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H.730

Introduced by   Representatives Masland of Thetford, McCullough of Williston and Shand of Weathersfield

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Public safety; emergency management; all hazards

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to improve the Vermont emergency management laws.

AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF ALL HAZARDS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. § 6 is amended to read:

§ 6.  LOCAL ORGANIZATION FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

(a)  Each town and city of this state is hereby authorized and directed to establish a local organization for emergency management in accordance with the state emergency management plan and program.  The Except in a town that has adopted the town manager form of government in accordance with 24 V.S.A. chapter 37, the executive officer or legislative branch of the town or city is authorized to appoint a town or city chair for emergency management director who shall have direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of the local organization for emergency management, subject to the direction and control of the executive officer or legislative branch.  In a municipality that has adopted the town manager form of government, the town manager shall serve as the emergency management director or may appoint an emergency management director who shall have direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of the local organization for emergency management, subject to the direction and control of the town manager.  In the event the municipality has not adopted the town manager form of government and the executive officer or legislative branch of the municipality has not appointed an emergency management director, the executive officer or legislative branch shall be the municipal emergency management director.  The municipal emergency management director may appoint an emergency management coordinator and other staff as necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

(b)  Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each local organization for emergency management shall perform emergency management functions within the territorial limits of the town or city within which it is organized, and, in addition, shall conduct such functions outside of the territorial limits as may be required pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and in accord with such regulations as the governor may prescribe.

(c)  Each local organization shall participate in the development of a hazardous chemical or substance incident materials and an all-hazards response plan with the local emergency planning committee and the emergency management district.

(d)  Each local organization shall annually notify the local emergency planning committee on forms provided by the state emergency response commission of its capacity to perform emergency functions in response to radiological and hazardous chemical or substance incidents.  Each local organization shall perform the emergency functions indicated on the most recently submitted form in response to radiological or hazardous chemical or substance incidents as provided in this section.

(e)  In addition to powers granted in other portions of these statutes, the emergency management director or fire chief may order the evacuation of individuals living or working within a danger area if there is an immediate and present threat to life or health.

(f)  If the governor declares a state of local emergency in accordance with section 8 of this title, the legislative body of a municipality may, by resolution, adopt special emergency appropriations to pay for extraordinary expenses for the repair and reconstruction of streets, roads, or bridges, or other public property damaged by flood or hurricane when those repairs make it necessary to expend money in excess of town-meeting-approved appropriations and that will cause over-expenditure of the total amount appropriated.  The resolution adopting the special emergency appropriation shall designate the source of funds that will be appropriated.  The legislative body shall report on the special emergency appropriation at the next special or regular town meeting.

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 8(b)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  Mutual aid among towns and cities.  To sponsor, develop and approve mutual aid plans and agreements among the towns and cities of the state, similar to the mutual aid arrangements referred to above To enter into and form mutual aid districts for purposes similar to those listed in this subsection and for the purpose of giving or receiving fire, rescue, emergency medical, law enforcement, and public works assistance.  These agreements or districts may be intrastate or interstate.  A mutual aid district formed under this section shall be a public municipal corporation.  Whenever rendering aid or assistance pursuant to this section, the officers and members shall have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as if they were performing their duties in the political subdivision in which they are usually employed.

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 32(b)(5) is added to read:

(5)  In cooperation with municipalities, develop and maintain a local emergency operations plan that addresses hazardous materials.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us