Date of this Version
On July 16, 1998, President Clinton signed the National Drought Policy Act into law. This law creates the National Drought Policy Commission (NDPC), which will examine current laws and programs and make recommendations to the president and Congress on the needs for a national drought policy. The Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will serve as the chair for the Commission, which will comprise 16 members. In addition to the Secretary of Agriculture, other members of the Commission will include the Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Commerce, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, two governors nominated by the National Governors’ Association, and two persons nominated by the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors. The Commission will also include six persons (nominated by the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of the Army) representing groups acutely affected by drought emergencies, such as the agricultural production community, the credit community, rural and urban water associations, Native Americans, and fishing and environmental interests. Numerous groups are currently requesting representation on the Commission.