term `weather modification' means the purposeful or inadvertent changing or controlling, or attempting to change or control, by artificial methods, the natural development of atmospheric cloud forms or precipitation forms which occur in the troposphere.

SEC. 4. WEATHER MODIFICATION SUBCOMMITTEE.

(a) Establishment- The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall establish a Weather Modification Subcommittee to coordinate a national research program on weather modification. (b) Membership- The Weather Modification Subcommittee shall include representatives from appropriate Federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (c) Chairs of the Weather Modification Subcommittee- A representative from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a representative from the National Science Foundation shall serve together as co-chairs of the Weather Modification Subcommittee. (d) Implementation Plan- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall develop and submit to Congress a plan for coordinated Federal activities under the national research program under subsection (a) and the plan shall-- (1) for a 10-year period beginning in the year it is submitted, establish the goals and priorities for Federal research that most effectively advances scientific understanding of weather modification; (2) describe specific activities required to achieve such goals and priorities, including funding of competitive research grants, training and support for scientists, and participation in international research efforts; (3) identify and address, as appropriate, relevant programs and activities of the Federal agencies and departments that would contribute to the program; (4) consider and use, as appropriate, reports and studies conducted by Federal agencies and departments, and other expert scientific bodies, including the National Research Council report on Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research; (5) make recommendations for the coordination of program activities with weather modification activities of other national and international organizations; (6) incorporate recommendations from the Weather Modification Research Advisory Board; and (7) estimate Federal funding for research activities to be conducted under the program described in subsection (a). (e) Program Scope- The national research program under subsection (a) may include the following activities related to weather modification: (1) Interdisciplinary research and coordination of research and activities to improve understanding of processes relating to weather modification, including-- (A) cloud modeling; (B) cloud seeding; (C) improving forecast and decision-making technologies; (D) related severe weather research; and (E) potential adverse affects of weather modification. (2) Coordination with relevant organizations that engage in weather modification research. (3) Development through partnerships among Federal agencies, States, and academic institutions of new technologies and approaches for weather modification. (4) Scholarships and educational opportunities that encourage an interdisciplinary approach to weather modification. (f) Annual Report on Activities- Beginning with the first year occurring more than 24 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall prepare and submit to the President and Congress not later than January 31st of each year an annual report on the activities conducted pursuant to this section during the preceding fiscal year, including-- (1) a summary of the achievements of Federal weather modification research, including Federally supported external research, during the preceding fiscal year; (2) an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and objectives of the plan developed under subsection (d), including the identification of trends; (3) a copy or summary of the plan and any changes made to the plan; (4) a summary of agency budgets for weather modification activities for the preceding fiscal year; (5) any recommendations regarding additional action or legislation that may be required to assist in achieving the purposes of this Act; (6) a description of the relationship between research conducted on weather modification and research conducted pursuant to the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (15 U.S.C. 2921 et seq.), as well as research on weather forecasting and prediction; and (7) a description of any potential adverse consequences on life, property, or water resource availability from weather modification efforts, and any suggested means of mitigating or reducing such consequences if such efforts are undertaken.

SEC. 5. WEATHER MODIFICATION RESEARCH ADVISORY BOARD ESTABLISHED.

(a) Establishment- There is established in the Office of Science and Technology Policy the Weather Modification Research Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Weather Modification Subcommittee on matters related to weather modification. (b) Membership- (1) COMPOSITION- The Board shall consist of 9 members, each with a field of expertise in atmospheric science or civil engineering relevant to weather modification, and appointed by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy as follows: (A) At least 1 member shall be a representative of the American Meteorological Society. (B) At least 1 member shall be a representative of the American Society of Civil Engineers. (C) At least 1 member shall be a representative of the National Academy of Sciences. (D) At least 1 member shall be a representative of institutions of higher education or research institutes with experience in the field. (E) At least 1 member shall be a representative of a State organization that is currently supporting operational weather modification projects. (2) TENURE- A member of the Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. (3) VACANCIES- Any vacancy on the Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. (c) Initial Meeting- Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Board have been appointed, the Board shall hold its first meeting. (d) Meetings- The Board shall meet at the call of the Chair. (e) Quorum- A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings. (f) Chair and Vice Chair- The Board shall select a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. (g) Duties of the Board- The duties of the Board shall include the following: (1) Advising the Weather Modification Subcommittee on recommendations concerning legislation, policies, administration, research, and other matters related to weather modification. (2) In order to assist in expanding the theoretical and practical knowledge of weather modification, the Board shall advise the Weather Modification Subcommittee on the research and development, studies, and investigations with respect to-- (A) potential uses of technologies and observation systems for weather modification research; and (B) assessments and evaluations of the efficacy of weather modification, both purposeful, including cloud-seeding operations, and inadvertent, including downwind effects and anthropogenic effects. (h) Powers of the Board- The Board may conduct public meetings, gather information, and issue reports.

SEC. 6. COOPERATION WITH THE WEATHER MODIFICATION SUBCOMMITTEE.

The heads of the departments and agencies of the United States and the heads of any other public or private agencies and institutions that receive research funds from the United States related to weather modification shall, to the extent possible, give full support and cooperation to the Weather Modification Subcommittee.

Amend the title so as to read: `To establish a coordinated national weather modification research and development program, and for other purposes'.

Calendar No. 319





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