SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Governor Jerry Brown has called for $1.49 million in new funding for mapping fault zones throughout the state.
The governor says budget cuts have stalled the state's efforts in mapping fault zones. Right now only one scientist is mapping the entire state. The funding would go to adding three more.
The worry is that earthquakes can happen any minute, like the central coast saw in 2003 when a 6.5 magnitude earthquake happened on the San Simeon fault zone, killing 2 people and causing about $240 million in damage.
"In general we know where the earthquakes faults are but they actually do more intensive studies to look at what areas have actually had active ground faults or active earthquakes in the past 11,000 years or so and should those areas be classified in a special zone to restrict building on the earthquake fault," said Ron Alsop of San Luis Obispo County's Office of Emergency Services.
If a new zone is discovered, and a building is on it and it's sold, there needs to be a disclosure that it's on a fault zone.
The governor's proposal includes money for better technological tools to find fault zones that are obscured by trees, roads and buildings. Governor Brown is also proposing an additional $1.3 million a year in dedicated funding to be paid for with increased building permit fees.