Technical Committee for the support and monitoring of Seismic Microzonation studies (Opcm No. 3907)


After the Abruzzo earthquake of April 6, 2009, the "National Plan for Seismic Risk Prevention," Art. 11 of Decree-Law No. 39/2009, "Abruzzo Law" (converted by Law No. 77/2009), was launched, allocating 965 million euros over seven years. This is the first national plan that provides for multi-year planning of interventions, regulating fund utilization through specific ordinances.

The resources distributed among the regions, according to the average risk index of the territories, are intended, among other things, for seismic microzonation studies, which define areas exposed to amplification of seismic shaking or permanent ground deformation in case of an earthquake.

Seismic microzonation (SM) studies are valuable for earthquake risk prevention. These investigations are intended to streamline the knowledge of what happens during an earthquake, providing helpful information for land use governance, design, planning, emergency management, and post-earthquake reconstruction.
The technical reference document for such studies is the "Guidelines and Criteria for Seismic Microzonation," approved on November 13, 2008, by the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

To support and monitor these studies on a national level, an inter-institutional Technical Committee was established by Prime Ministerial Order (Opcm) No. 3907 of November 13, 2010, which operates free of charge at the Civil Protection Department and is chaired by the director of the Seismic and Volcanic Risk Office.
The Technical Committee, whose members were appointed by the Prime Ministerial Decree (Dpcm) of April 21, 2011, and subsequent amendments and additions, is composed of:

• three representatives of the regions, two designated by the Unified Conference and one appointed by rotation convened according to the territory involved in the examined studies
• four representatives of the Civil Protection Department
• one representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI), the National Association of Italian Municipalities, the National Union of Municipalities Mountain Communities (UNCEM), the National Council of Architects, the National Council of Geologists, the National Council of Engineers and the National Council of Surveyors and Graduate Surveyors.

In this section, documents produced by the regions and the Technical Committee are progressively made available to facilitate communication and transparency among the actors involved.

The national-level support and monitoring activities of SM studies and, starting in 2011 (Prime Ministerial Order 4007/12), of the Limit Condition in Emergency (CLE) analysis are performed by the Technical Committee, which meets periodically upon convocation of its Chairman (Director of the Office of Seismic and Volcanic Risk).
The Committee is responsible for:
- the development of the validation procedure of the SM studies and CLE analysis through the preparation of the preliminary assessments of the studies delivered by the Regions, the verification of compliance with the Guidelines and Criteria for Seismic Microzonation Studies (ICMS), and the standards of computer representation and archiving (SM and CLE), allowing the Regions to obtain the certification of compliance and final approval of the studies
- the collection and coordination of observations, comments, suggestions, and requests sent by the Regions, local authorities, and implementation entities regarding technical and procedural aspects related to SM studies and CLE analysis
- the preparation of contributions, recommendations, and documents to be presented to the Regions and Autonomous Provinces for approval to improve the study activities for seismic characterization of the territory aimed at proper planning.
The Committee is supported in its activities by a technical secretariat provided by CNR-IGAG under a specific agreement with the Civil Protection Department.