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S.290

Introduced by   Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Campbell of Windsor District and Senator Condos of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Public safety; homeland security; emergency management

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to improve emergency management procedures in Vermont.

AN ACT RELATING TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC SAFETY

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

Sec. 1.  20 V.S.A. chapter 1 is redesignated to read:

Chapter 1.  Civil Defense Generally

Emergency Management

Sec. 2.  20 V.S.A. § 1 is amended to read:

§ 1.  PURPOSE AND POLICY

(a)  Because of the existing and increasing possibility of the occurrence of disasters or emergencies of unprecedented size and destructiveness resulting from enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action, or from flood, fire, storm, or other natural causes, or from radiological incidents or hazardous chemical or substance incidents deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade events (all hazards) and in order to insure that preparation of this state will be adequate to deal with such disasters or emergencies, to provide for the common defense and to protect the public peace, health, and safety, and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the state it is hereby found and declared to be necessary:

(1)  to To create a state emergency management agency, and to authorize the creation of local organizations for emergency management in the towns and cities of the state;.

(2)  to To confer upon the governor and upon the executive heads or legislative branches of the towns and cities of the state the emergency powers provided herein; and.

(3)  to To provide for the rendering of mutual aid among the towns and cities of the state, and with other states, and with the federal government with respect to the carrying out of emergency management functions; and.

(4)  to To authorize the establishment of such organizations and the taking of such steps as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

(b)  It is further declared to be the purpose of this chapter and the policy of the state that all emergency management functions of this state be coordinated to the maximum extent with the comparable functions of the federal government including its various departments and agencies, of other states and localities, and of private agencies of every type, to the end that the most effective preparation and use may be made of the nation’s manpower, resources, and facilities for dealing with any emergencies caused by enemy attack, sabotage or hostile action resulting from deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade events (all hazards).

Sec. 3.  20 V.S.A. § 2 is amended to read:

§ 2.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter,:

(1)  “All hazards” means any natural disaster, accident, civil insurrection, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist or criminal incident, significant events, and designated special events, any of which may occur individually, simultaneously, or in combination.

(2)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of public safety.

(3)  “Director” means the director of the Vermont division of emergency management.

(2)(4)  “Emergency functions” include firefighting services, police services, medical and health services, rescue, engineering, air raid warning services, communications, radiological, chemical and other special weapons defense response to weapons of mass destruction (radiological, chemical, biological, and explosive), evacuation of persons from stricken areas, emergency welfare services (civilian war aid), plant and livestock protection emergency transportation, temporary restoration of public utility services, other functions related to civilian protection and all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of these functions.

(3)(5)  “Emergency management” means the preparation for and carrying out of all emergency functions, other than the functions for which military forces or other federal agencies are primarily responsible, to prevent minimize and repair injury and damage resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action or from flood, fire, storm or other natural causes, or from radiological incidents or hazardous chemical or substance incidents and the preparation and planning, plan, mitigate, and support response and recovery efforts from all hazards; and the preparation, equipping, exercising training, and planning designed to insure that this state is and its communities are prepared to deal with such disasters or emergencies and includes civil defense activities.

(6)  “First responders” means fire service workers, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement officers, and others whose action may reduce or eliminate the immediate or short-term threat to human life or property, or both, from any or all hazards.

(4)  “Civil defense” (7)  “Homeland security” means the preparation for and carrying out of all emergency functions, other than the functions for which military forces or other federal agencies are primarily responsible, to prevent, minimize, or repair injury and damage resulting from or caused by enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action.

(8)  “Hazard mitigation” means any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term threat to human life and property from natural hazards.

(5)(9)  “Hazardous chemical or substance” means:

* * *

(6)(10)  “Hazardous chemical or substance incident” means any mishap or occurrence involving hazardous chemicals or substances which that may pose a threat to persons humans or property.

(7)(11)  “Radiological incident” means any mishap or occurrence involving radiological activity which may pose a threat to persons or property.

(12)  “Volunteer” means any individual, excluding all paid officers and employees of state agencies, departments, divisions, boards, commissions, and institutions, and the Vermont historical society, who provide emergency management services at the request of the department of public safety and are under the direction and control of that agency, but who do not receive financial compensation.

(13)  “Sensitive information” means spatial data, site layouts, response plans, or emergency procedures held or prepared by public entities or by private entities that are considered critical infrastructure or containing Tier II substances, where release of this data constitutes a security risk that outweighs the benefits of making it public.  The commissioner shall determine what information qualifies as sensitive, and shall create a protocol no later than

July 1, 2006, regarding the necessary release and sharing of sensitive information.  Sensitive information shall not be considered a public record pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 317.

Sec. 4.  20 V.S.A. § 3(b) and (c) are amended to read:

(b)  There shall be a director of Vermont emergency management who shall be in immediate charge of the division.  The director shall be appointed by the commissioner, with the approval of the governor.  The director shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner and shall hold no other state office.  The director shall perform all the following duties:

* * *

(2)  Maintain liaison and cooperation with emergency management agencies and organizations of the federal government and, other states, and Canada.

* * *

(c)  The commissioner, subject to the approval of the governor, shall delegate to the several departments and agencies of the state government appropriate emergency management responsibilities, and review and coordinate the emergency management activities of the departments and agencies with each other and with the activities of the districts and neighboring states, the neighboring provinces of Canada, and the federal government.

Sec. 5.  20 V.S.A. § 3a is amended to read:

§ 3a.  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION; DUTIES

In addition to other duties required by law, the emergency management division shall:

(1)  Prepare and maintain a comprehensive state emergency management plan that includes an emergency operations plan, a radiological emergency response plan, and a hazard mitigation plan in cooperation with other state, regional, and local agencies and that is in compliance with adopted federal standards for emergency management.

(2)  The radiological emergency response plan shall be designed to protect the lives and property of persons individuals and visitors residing within this state who might be threatened as the result of their proximity to any operating nuclear reactor.  The plan shall be formulated in accordance with procedures approved by the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The At a minimum, the plan shall provide for all the following:

* * *

(2)(3)  Assist the state emergency response commission, the local emergency planning committees and the municipally established local organizations referred to in section 6 of this title in carrying out their designated emergency management functions, including developing, implementing, and coordinating emergency response plans.

(3)(4)  Provide administrative support to the state emergency response commission.

Sec. 6.  20 V.S.A. § 5 is amended to read:

§ 5.  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS

(a)  Immediately subsequent to the passage of this chapter the The governor shall divide the state into emergency management districts not exceeding ten in number, one to correspond to each Vermont state police troop area.  In making these divisions due consideration shall be given to existing road and rail communication systems and population centers, to the end that each  Each district shall be a reasonably self sustaining self-sustaining, operating emergency management unit.  District boundaries shall coincide with existing town or city boundaries.

(b)  The emergency management executive in each district shall be known as the district coordinator.  The district coordinator shall be appointed by the commissioner with the approval of the governor and upon due consideration of the recommendations of city and town officials within the district and shall serve during the pleasure of the commissioner.  The district coordinator shall discharge emergency management powers within his or her district and shall be assisted by a suitable staff, appointed under regulations prescribed by the governor and subject to his or her direction and control.  Each emergency management district shall prepare and maintain a hazardous chemical or substance an all-hazards incident response plan in cooperation with the any local emergency planning committee (LEPC) in that district and other state and local agencies.  The district coordinator shall oversee the preparation of an

all-hazards incident response plan for submission to the commissioner or designee for approval.

Sec. 7.  20 V.S.A. § 7 is amended to read:

§ 7.  MOBILE SUPPORT UNITS

(a)  Organization.  The commissioner, with the approval of the governor, is authorized to create and establish such number of mobile support units as may be necessary to reinforce emergency management organizations in stricken areas and with due consideration of the plans of the federal government, the government of Canada, and of other states.  The mobile support units established under the authority of this section shall be organized, administered, and operated under regulations prescribed by the governor.  These mobile support units shall be subject to call to duty and shall perform these functions in this state, Canada, or in other states in accord with regulations prescribed by the governor, in accord and with the terms of this chapter.

(b)  Personnel; powers and immunities, compensation.  

(1)  Personnel of mobile support units while on duty, whether within or without the state, shall:

(1)(A)  if they are employees of the state, have the powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities and receive the compensation incidental to their employment;

(2)(B)  if they are employees of a town or city political subdivisions of the state, have the powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities and receive the compensation incidental to their employment; and

(3)(C)  if they are not employees of the state, or a political subdivision thereof, be entitled to appropriate compensation as fixed by the emergency management board commissioner or designee with the approval of the governor, and to the same rights and immunities as are provided by law for the employees of this state.

(2)  All personnel of mobile support units shall, while on duty, shall be subject to the operational control of the authority in charge of emergency management activities in the area in which they are serving, and shall be reimbursed for all actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses.

(c)  Reimbursement of towns and cities municipalities.  The state shall reimburse a town or city political subdivisions of the state for the compensation paid and actual and necessary travel, subsistence, and maintenance expenses of employees of such town or city political subdivisions of the state while serving as members of a mobile support unit, and for all payments of death, disability, or injury of such employees incurred in the course of such duty, and for all losses of or damage to supplies and equipment of such town or city political subdivisions of the state resulting from the operation of such mobile support unit.

* * *

Sec. 8.  20 V.S.A. § 8 is amended to read:

§ 8.  GENERAL POWERS OF GOVERNOR

* * *

(b)  In performing his or her the duties under this chapter, the governor is further authorized and empowered:

* * *

(2)  Plans.  To prepare a comprehensive plan and program for the civil defense emergency management of this state, such plan and program to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans of this state, of the federal government, the Canadian government, and of other states to the fullest possible extent, and to coordinate the preparation of plans and programs for emergency management with emergency management districts, local emergency planning commissions, regional planning commissions, and by the cities and towns municipalities of this state, such plans to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans and program of this state to the fullest possible extent.

(3)  Inventories, training, mobilization.  In accordance with such plan and program for the civil defense emergency management of the state, to ascertain the requirements of the state or the towns and cities thereof municipalities for food or clothing or other necessities of life in the event of attack in any all-hazards event and to plan for and procure supplies, medicines, materials, and equipment for the purposes set forth in this chapter; to make surveys of the industries, resources and facilities within the state as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, provided that no inventory or record of privately owned firearms shall be made under authority of this or any other provision of this chapter; to institute training programs and public information programs, and to take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of civil defense emergency management organizations in advance of actual disaster, to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped forces of civil defense emergency management personnel in time of need.

(4)  Cooperation with the president and others.  To cooperate with the president and the heads of the armed forces, and the civil defense homeland security agency of the United States, and with the officers and agencies of other states in matters pertaining to the civil defense emergency management of the state and nation and the incidents thereof; and in connection therewith, to take any measures not inconsistent with the constitution of this state, which he or she the governor may deem proper to carry into effect any request for the president and the appropriate federal officers and agencies, for any action looking to civil defense emergency management, including but not limited to, the direction or control of (A) black-outs and practice black-outs, air raid drills, mobilization of civil defense emergency management forces, and other tests, and exercises, (B); warnings and signals for drills or attacks and the mechanical devices to be used in connection therewith, (C) the effective screening or extinguishing of all lights and lighting devices and appliances, (D) emergencies, shutting off water mains, gas mains, electric power connections, and the suspension of all other utility services, (E); the conduct of civilians and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic during, prior, and subsequent to drills or attack, (F); public meetings or gatherings,; and (G) the evacuation and reception of the civilian population.

(5)  To utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the state and of the municipalities of the state, and all the officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend services and facilities to the governor as the governor may request.

(5)(6)  Law enforcement.  To take such action and give such directions to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with the orders, rules, and regulations made pursuant thereto.

(6)(7)  Delegation of authority.  To delegate any authority vested in the governor under this chapter to the commissioner, or designee.

(7)(8)  Mutual aid agreements with other states.  On behalf of this state to enter into reciprocal aid agreements under this chapter and pursuant to compacts with other states and the federal government or province of a foreign country under such terms as the Congress of the United States may prescribe. Such These mutual aid arrangements shall be limited to the furnishing or exchange of food, clothing, medicine, and other supplies; engineering services; emergency housing; police services; national or state guards while under the control of the state; health; medical and related services; fire fighting, rescue, transportation and construction services and equipment; personnel necessary to provide or conduct these services; and such other supplies, equipment, facilities, personnel, and services as may be needed; the reimbursement of costs and expenses for equipment, supplies, personnel, and similar items for mobile support units, fire fighting, and police units and health units; and on such terms and conditions as are deemed necessary.

(8)(9)  Mutual aid among towns and cities municipalities.  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 in this section.

Sec. 9.  20 V.S.A. § 9 is amended to read:

§ 9.  EMERGENCY POWERS OF GOVERNOR

Subject to the provisions hereinafter stated of this chapter, in the event of a natural disaster, a radiological incident, hazardous chemical or substance incident or an enemy attack deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade event (all hazards) upon the United States or Canada, any of which causes or may cause substantial damage or injury to persons individuals or property within the bounds of the state in any manner, the governor may proclaim a state of emergency within the entire state or any portion or portions of the state.  Thereafter the governor shall have and may exercise for such period as he or she shall find as long as the governor determines the emergency exists to exist the following additional powers within such area or areas:

* * *

Sec. 10.  20 V.S.A. § 10 is amended to read:

§ 10.  -REQUEST TO GOVERNOR BY MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES

The natural disaster all-hazards event provisions of this chapter shall not be brought into action as herein provided, unless a selectman of a town the municipal director of emergency management, a member of the selectboard, or the president a member of the board of trustees in a village, or the city or town manager, or the mayor of a city, that is within the area affected by a natural disaster, an all-hazards event shall declare an emergency and request the governor to find that a state of emergency exists and he the governor so finds.

Sec. 11.  20 V.S.A. § 13 is amended to read:
§ 13.  TERMINATION OF EMERGENCIES

(a)  The governor, with the concurrence of a majority of the Vermont emergency management board, shall have the power to:

(1)  May terminate by proclamation the emergencies provided for in sections 9 and 11 of this title; provided, however, that no emergencies shall be terminated prior to the termination of such emergency as provided in federal law.

(2)  May declare the state of emergency terminated in any area affected by a deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade event (all hazards).

(3)   Upon receiving notice that a majority of the legislative branch of a municipality affected by a natural disaster no longer desires that the state of emergency continue within its municipality, shall declare the state of emergency terminated within that particular municipality.  Upon the termination of the state of emergency, the functions as set forth in section 9 of this title shall cease, and the local authorities shall resume control.

Sec. 12.  20 V.S.A. § 20(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Except in the case of willful misconduct or gross negligence, the state, any of its agencies, political subdivisions, local emergency planning committees, or an emergency management worker, individual, partnership, association or corporation involved in civil defense or emergency management activities shall not be liable for the death of or any injury to persons humans or loss or damage to property resulting from an emergency management service or response activity, including, but not limited to, the development of local emergency plans and the response to those plans.

Sec. 13.  20 V.S.A. § 21 is amended to read:

§ 21.  COMPENSATION FOR INJURY OR DEATH

In emergencies declared as hereinbefore provided in sections 9 and 11 of this title under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the governor, civil defense or, emergency management workers actually engaged in civil defense or emergency management duties will be considered as temporary state employees volunteers within the scope of sections 601-710 of Title 21; provided, however, that those awards shall be charged against appropriations for the purposes of this chapter.  Under such rules and regulations as the governor may prescribe such protection against injury or death shall be afforded to civil defense or emergency management workers regularly engaged in civil defense or emergency management training exercises authorized and directed by the governor.  Except to the extent that workers’ compensation is provided by an insurance carrier, the state shall be responsible for the compensation of an emergency management volunteer’s injury or death.  Awards made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be less than the minimum amount provided by law for workers’ compensation and shall not exceed the maximum amounts as provided by law for such compensation.  This section shall not apply to any individual entitled to compensation for injury or death under any other provision of law, nor shall it apply during any period in which the United States government may assume the responsibility for compensation for civil defense or emergency management workers in the event of injury or death.

Sec. 14.  20 V.S.A. § 22 is amended to read:

§ 22.  POLITICAL ACTIVITY PROHIBITED

No organization for civil defense or emergency management established under the authority of this chapter shall participate in any form of political activity, nor shall it be employed directly or indirectly for political purposes.

Sec. 15.  20 V.S.A. § 25 is amended to read:

§ 25.  MATCHING FUNDS

To the extent of any appropriation available to carry out the purposes of this chapter, federal moneys for civil defense and emergency management within the state may be matched therefrom.

Sec. 16.  20 V.S.A. § 28 is amended to read:

§ 28.  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT MEDICAL PROGRAM

The department of health is hereby directed, within the limits of appropriations made to it and through its authorized personnel, to plan and develop a comprehensive emergency management medical program to protect and assist the people of the state in emergencies or natural disasters deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade events (all hazards).

Sec.  17.  20 V.S.A. § 29 is amended to read:

§ 29.  CIVIL DEFENSE EMERGENCY SHELTERS; NO PRIVATE

          LIABILITY

Any person owning or controlling premises who voluntarily and without compensation grants a license or privilege, or otherwise permits the designation or use of the whole or any part of such land and premises for the purpose of sheltering persons individuals during an actual enemy attack a declared emergency or practice civilian defense alert drill in cooperation with federal, state or political subdivision shall, together with his successors in interest not be civilly liable for negligence causing the death of, or injury to, any person individual on or about such the land and premises or for loss of, or damage to the property of such the person during such an actual enemy attack or practice civilian defense alert an emergency or practice drill.

Sec. 18.  20 V.S.A. § 30 is amended to read:

§ 30.  STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMMISSION; CREATION

(a)  A state emergency response commission is created.  The commission shall consist of 11 15 members, six ex officio members, including the commissioner of public safety, the secretary of natural resources, the secretary of transportation, the commissioner of health, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets and the commissioner of labor and industry, or their designees; and five nine public members, including two representatives of a representative from local government, one of which shall represent a local emergency planning committee, a regional planning commission, the career fire service and one shall represent the police, a representative of the transportation industry, a representative of, the volunteer fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical service, an industry required to report to the commission, and one representative of the public.  The director of emergency management shall be the secretary of the commission without vote.

(b)  The five nine public members shall be appointed by the governor for staggered three year terms.  The governor shall appoint the chair of the commission.

(c)  Members of the commission, except state employees on paid time, who attend meetings, shall be entitled to a per diem and expenses as provided in section 1010 of Title 32.

Sec. 19.  20 V.S.A. § 31 is amended to read:

§ 31.  STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMMISSION; DUTIES

(a)  The commission shall have authority to:

* * *

(3)  Designate local emergency planning districts and to appoint local emergency planning committees.  To the extent practicable, local emergency planning districts may coincide with the emergency management districts designated by the governor.

(4)  Oversee Review and comment on the development and implementation of local emergency response plans by local emergency planning committees and provide assistance to those committees in executing their duties.

(5)  Develop and maintain Review and comment on a plan for providing state assistance to local government in for all hazards, including an emergency involving hazardous chemicals or substances.

(6)  Review and comment on the comprehensive state emergency management plan and local emergency planning committee response plans.

(b)  The commission shall also perform the following duties:

(1)  Develop a plan for coordinated disaster response operations to supplement, aid or advise local and state jurisdictions or other parties involved when there has been an accident involving the transportation of hazardous materials.

(2)(7)  Meet with interested parties, which may include representatives of the carrier industry shippers, and state and local agencies, having an interest, responsibility or expertise concerning hazardous materials.

(3)(8)  Maintain Ensure that a state plan to go into effect when an accident occurs involving the transportation of hazardous materials.  The plan shall be is field tested at least once annually.

(c)(9)  Any rules adopted Jointly adopt rules concerning reportable quantities of economic poison as defined in 6 V.S.A. § 911(5) shall be jointly adopted by the commission and with the agency of agriculture, food and markets.  The commission may enter into contracts with governmental agencies or private organizations to carry out the duties of this section.

(10)  Coordinate statewide efforts and draft policies regarding planning, mitigation, preparedness, and response to all-hazards events to be approved by the commissioner.

(11)  Approve funding for awards to be made by the commissioner for training, special studies, citizen corps councils, CERT, and hazardous materials response capacity from funds that are available from federal sources or through the hazardous substances fund created in section 38 of this title.  The commission may create committees necessary to mitigation or homeland security or any other related purpose and to delegate funding approval powers to those committees.

Sec. 20.  20 V.S.A. § 32 is amended to read:

§ 32.  LOCAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEES; CREATION;

          DUTIES

(a)  Local emergency planning committees shall be appointed by the state emergency response commission.

(b)  Local emergency planning committees should include representatives from the following:  fire departments, local and regional emergency medical services, local, county, and state law enforcement, media, transportation,  regional planning commissions, hospitals, industry, the National Guard, and any other interested public or private individual or organization.

(c)  A local emergency planning committee shall perform all the following duties:

(1)  Carry out all the requirements of a committee pursuant to Title III of SARA of 1986, EPCRA, including preparing a local emergency planning committee response plan that may be expanded to all hazards and all phases of emergency management and at a minimum includes the following:

(A)  Identifies facilities and transportation routes of extremely hazardous substances.

(B)  Describes emergency response procedures, including those identified in facility plans.

(C)  Designates a local emergency planning committee coordinator and facility coordinators to implement the plan.

(D)  Outlines emergency notification procedures.

(E)  Describes how to determine the probable affected area and population by releases.

(F)  Describes local emergency equipment and facilities and the persons responsible for them.

(G)  Outlines evacuation plans.

(H)  Provides a training program including schedules for emergency responders.

(I)  Provides methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans.

* * *

(3)  Consult and coordinate with the heads of local government emergency services, the emergency management division of the department of public safety director or designee, regional planning commissions, and the managers of all facilities within the district regarding the facility plan.

(4)  Review and evaluate requests for funding and other resources and advise the state emergency response commission and district coordinators concerning disbursement of funds.

(5)  Work to support the various emergency services, mutual aid systems, town governments, regional planning commissions, state agency district offices and others in their area in conducting coordinated all‑hazard emergency management activities.

(c)(d)  Nothing in this section shall exempt any person or facility from the provisions of sections 1721 - 1731 of Title 18.

Sec. 21.  20 V.S.A. § 38(b) is amended to read:

(b)  There is created a hazardous chemical and substance emergency response fund which shall include all moneys paid to the state pursuant to section 39 of this title.  The fund shall be managed pursuant to the provisions of 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5.  The fund shall be used to implement and administer this chapter, including planning, training and response activities as well as the purchase of equipment and assisting local organizations referred to in section 6 of this chapter to develop emergency response plans.  Each local emergency planning district shall receive a minimum grant of $1,500.00 $6,000.00 annually and may petition the state emergency response commission for additional funds if needed and available.  After disbursement of the minimum grant amounts and after consideration of the comments and evaluation received from the appropriate local emergency planning committee, the commissioner with the approval of the emergency response commission may make additional grants from the fund to any local emergency planning committee or regional emergency response commission as well as to any political subdivisions including any city, town, fire district, incorporated village and other incorporated entities in the state in accordance with rules adopted by the state emergency response commission.  Unless waived by the state emergency response commission, grants shall be matched by local governments in the amount of 25 percent of the grant.  The matching may be by contribution or by privately furnished funds or by in-kind services, space or equipment which  would otherwise be purchased by a local emergency planning committee.

Sec. 22.  20 V.S.A. § 39 is amended to read:

§ 39.  FEES TO THE HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES FUND

(a)  Every person required to report the use or storage of hazardous chemicals or substances pursuant to Title III of SARA of 1986 shall pay the following annual fees for each hazardous chemical or substance, as defined by the state emergency response commission, that is present at the facility:

(1)  $33.00 $40.00 for quantities between 100 and 999 pounds.

(2)  $50.00 $60.00 for quantities between 1,000 and 9,999 pounds.

(3)  $80.00 $100.00 for quantities between 10,000 and 99,999 pounds.

(4)  $250.00 $300.00 for quantities between 100,000 and 999,999 pounds.

(5)  $750.00 $1,000.00 for quantities exceeding 999,999 pounds.

(6)  An additional fee of $150.00 $200.00 will be assessed for each extremely hazardous chemical or substance as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 11002.

* * *

(e)  The state or any political subdivision, including any municipality, fire district, emergency management service, or incorporated village, is authorized to recover any and all reasonable direct expenses incurred as a result of the response to and recovery of a hazardous chemical or substance incident from the person or persons responsible for the incident.  All funds collected by the state under this subsection shall be deposited into the hazardous chemical and substance emergency response fund created pursuant to subsection 38(b) of this chapter.  The attorney general shall act on behalf of the state to recover these expenses.  The state or political subdivision shall be awarded costs and reasonable attorneys’ attorney fees that are incurred as a result of exercising the provisions of this subsection.

Sec. 23.  20 V.S.A. § 45 is amended to read:

§ 45.  EMERGENCY RELIEF AND ASSISTANCE

(a)  If a state of emergency due to a natural disaster deliberately or accidentally caused natural or manmade event (all hazards) is declared by the governor, the emergency board established by 32 V.S.A. § 131 may authorize the secretary of administration to expend from the emergency relief and assistance fund such funds necessary to meet match requirements for federal grants and to award low interest loans and grants to municipalities that sustain damage to public infrastructure as a result of a natural disaster and to persons whose homes, farms, or businesses are damaged by a natural disaster an

all-hazards event.  Assistance under this section may supplement assistance provided through federal and local emergency assistance programs, but eligibility for federal or local assistance shall not be required for eligibility under this section.  Funds utilized under this section shall be distributed in accordance with criteria and procedures established by rule by the secretary of administration.

* * *

(d)  There is created an emergency relief and assistance fund to be administered by the secretary of administration as a special fund under the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  The fund shall contain any amounts transferred to it under this section or appropriated to it by the general assembly.  Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the year shall remain in the fund.

* * *

Sec. 24.  21 V.S.A. § 601(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Public employment” means the following:

* * *

(O)  emergency management volunteers as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2;

(P)  the term “public employment” shall not include the following:

* * *

Sec. 25.  VERMONT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT; AGENCY OF

               NATURAL RESOURCES; EMERGENCY PLANNING; REPORTS

(a)  Vermont emergency management shall:

(1)  In cooperation with appropriate federal, state, regional, and local partners, develop a plan to be included in the state emergency plan that makes preparations for accepting evacuees who may flee to Vermont from nearby metropolitan areas because of a catastrophic disaster. 

(2)  Report to the general assembly no later than January 1, 2007.  The report shall include at a minimum the current shelter capacity in the state, the progress of the planning and preparation required under subdivision (1) of this subsection, and recommendations for meeting projected capacities and providing generators.

(b)  The agency of natural resources shall report to the general assembly no later than January 1, 2007 regarding progress made to address Vermont’s greatest natural threat, flooding and the resulting erosion hazard, laid out in the agency’s February 1999 report issued pursuant to No. 137 of the Acts of the 1997 Adj. Sess. (1998).

Sec. 26.  REPEAL

20 V.S.A. § 12 (relating to establishment of civil defense department) is repealed.

Sec. 27.  APPROPRIATION

There is appropriated in fiscal year 2007 from the general fund to the emergency relief and assistance fund, created in 20 V.S.A. § 45(d), the amount of $200,000.00.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us