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CA Seismic Safety Commission Issues Priority Recommendations from the South Napa Earthquake

On the eve of the second anniversary of the South Napa earthquake, the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission has released a study of the August 2014 South Napa earthquake that includes 20 findings and 12 priority recommendations for improving seismic resilience in California.

The study entitled “The Mw 6.0 South Napa Earthquake of August 24, 2014: A Wake-up Call for Renewed Investment in Seismic Resilience across California” found, among other things, that the earthquake demonstrated the long-term benefits of California’s highway bridge earthquake strengthening program. However, it also found the need for additional investment to make Californians safer.

“It is almost guaranteed that there will be a major damaging earthquake somewhere in the state within the next 30 years,” said Commission Chairman Timothy Strack. “Thus, the South Napa earthquake is a wake-up call to renew investment and action to enhance the seismic resilience of communities, businesses, and residents across the state.”

“The priority recommendations contained in the report present achievable goals for state policy makers,” said Commission Chairman Strack. “They were selected on the basis of their urgency, and the logistical and financial viability of being achieved in the near-term.”

The Commission engaged the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), to conduct the study to better understand impacts and lessons learned from local, State and federal representatives, and residents and businesses impacted by the earthquake.

The 12 priority recommendations in the study are the result of public testimony, interviews of local government and businesses, and a workshop involving the Commission, Commission staff, and PEER.

The study is jointly published by CSSC (Publication 16-03) and PEER (Report No. 2016/04) and can be found at

Read the Seismic Safety Commission Press Release.

The Seismic Safety Commission was established in 1975 to advise the Governor, Legislature, State and local government agencies, and the public on ways of reducing the earthquake risk to the people of California. It is an agency composed of 20 commissioners chosen for their expertise and experience.