Utah officials will scrutinize school buildings, bridges and fire stations if state officials can push a package of earthquake-related legislation through the upcoming session in January.
The package, organized by members of a legislative group established to prioritize earthquake-related issues, calls for "seismic vulnerability assessments" to determine how structures would survive a major earthquake.It's taken officials months of planning and discussion to organize the package.
Jordan and Salt Lake school districts have already evaluated their buildings, but officials are hoping the Legislature will mandate a uniform plan of inspection for all school buildings in high-risk areas.
The package also calls for a number of legislative actions that would prepare Utah for a major temblor, including the following:
- The establishment of a Seismic Safety Commission that would oversee the state's earthquake program.
- Laws requiring individuals selling homes and buildings to disclose possible geologic hazards.
- Mandatory plan checks for all buildings to ensure that seismic provisions in the Uniform Building Code are being followed.
- The purchase and placement of instrumentation designed to gather information on earthquake activity in the state.
- The improvement of the state's disaster communication systems, including the purchase of a microwave radio system.
The package will now go before the State and Local Affairs Interim Committee which will seek a legislator to sponsor and write bills.