U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Asks OMB to Fund NIST Investigation of WTC

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with $40 million to conduct its investigation of the World Trade Center collapses.

In a letter dated March 6 to Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., OMB director, Representatives Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY), committee chairman, and Anthony Weiner (R-NY) and Steve Israel (R-NY), committee members, said their decision was the result of Committee hearings held that day in which “there was unanimity among the witnesses on the need for a comprehensive assessment and research agenda to address evacuation procedures, emergency response, and structural analysis of the site’s buildings.”

The $40 million cost, the legislators said, was based on a Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT) estimate for a “comprehensive study of an event of this magnitude and complexity.”

The congressmen also asked that NISH or FEMA be given investigative authority, comparable to that of the National Transportation Safety Board, to ensure that they will be able to gain access to drawings and other materials critical to the investigation.

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