Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) announced the introduction of H.R. 6845, the Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act, to support commercial remote sensing activities in the U.S. The bill renews an expired requirement for the Department of Commerce to send an annual report to Congress on the status of commercial remote sensing applications, regulations, and adjudications.
“Remote sensing has become a crucial tool allowing us to improve crop production, weather forecasting, and emergency responses to natural disasters,” Lucas said. “The technology is constantly evolving, and the commercial remote sensing industry is seeing tremendous growth. To effectively support and manage commercial remote sensing activities, Congress needs timely and comprehensive reports from the Department of Commerce so we can evaluate the state of the industry and how regulations are affecting its growth. I appreciate Representative Perlmutter’s support of this legislation, and I look forward to working with him to pass this into law.”
“The American remote sensing industry leads the world in developing new technologies and capabilities to better understand what’s happening here on Earth and make informed decisions,” Perlmutter said. “Congress has a responsibility to effectively encourage and support the remote sensing industry, and this legislation will provide the information and data necessary to ensure continued growth and global leadership. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Lucas and my colleagues on this important bill.”
Remote sensing uses data collected from satellites to produce images of Earth. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 established an annual reporting requirement from the Department of Commerce’s Office of Commercial Remote Sensing and Regulatory Affairs (CRSRA) on the status of commercial remote sensing licensing and regulation. That requirement expired in September of 2020. This legislation will reinstate the reporting requirement and keep Congress informed of agency actions, their impact on licensees, and the state of the commercial remote sensing industry.