Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems at Commerce Department is eliminated

Dec. 6, 2017: Officials at the Trump administration have eliminated the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The agency was created in 2015 by officials at the administration of former President Obama. The Panel is part of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Panel’s Chairman, Jesse Keenan, told Panel Members at a meeting held on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, that the Panel’s charter was being dissolved, and the meeting would be the group’s last meeting. “It was one of the last federal bodies that openly talked about climate change in public," Keenan said in an e-mail message to Bloomberg News. “I can say that we tried our best and we never self-censored!” The group is the latest in a series of federal climate-related bodies to be altered or terminated in 2017. In June, 2017, Trump administration officials told scientists who sat on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors that their terms weren’t being renewed. In August, 2017, the administration ended the Advisory Committee attached to the National Climate Assessment, the quadrennial review of climate science. The Commerce Department NIST Resilience Panel included representatives from the EPA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other departments, and city planners and outside experts. The group advised local officials on making buildings, communications, energy systems, transportation and water more able to withstand severe weather and climate change. Since its creation in 2015, the group has identified potential improvements to building codes, worked on guides for reestablishing cell phone service, and advised municipal utilities on resuming operations after a disaster, among other issues.

Attribution: Bloomberg News

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