Faulting and public policy in California; the evolution of the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act
The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act of 1972, as amended, is a legislative child of the San Fernando earthquake of February 9, 1971. Over time, investigatory or design criteria, methods, guidelines, and restrictions are overtaken by improvements in scientific knowledge, exploration and design methods, and construction techniques. Many design professionals now think that the time has come to again review the investigation and design requirements developed under the Alquist-Priolo Act in light of current knowledge and capabilities, and their concerns led us to this conference. The Alquist-Priolo Act has been amended several times, and regulations developed under it have also evolved with the times. Currently, a Technical Advisory Committee to the State Mining and Geology Board's Geohazards Committee is reviewing progress in fault assessment as well as the design philosophy inherent in the language of the Alquist-Priolo Act and the regulations promulgated pursuant to it. The intended effect of the Alquist-Priolo Act with regard to protecting public health, safety, and well-being is not by the language of the Act limited to life safety alone. The effectiveness of the Act should be measured by its effects in mitigating life safety threats, bodily harm, structural performance, and the societal costs of earthquakes.