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California Moves to Speed up Earthquake Fault Mapping
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Los Angeles, CA -  A plan to study earthquake faults and create zoning maps that could restrict development is moving forward again in California after funding was approved from Gov. Jerry Brown.

On Tuesday, the California Geological Survey began to zone the Santa Monica Fault through West Los Angeles. The area is among 2,000 miles of faulting across the state that still need to be mapped.

Budget cuts halted the effort in recent years.

Brown, however, has signed off on $1.49 million in new funding specifically for fault zoning, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In addition, the governor approved $1.3 million in annual dedicated funding that lawmakers agreed would be paid for with increased building permit fees.

The slow pace of mapping raised questions in recent months about whether city and state governments were doing enough to regulate the safety of new structures near known faults, the newspaper said.

Buildings directly atop a fault can be destroyed during a major earthquake.

Under state construction rules, developers seeking to build in a fault zone are required to do seismic studies and prove they are not building on a fault. But the law cannot be enforced unless the state completes the maps.

The renewed focus on the mapping was prompted in part after the Los Angeles City Council approved the Millennium Hollywood skyscraper project last year despite warnings from the state geologist that the location might be within the Hollywood fault zone, which is still being mapped.

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