US: John Palatiello, Executive Director of MAPPS, the association for private sector geospatial firms, and government affairs consultant to the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), have testified before the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, U.S. House of Representatives advocating for funding for the USGS 3D elevation program, 3DEP, and reform of federal land inventory activities.
In his testimony, Palatiello urged the subcommittee that Congress should appropriate funds for the 3DEP program at its optimal annual level of $146 million among all participating agencies, including, at a minimum, the $5 million for 3DEP, $236,000 for Alaska Mapping, $1.9 million for The National Map Modernization, and $60,428,000 for the National Geospatial Program for USGS.
USGS has identified more than 600 applications that would benefit from such enhanced elevation data including flood risk management, agriculture, water supply, homeland security and renewable energy while promoting economic growth, facilitate responsible environmental protection and assist with infrastructure improvements. The 3DEP data have the potential to generate $13 billion in annual benefits, at a benefit cost ratio of 4.7 to 1. MAPPS conducted a study in 2012 that determined there is significant capacity and capability in the private sector to support the program and USGS currently has contract vehicles in place to efficiently implement the program.