Two federal actions provided incentive for the establishment of the Western States Seismic Policy Council: passage of Public Law 95-124 in 1977, the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act, and establishment of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) the following year.

In 1979, the Western States Conference on Earthquake Safety was held in Sparks, Nevada. The meeting was co-chaired by the California Seismic Safety Commission, Nevada Ad Hoc Panel on Seismic Hazard Mitigation and the Utah Seismic Safety Advisory Council. The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation provided assistance. In addition to California, Nevada, and Utah, the other invited states included Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Washington, a total of 8 states. The agenda was organized into work group sessions for the 50 participants.

The Summary Report of the meeting included: the formation of the Western States Seismic Policy Council, a commitment to meet in 1980, and the identification of four policy issues for the 1980 agenda. With the support of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and more recently, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Council has continued to meet every year.

In 1996 WSSPC was incorporated and later received its 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization status.

– Roy Breckenridge, Idaho Geological Survey

– David Love, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources

– Updated September 2, 1994 by Doug Bausch, WSSPC

– Updated August 30, 1996 by Steven Ganz, WSSPC

– Updated June, 2004 by Patti Sutch, WSSPC