Wyden co-sponsors landslide safety bill

Washington, DC– Senator Ron Wyden today announced he is co-sponsoring a bill that would establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program to save lives and property by better identifying and understanding landslide risks.

“Communities in Oregon and nationwide threatened by landslides should have access to the latest technology and needed resources that can mean the difference between life and death,” Wyden said. “This legislation recognizes that need by improving the responses to landslides, mudslides and flash floods.”

The bill originally sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray (both D-Wash.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would establish the National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The legislation also would direct the USGS to coordinate and facilitate the collection, dissemination, and use of 3D elevation data across federal agencies.

According to the USGS and National Research Council, landslide hazards claim 25-50 lives each year and cause between $1.6 and $3.2 billion in damages in the United States. Globally, landslides cause tens of billions of dollars in damages and thousands of deaths and injuries each year.