NWSEO Counsel Meets with the Office of Management and Budget
(September 15, 2010) NWSEO General Counsel and Legislative Director Richard Hirn met with three officials at the Office of Management and Budget who are responsible for deciding DOC and NOAA funding levels in the President's annual budget request. The meeting took place on Tuesday, September 14. Hirn is part of a twelve member delegation from the "Friends of NOAA," a consortium of environmental and educational groups that rely on NOAA funding, such as UCAR. The delegation’s presentation highlighted the need for an increase in NOAA funding from $5 billion to $8 billion.
At this meeting, Hirn discussed the NWS's response to the Deepwater Horizon incident and the crucial role of NWS forecasters and hydrologists in helping emergency management personnel with decision support. Hirn explained that because the NWS is only staffed and funded for "fair weather staffing," this deployment taxed NWS efforts to meet minimal staffing requirements and that the NWS would not have been able to respond to two significant environmental events simultaneously - such as a tropical storm or series of major wildfires occurring at the height of the Deepwater Horizon clean-up efforts.