-- Earthquake Planning and Preparedness Programs
In 1972-73 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prepared reports estimating earthquake losses in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. These reports demonstrated that a major earthquake would cause damage that would devastate the current capabilities of the local, state, and federal response communities.
In 1979. Governor Jerry Brown appointed the Earthquake Task Force, bringing together representatives of local, state, and federal agencies, private industry, and volunteer agencies to address planning and preparedness issues. The Task Force remained active through 1985, developing and drafting the California Earthquake Response Plan for the Southern San Andreas Fault and subsequent Northern California Plan.
The I980 Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington, caused the U.S. Geological Survey to look closer at geologic hazards facing urban areas, which included re-evaluation of the estimates NOAA made in 1972-73 for earthquake hazards in California. There were concerns that a damaging earthquake would occur in Southern California and that state and local governments were unprepared to deal with the consequences. That prompted establishment of a joint state-federal effort to accelerate preparedness.
The Southern California Earthquake Preparedness Project (SCEPP) and the Bay Area Earthquake Preparedness Project (BAREPP) were created as part of the Seismic Safety Commission and in the mid- 1980s joined OES.
-- Radiological and Hazardous Materials Programs
OES had been involved in federally funded radiological programs since the early 1950s, beginning with tracking fallout from Nevada and later shifting to a civil defense focus. In 1979, after the accident at the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, OES was assigned the task of coordinating studies and planning for emergencies at California's nuclear power plants.
OES has been involved in planning for hazardous materials emergencies since 1981, developing the state's initial plan for response to hazardous materials incidents, operating a centralized notification system, and keeping track of post- incident reports. However, interest in hazardous materials issues intensified after the 1984 Bliopal, India, chemical disaster.
The Legislature passed a hazardous materials emergency planning and community right-to-know law in 1985 which assigned new regulatory responsibilities to OES."
Continues next week.