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Appendix B Documents Requesting NRC Study Letter from Ronald H. Brown, Secretary of Commerce to Robert M. White, President, National Academy of Engineering Letter from Ronald H. Brown, Secretary of Commerce to George E. Brown, Chairman, Committee on Science, Space and Technology Letter from D. James Baker, Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere to Robert E. Cramer, Congressman from Alabama NOAA Study Guidelines. (Internal document to address congressional inquiries on NEXRAD Coverage.)

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Dr. Robert M. White President, National Academy of Engineering 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.~. 20418 Dear Dr. White: . - THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE j Why D.~. ~= o A06 1 8 1394 As we rapidly move to full modernization of the National Oceanic and Atmo- spher~c Adm~n~stration's National Weather Service, it is essential that we ensure that the deployment of the new technology (NEXRAD, GOES, etc.) continues to provide no degradation of seance. As indicated in the enclosed letter to Chairman George Brown, a number of communities are concerned about their coverage. The Chairman has asked that ~ commission an independent rewew to assess the adequacy of NEXRAD coverage from a scientific and technical standpoint, in terms of the "no degradation of seance" requirement of the Weather Service Modernization Act, Public Law 102-567, and that the National academy of Science's National Weather Senace Mo~iern~zation Committee is the right group. ~ concur, and would like to use this letter to formally ask for the study. The contact point for the Department of Commerce on this topic will be D. lames Baker, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. We took forward to an expeditious review. 89 Sincerely, ~Q it' )~ Ronald H. Brown U

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~ ~ 18= THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE Washington, D.C. 20230 The Honorable George E. Brown, Jr. Chairman, Committee on Science, - Space, and Technology House of Representatives Washington, D. C. 20515-6301 Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding adequacy of Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) coverage for the Nation.- ~ share your confidence that the overall National Weather Service (NWS) modernization plan is sound. I, too, have heard from a number of communities concerned about the adequacy of NEXRAD coverage for their area. Many of these are from the areas listed in your letter. ~ endorse your request that an independent review is needed to assess the adequacy of NEXRAD coverage from a scientif ic and technical standpoint, in terms of the "no degradation of service" requirement of the Weather Service Modernization Act, Public Law. 102-567 . ~ also agree that the National Academy of Sciences' National Weather Service Modernization Committee (NWSMC) is the appropriate body to conduct this assessment. D. frames Baker, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans anc! Atmosphere, has already had preliminary discussions with the- Academy anc! its NWSMC. He has informed me tha1: the Academy is prepared to undertake the study and is ready to move expeditiously. Therefore, ~ will formally ask them to conduct the study. Your interest in the NWS is appreciated. 90 Sincerely, It's Ronald H. Brown ~ !

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-~' oF ~ 6~ ~` 1-,~f ~ \0,)~c ~r''O' The Honorab! e Robert E . Cramer Accuse of Representatives Washington, D. C. 20515 Dear Congressman Cramer: UBJI1 ED StATEl; t)EPANTMENT OF {:OMMEl1CE the Under Secretary for Ocoon' and Atmosphere Washington. Due. 20230 Octc)l:>er 5, 1 '94 As a result GL our d~ scussicr. in Vice Axes ~ dent Gore Of f ice about FIR 4998, the Weather Service Moderniza~ ion Pe~ formance Review Act cuff ~994, ~ have reviewed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adrri.nis~ra~ ion' ~ (NOM) actions as it mc)lJes ahead smith the modernize" ion of the Rational Weather Service . As ~ tale you, ~ am confident that NOVA is proceeding in a manner that fully complies with the requirements of the Weather Service Modern:~tior~ Act. I an, also confident that-, when the process is complete, the Nation will have the most efficien~c and effective Weather Service in ache world. However, you and repro sentry Ives from scene other areas are concerned! that weather coverage in the future will not meet "he requirements of the law. You have requested art independent agent ice ensure echoic this does not occur, particular, y as '~e decommission outmoded radars ar:d eventually consolidate God." local offices into the fully modernized offices of the future ~ am pleased that we have beers able to worlt with you to develop a mechanism to E:ra~;ide an independent scienti fic assessment of NEXPAD coverage irl the modernized Weather Service. We have also agreed on a procedure to establish the criteria necessary to assure that weather sexvi ces will not be ciegraded as we decommission obsolete radars, and to provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the process. Suf f icient time no longex remains in this Congress to enact legislatcion. However, ~ am convinced that application cuff ache procedures we discussed will achieve our seals of assuring the public that no one will be put at risk of degraded weather services as modernization proceeds, while minimizing any resulLar~t delay ir: "he modernization process which is SO 91 THE ADMIbIISTRA1~OR

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The Honorable Robert E:. Cramer Page 2 essential tc' public safety. Therefore. we will put into place the procedures contained is, the enclosed document. This will put intc, effect our discussions without the need for legislation. Implementat'or~ of these procedures will instill public coniderlce in the modern) zat ion process and thereby contribute significantly to the s~ationa1 interest. Thank you for your participation ire this effort, Sincerely, D. Jam*' Baker Enclosure 92

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STUDY GUIDELINES (This is an internal NOAA document) Section I: (a) Modernization of the NWS is essential to public safety and should proceed without unnecessary delay. (b) The WSMA establishes procedures that assure that the modernization of the NWS will not result in the degradation of weather service currentiv provided to the public but these procedures do ~ .' .. ~ .. . . . . . ~ . . . A.' ~ .~ it, .' . ~ . not provide for the independent review of decisions until shortly after the actual event; and (c) It is appropriate to review the adequacy of the nation's overall NEXRAD coverage, to ensure a solid scientific and technical basis for the decision making process, and to assure meaningful participation by the public. Section 2: The purposes of this document are to provide the fullest opportunity for public participation in the modernization process without unduly delaying this process: and to ensure, through the application of independent scientific criteria that weather services provided in each service area will not be degraded as obsolete radars are decommissioned or as field offices are closed, consolidated, relocated or automated. Section 3: The definitions contained in Section 702 of the WSMA shall apply to the terms in this document. In addition, the term "area of concern" means a service area identified in a timely public comment in response to the Federal Register notice required by section 4 of this document. Section 4: Within 30 days the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on service areas where it is believed that current weather services may be degraded as existing radars are decommissioned or as field offices are closed, consolidated, automated or relocated. The notice shall allow 60 days for the submission of comments. Persons submitting comments shall state the basis for their belief as fully as possible, and shall include a description of local weather characteristics (including unique weather phenomena) and weather related concerns which involve a substantial threat to public safety which they believe affect the weather semices provided in areas of concern. All comments received by the Secretary shall be provided promptly to the NRC. Section s: (a) Within 30 days the Secretary shall contract with the NRC, or amend an existing contract as necessary, to conduct an independent scientific assessment of proposed NEXRAD radar coverage and consolidation of Field Offices in terms of "no degradation of semices" and to establish criteria for identifying service areas where the decommissioning of existing radars could degrade service to affected users. (b) Within I80 days,but not earlier than 60 days after the close of the comment period provided in the Federal Register notice of section 4, the NRC shall furnish to the Secretary the assessment and criteria required by subsection (a) together with recommendations regarding the need and timing for any future independent studies by the NRC. 93

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Section 6: (a) After receipt of the NRC report, the Secretary shall apply the NRC criteria and other applicable criteria previously approved by the NRC pursuant to the WSMA to areas of concern and, taking into account the comments received in response to the Federal Register notice of section 4, identify those where he/she believes that actions to decommission a radar or to close, consolidate, relocate, automate a field office noted in the current version of the NIP are not likely to satisfy the requirements of the WSMA. The Secretary shall report the results of his/her review to the Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the House of Representatives. If the Secretary believes that additional radars are needed to satisfy the requirements of the WSMA, he/she shall also identify the number and location of the radars needed. (b) Submission of a report under this section shall not relieve the Secretary from the requirement of section 706(b) of the WSMA to certify no degradation of service when she/he restructures a field office. If the field office is located in an area of concern, the Secretary shall provide all comments relating to that area of concern received pursuant to section 4 to the MTC during the certification process. Section 7: (a) The Secretary shall not close, consolidate, relocate, or automate any field office or decommission any NWS radar until the public has had an opportunity to identify areas of concern. (b) Regardless of the contents of the most recent NIP, the Secretary shall not decommission a radar or close, consolidate, automate or relocate a field office in an area of concern uniess (~) The Secretary has reported to the Congress as provided in section 6 that he/she believes that the action contemplated would not result in a degradation of service: and (2) 30 days have expired from the date the report was submitted to Congress. 94