NSPS Fall Business Meeting to include Capitol Hill Day and Webinar
NSPS members are invited to participate in the Fall Business Meeting to take place November 20-24. For the preliminary schedule for the NSPS Fall Business Meeting and Hill day, click here. Included on the program is the society’s annual Capitol Hill Day on Thursday, November 21, 2013. NSPS Government Affairs consultant John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc. (JMP&A) will conduct a webinar, "Steps to Successfully Secure a Congressional Appointment" on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at 1:00 PM (EDT), to provide best practices to securing a Congressional appointment. JMP&A staff will provide tips on how to make appointments, coordinate with your state delegation, and NSPS's legislative issues. To register for the Capitol Hill Day or the Webinar, click here.
Mapping Pipeline Infrastructure: Enhancing Accuracy and Safety
It is said that there are enough pipelines now in the United States to encircle the Earth 25 times. An underground utility is hit somewhere in the United States every 60 seconds. Municipal officials, transportation designers, telecom, railroads, and utilities and pipeline operators need solid information to manage existing surface and underground infrastructure and to plan for future challenges. Digging or drilling in the vicinity of unknown, unmarked, unmapped, or incorrectly located utilities can be costly in terms of wasted excavation time, service disruption and utility downtime, property damage, and—worst of all—personal injury or loss of life. NSPS urges provisions on pipeline and infrastructure legislation enhancing underground infrastructure features location data collection.
Privacy Concerns: Geolocation and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Numerous legislative efforts by Congress to protect consumers and citizens have cast too wide-a-net creating unintended consequences for mapping and geospatial firms. If enacted, some provisions highlighting “precise geolocation data” without properly defining the term will likely prevent consumers from accessing vital geographic data used every day – including the collection of original imagery which is the base content for online, digital, and paper maps, as well as parcel and address data. In a similar vein, legislation restricting the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) domestically may also create problems for professionals and firms engaged in surveying, mapping and geospatial data, services, and products. NSPS urges provisions exempting mapping and geospatial firms from further regulation, or other legal impediments, in the 113th Congress.
Labor Department Misapplication of the Davis-Bacon Act to Survey Crews
In March of this year, the U.S. Department of Labor reversed more than 50 years of Federal policy and precedent and ruled that members of survey crews are “laborers and mechanics”, subject to the prevailing wage provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a). This new policy and regulation was implemented with no public comment, no economic analysis, and no consultation with the affected surveying profession. There is no demonstrated need for this new rule, as members of survey crews are at the median of U.S. wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compliance with this rule by surveying firms, 99% of which are small business, is a costly administrative burden. NSPS urges the repeal of Labor Department rule, AAM 212.
Map It Once, Use It Many Times Act
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a study of Federal agency geospatial coordination, Geospatial Information: OMB and Agencies Need to Make Coordination a Priority to Reduce Duplication. The report calls for reforms, reorganizations and processes to enable the Federal government to more effectively and efficiently collect and use geospatial data. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has introduced H.R. 1604, the “Map It Once, Use It Many Times (MIO-UIMT) Act” to provide for consolidation of and stronger organizational partnerships for geospatial coordination. This legislation establishes the National Geospatial Technology Administration within the United States Geological Survey to enhance the use of geospatial data, products, technology, and services, to increase the economy and efficiency of Federal geospatial activities. It also creates a National Geospatial Policy Commission to develop and periodically amend a comprehensive plan to be known as the ‘‘National Geospatial Data Plan’’. The bill consolidates geospatial activities, eliminates obsolete programs and establishes today’s priorities. NSPS strongly supports H.R. 1604.