7.4.7: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the old National Bureau of Standards and part of the Department of Commerce, had received the least amount of funding of the four agencies comprising NEHRP. Its main role had been in applied engineering research and in code development. Its initial budget for earthquake research was less than $500,000 per year and stood at $1.9 million. In FY 1994, it received a supplemental appropriation to respond to the Northridge Earthquake, resulting in a budget of $3.6 million. The 1990 reauthorization directed NIST to carry out “research and development to improve building codes and standards and practices for structures and lifelines.”
In 2004, NEHRP was reorganized; NIST was made the lead agency and was directed to establish the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazard Reduction (ACEHR), which conducts research in earthquake engineering as well as coordinating the activities of the other three agencies. Most of the members of this committee are not federal employees.