NOAA 2004-R253
Contact: Tracey Lake

NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Officials from NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) today joined local government leaders, members of the community and managers from federal and local agencies to dedicate the new West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WC/ATWC) in Palmer, Alaska. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In 2003, a new Tsunami Warning Center building was constructed adjacent to the original WC/ATWC building. This new facility was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) certified building in the state of Alaska and within the U.S. Department of Commerce. LEED™ certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council when a building meets standards including state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The facility also received the 2004 White House Closing the Circle Award Honorable Mention for Sustainable Design/Green Building.

Among the distinguished guests joining Laura Furgione, acting director of the NWS Alaska Region, at the dedication ceremony were retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, NWS director; John Pennington, director, FEMA Region 10 of the Department of Homeland Security; and Alaska State Senators Lyda Green and Scott Ogan.

“As the mission of NOAA and the National Weather Service continues to evolve into an environmental forecasting model that considers entire ecosystems and their impacts on weather and climate, it only makes sense that we incorporate environmentally friendly design into new facilities,” said Johnson. “We're proud that this National Weather Service building was the first Department of Commerce facility to receive LEED™ certification. It raises the standard upon which all future NWS facilities will be judged.”

The Center’s area of responsibility includes all Pacific-wide tsunamigenic sources that could affect the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska coasts.

“This new facility provides upgraded power and communications capability, as well as office space for other governmental and educational organizations, which will assure the WC/ATWC will continue to provide timely and high quality products to the public,” said Furgione.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NWS operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:


NOAA’s National Weather Service: