Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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Trump signs Pittenger radar legislation into law

Apr 19, 2017
Press Release





WASHINGTON – On Tuesday evening, President Donald J. Trump signed Congressman Robert Pittenger’s radar legislation into law, setting into motion a 180-day study by the Commerce Department into Charlotte’s lack of adequate radar coverage.  Following completion of the study, the Commerce Department will have 90 days to submit a plan to fix the radar gap.

“Charlotte is the largest metropolitan area in the United States without local National Weather Service radar coverage.  Because meteorologists lack consistent and reliable local radar data, NWS has actually missed tornadoes in Mecklenburg and Union counties,” explained Congressman Pittenger (NC-09).  “Thank you to President Trump, Senator Burr, and Chairman Lamar Smith with the Science, Space, and Technology Committee for their full support.”

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (H.R. 353), which President Trump signed into law on Tuesday, includes provisions to improve the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather research and forecasting programs, and to improve tsunami detection and storm warnings. 

As part of a multi-front effort to address Charlotte’s radar gap, Congressman Pittenger worked with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) to attach an amendment to H.R. 353 specifically addressing potentially dangerous radar coverage gaps in Charlotte and other areas of the United States.  The legislation passed the U.S. Senate unanimously in late March, and then passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously on April 4th.

“Local meteorologists have warned about this problem for years.  This new law requires Washington bureaucrats to pay attention, quantify the issue, and then come back to Congress with a solution,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Thankfully, we haven’t yet suffered a fatality due to the lack of adequate storm warnings, and now, thanks to this new law, we won’t have to wait for a tragedy to act.”

Congressman Pittenger is currently in Poland for meetings regarding NATO, national security, and counter-terrorism financing efforts.