The wide-ranging Natural Resources Management Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and which passed Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, includes a provision to improve volcano early warning and monitoring systems.
“We’re trying to enhance volcano monitoring by giving more resources to those facilities that don’t currently have monitoring,” Cantwell told The Columbian on Tuesday, pointing to Glacier Peak and Mount Baker.
Glacier Peak has a single monitoring device, and much of Mount Baker’s monitoring apparatus has been dismantled over time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Washington is home to five active volcanoes, four of which are considered high-risk by the USGS.
The agency’s list of hazardous volcanoes, updated last year, ranks Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier among the top five most dangerous volcanoes in the country. Mount Baker and Glacier Peak also earned “very high” threat rankings, according to the USGS, and Mount Adams is ranked as a “high” threat.