Sen Cantwell praises volcano resources

first_imgU.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., addressed a new law that will dedicate more resources to volcano monitoring during a Thursday visit to the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver.The National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act, which was signed into law last week as part of a massive land management package, directs resources into early warning and monitoring systems. The idea is to give scientists the tools to provide faster, more accurate information in the case of an emergency.The law allocates $55 million over five years to beef up volcano monitoring systems with more sensors, seismometers and GPS devices. It also combines the network of five volcano monitoring stations nationwide into a single system in an effort to ensure 24/7 coverage and standardize the monitoring process.“We definitely can’t stop volcanoes from erupting. But we can put better tools in place to give the communities and scientists in place better information,” Cantwell said, addressing a room of scientists and local policymakers. “And from that, our local communities can develop better communication and response plans.”Bart Hansen, Vancouver’s mayor pro tem, also attended the event. He said that Southwest Washington’s growth since Mount St. Helens’ major eruption in 1980 means that the stakes are even higher now.last_img

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