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House Calendar

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2008

51st DAY OF ADJOURNED SESSION

House Convenes at 10:00 A M

TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                                                               Page No.

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 135  Age for Participation in Corrections Education Program..................... 591

          Rep. Ancel Amendment

H. 432  Establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day................................... 591

H. 775  Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies............................................. 592

H. 865  Relating to Vermont Milk Commission............................................... 592

S. 257  Medicaid Coverage of Naturopathic Physicians.................................. 592

S. 351  Consolidating Management of Public Records.................................... 592

J.R.H. 53  Electronic Payment Interchange Rates Assessed........................... 592

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 867  Insurance Plan for Athletic Trainer Services....................................... 592

          Rep. Atkins for Government Operations

          Rep. Atkins Amendment

Favorable with Amendment

H. 352  Reducing Lead Hazards in Housing.................................................... 592

          Rep. Trombley for General, Housing and Military Affairs

          Rep. Mrowicki for Human Services...................................................... 617

Favorable

H. 709  An Act Relating to Campgrounds...................................................... 646

          Rep. Wright for General, Housing and Military Affairs

J.R.H. 45  Repeal Planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot Program.............. 646

          Rep. Oxholm for Education

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 575    Small eligible telecommunications carriers......................................... 646

 

Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

H. 864  Miscellaneous Amendments to Education Law................................... 646

 

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bills for Second Reading

H. 870  Regulation of Professions and Occupations........................................ 646

          Rep. Evans for Government Operations

 

H. 871  Professional Requirements Attorneys, Constables and  Sheriffs .......... 646

          Rep. Lippert for Judiciary

 

H. 873  Clean Up of Lake Champlain and other State Waters........................ 647

          Rep. Deen for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources

Favorable with Amendment

H. 112  Protection of Health Care for Public Safety Personnel ....................... 647

          Rep. Fisher for Human Services

H. 549  Establishing Buffer Zones Along Waterways...................................... 650

          Rep. Deen for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources

H. 806  Relating to Public Water Systems...................................................... 663

          Rep. Randall for Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources

H. 859  Relating to Reducing Recidivism and Corrections Costs..................... 665

          Rep. Rodgers for Institutions

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S. 209  Vermont Energy and Affordability Act................................................ 672

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ACTION CALENDAR

     Third Reading

H. 135

     An act relating to increasing the age for mandatory participation in the corrections systems education program.

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Ancel of Calais to H. 135

Moves the bill be amended as follows:

First:  in Sec. 1, subsection (c), after the struck sentence, by adding a new sentence to read:  “Within the limits of funds made available for this specific purpose, the commissioner of education shall pay the costs of this program in excess of costs defined in subsection (d) of this section.

Second:  in Sec. 1, subsection (d), by striking the final new sentence in its entirety

Third:  in Sec. 1, subdivision (e)(3), by striking the following: “, such as a general education development program or a program operated by a public high school, approved by” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “upon approval by

Fourth:  by striking Sec. 2 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 2 to read:

Sec. 2.  COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL OF VERMONT; SPECIAL EDUCATION; STUDY

On or before January 15, 2009, the commissioner of education and the commissioner of corrections shall report to the house and senate committees on education, the senate committee on judiciary, and the house committee on institutions and corrections regarding information gathered from the community high school of Vermont, and recommendations for future legislation.  The report shall include a description of the pupils served, current funding mechanisms, and a proposed funding mechanism to meet the general and special education needs of the pupils.

H. 432

     An act relating to establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

 

H. 775

     An act relating to low-profit limited liability companies.

H. 865

An act relating to Vermont Milk Commission.

S. 257

An act relating to Medicaid coverage of naturopathic physicians.

S. 351

An act relating to consolidating management of public records.

J. R. H. 53

     Joint resolution urging Congress to address the dramatic rise of electronic payment interchange rates that merchants and consumer are assessed.

Committee Bill for Second Reading

H. 867

An act relating to health insurance plan coverage for athletic trainer services.

(Rep. Atkins of Winooski will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

Amendment to be offered by Rep. Atkins to H. 867

Moves to amend in Sec. 1, 8 V.S.A. § 4088f(a), by striking the first and second sentences in their entirety and inserting in lieu thereof new first and second sentences as follows: To the extent a health insurance plan provides coverage for a particular type of health service or for any particular medical condition that is within the scope of practice of athletic trainers, a licensed athletic trainer who acts within the scope of practice authorized by law may bill the health insurer directly for those services.  A health insurer may require that the athletic trainer services be provided by a licensed athletic trainer under contract with the insurer.

Favorable with Amendment

H. 352

     An act relating to reducing lead hazards in housing.

Rep. Trombley of Grand Isle, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Lead is highly toxic to humans, particularly to young children, and can cause irreversible damage resulting in long‑lasting, permanent neurological damage, such as decreases in I.Q. and conditions associated with school failure, delinquency, and criminal behavior.

(2)  Medical research shows that there is no safe level of lead, and that decreases in I.Q. are greatest for the first ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in young children.

(3)  In February 2007, the Vermont department of health announced that it would lower the blood lead level that triggers governmental action from ten to five micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.

(4)  In 2004, four percent of all Vermont children aged one and two years who received lead screening–or approximately 300 children–had blood lead levels at or above ten micrograms per deciliter.  Approximately one‑third or nearly 3,000 of all children tested had blood lead levels at or above five micrograms per deciliter.

(5)  The primary exposure to lead for Vermont children is lead‑based paint in housing built prior to 1978 when lead was banned in residential paint.   Vermont has over 112,000 owner‑occupied housing units and over 56,000 rental housing units built prior to 1978.

(6)  Vermont’s lead law, which has been in place since 1996, attempts to prevent exposing children to lead in rental housing by requiring that essential maintenance practices be performed in nearly all rental housing units built prior to 1978.  The only provisions that attempt to prevent lead poisoning in children in owner‑occupied housing are related to education.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 1751 is amended to read:

§ 1751.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  Words and phrases used in this chapter or in rules adopted pursuant to this chapter and not defined herein shall have the meanings given to them have the same definitions as provided in the Federal Residential Lead‑Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.  In the event of unless there is an inconsistency between meanings given in such federal act and meanings given in this chapter, the federal act shall apply except where meanings given in this chapter serve to narrow, limit or restrict the applicability of a word or phrase, in which cases the narrower meaning shall apply in which case, any definition provided in this section that narrows, limits, or restricts shall control.

(b)  For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Abatement” means any set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead‑based paint hazards in accordance with standards established by appropriate state and federal agencies.  The term includes:

(A)  the removal Removal of lead‑based paint and lead‑contaminated dust, the permanent containment or encapsulation of lead‑based paint, the replacement of lead‑painted surfaces or fixtures, and the removal or covering of lead‑contaminated soil; and .

(B)  all All preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post‑abatement clearance testing activities associated with such measures.

(2)  “Certified inspector” or “licensed inspector” means an individual who has been trained by an accredited training program and certified by the department to perform the duties of an inspector or risk assessor.  “Child” or “children” means an individual or individuals under the age of 18 years.

(3)  “Child care facility” means a day care facility or family day care home as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 4902 that was constructed prior to 1978.

(4)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of health.

(5)  “Comprehensive environmental lead inspection” or “inspection” “Inspection” means a surface‑by‑surface investigation to determine the presence of lead‑based paint and other lead hazards and the provision of a report explaining the results of the investigation.

(6)  “Department” means the department of health.

(7)(5)  “Deteriorated paint” means any interior or exterior lead‑based paint that is peeling, chipping, chalking, flaking, or cracking or any lead‑based paint located on an interior or exterior surface or fixture that is damaged or deteriorated.

(8)(6)  “Dwelling” means either of the following:

(A)  a single‑family dwelling, A detached family residential unit including attached structures such as porches and stoops; or.

(B)  a A single‑family dwelling residential unit in a structure that contains more than one separate residential dwelling unit, and which is used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, in whole or in part, as the home or residence of one or more persons.

(7)  “EMP” means essential maintenance practices required by section 1759 of this title.

(8)  “Elevated blood lead level” means having a blood lead level of five micrograms per deciliter of human blood, or a lower level as determined by the commissioner.

(9)  “Independent dust clearance” means a visual examination and collection of environmental samples, including dust samples, by a licensed inspector in whose firm or corporation lead inspector or lead assessor who has no financial interest in and is independent of both the person performing the work and the owner of the property to be inspected has no financial interest.  The licensed inspector lead inspector or lead assessor shall use methods specified by the department and analysis by an accredited laboratory to determine that lead exposures do not exceed limits set by the department utilizing current information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(10)  “Interim controls” means a set of measures designed to temporarily reduce human exposure to lead‑based paint hazards, including specialized cleaning, repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment, ongoing monitoring of lead‑based paint hazards or potential hazards, and the establishment of management and resident education programs.

(11)  “Lead‑based paint” means paint or other surface coatings that contain lead in excess of limits established under section 302(c) of the Federal Lead‑Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act.

(12)  “Lead contractor” means any person engaged in deleading or lead hazard reduction as a business and includes consultants and inspectors who design, perform, oversee or evaluate lead hazard reduction projects employing one or more individuals licensed by the department under this chapter.

(13)  “Lead‑based paint activities” means:

(A)  in the case of target housing, risk assessment, inspection, and abatement.

(B)  in the case of any public building constructed before 1978, identification of lead‑based paint and materials containing lead‑based paint, deleading, and demolition.  The term “lead‑based paint activities” may be further limited or restricted by rule adopted by the secretary. “Lead abatement worker” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to perform abatements.

(14)  “Lead designer” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to prepare lead abatement project designs, occupant protection plans, and abatement reports.

(14)(15)  “Lead‑based paint hazard” or “LBP” “Lead hazard” means any condition that causes exposure to lead inside and in the immediate vicinity of target housing from water, lead‑contaminated dust, lead‑contaminated soil, lead‑contaminated paint that has deteriorated or is present in accessible surfaces, friction surfaces, or impact surfaces, or building materials that would result in adverse human health effects as defined by the department using current information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(15)  “Lead‑based paint hazard control” or “LBP hazard control” or “lead hazard control” means a measure or set of measures designed to control or eliminate human exposure to lead‑based paint hazards through methods that include interim controls, abatement, and complete removal.

(16)  “Lead poisoning” means a confirmed blood lead level in a child six years of age or younger greater than or equal to ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood, unless the commissioner finds by rule that a higher or lower concentration is necessary to protect public health.  “Lead inspector” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to conduct inspections.

(17)  “Lead risk assessor” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to conduct risk assessments.

(18)  “Lead‑safe renovator” means any person who has completed a lead‑safe training program approved by the department and has a current registration issued by the department to perform renovations in target housing or child care facilities in which interior or exterior lead‑based paint will be disturbed.

(19)  “Lead supervisor” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to supervise and conduct abatement projects and prepare occupant protection plans and abatement reports. 

(17)(20)  “Occupant” means any person who resides in, or regularly uses, a dwelling, car mobile dwelling unit, or structure.

(18)(21)  “Owner” means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:

(A)  Has legal title to any dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or of the property.

(B)  Has charge, care, or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility as agent of the owner or guardian of the estate of the owner.  An agent of the owner does not include real estate and property management functions where the agent is only responsible for the property management and does not have authority to fund capital or major property rehabilitation on behalf of the owner.

(C)  For purposes of publicly‑owned property only, the owner shall be the Is the chief executive officer of the municipal or state agency which that owns, leases, or controls the use of the publicly owned property.

(D)  A Is a person who holds indicia of ownership in a dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility furnished by the owner or person in lawful possession for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation shall not be considered an owner unless such person has taken full legal title of a dwelling or child care facility through foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or otherwise.  “Owner” does not include a person who holds indicia of ownership given by the person in lawful possession for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation.  Indicia of ownership includes interests in real or personal property that are held as security or collateral for repayment of a financial obligation such as a mortgage, lien, security interest, assignment, pledge, surety bond or guarantee and includes   participation rights of a financial institution used for legitimate commercial purposes in making or servicing the loan.

(E)  Owns a building in which a child care facility is located or owns the child care business, although the owner of the child care business may not own the building.

(19)(22)  “Rental target housing” means target housing offered for lease or rental under a rental agreement as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4451.  “Rental target housing” does not include a rented single room located within a residential dwelling unit in which the owner of the dwelling unit resides unless a child six years of age or younger resides in or is expected to reside in that dwelling unit.

(20)(23)  “Risk assessment” means an on‑site investigation by a licensed inspector or risk assessor lead risk assessor to determine and report the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead‑ based paint lead hazards, including information gathering about the age and history of the property and occupancy by children under the age of six years, visual inspection, limited wipe sampling, or other environmental sampling techniques, other appropriate risk assessment activities and a report on the results of the investigation.

(21)  “Secretary” means the secretary of the agency of human services.

(22)  “Severely lead‑poisoned” means a confirmed venous blood lead level in a child six years of age or younger that is greater than or equal to 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood or as defined by the commissioner.

(23)  “State inspector” means the commissioner or any person who is authorized in writing by the commissioner to conduct inspections for the department.

(24)  “Screen,” “screened,” or “screening” relating to blood lead levels, means the initial blood test to determine the presence of lead in a human.

 (24)(25)  “Target housing” means any dwelling or dwelling unit constructed prior to 1978 and used as a residence, except any 0‑bedroom residential dwelling unit or any residential dwelling unit located in multiple‑unit buildings or projects reserved for the exclusive use of the elderly or persons with disabilities, unless a child six years of age or younger resides in or is expected to reside in that housing.   “Target housing” does not include units in a hotel, motel, or other lodging, including condominiums, that are designed and rented for transient occupancy for travelers or vacationers and not intended to be used as a primary residence 30 days or less.

Sec. 3.  18 V.S.A. § 1752 is amended to read:

§ 1752.  ACCREDITATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS;
  CERTIFICATION, REGISTRATION AND LICENSURE OF
  ENVIRONMENTAL LEAD INSPECTORS AND LEAD
  CONTRACTORS, SUPERVISORS AND WORKERS

(a)  No later than six months after promulgation of final federal regulations under section 402 of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), the The department shall develop a program to administer and enforce the lead‑based paint activities training and certification standards, regulations, or requirements of this chapter and other requirements as established by the administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency for persons engaged in lead‑based paint lead abatement activities.  The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement and enforce this chapter, including establishing standards and specifications for registration, licensing, issuing a certificate, and accreditation of training programs both within and outside Vermont.

(b)  The secretary shall adopt emergency rules, and not later than January 1, 1994, the secretary shall adopt permanent rules, establishing standards and specifications for the accreditation of training programs both within and outside Vermont, including the mandatory topics of instruction, the knowledge and performance standards that must be demonstrated by graduates in order to be certified, and required qualifications for training programs and instructors. Such standards shall be designed to protect children, their families, and workers from improperly‑conducted lead‑based paint activities, and shall be at least as protective of human health and the environment as the federal program.  Hands‑on instruction and instruction for identification and proper handling of historic fabric and materials shall be components of the required training.  The commissioner shall issue certificates to all persons who satisfactorily complete an essential maintenance practices training program for lead hazard control, approved by the commissioner.

(c)  The commissioner shall certify risk assessors, designers, issue registrations and licenses to laboratories, inspectors, lead contractors, supervisors, abatement workers, and other persons engaged in lead‑based paint activities when such persons individuals, and firms, provided they have successfully completed an accredited a training program approved by the commissioner and met such other requirements as the secretary may, by rule, impose complied with all registration and licensing criteria required by the commissioner.

(d)  After the adoption of rules pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, no No person shall perform for compensation of any kind engage in any activity likely to disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint activities without first registering or obtaining a license from the commissioner, as provided in this section.  The commissioner may grant a license to a person who holds a comparable valid license from another state.

(e)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the authority of the secretary, the commissioner of health, the commissioner of labor, or the commissioner of environmental conservation under the provisions of any other law.  

Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 1754 is amended to read:

§ 1754.  PUBLIC EDUCATION

(a)  Beginning January 1, 1994, the The commissioner of health shall prepare and distribute clear and simple printed materials describing the dangers of lead poisoning, the need for parents to have their child children screened, how to have a child tested and receive a confirmation test, recommended nutrition and housekeeping practices, and materials on other lead hazards in housing, identifying possible sources of lead exposure in housing in addition to lead‑based paint, and describing methods for addressing those sources.  The commissioner shall work with persons and organizations involved in occupations that may involve lead‑based paint hazards or childhood lead poisoning to distribute the materials to their clients, patients, students, or customers whose work involves disturbance of lead‑based paint or preventing and treating elevated blood lead levels in humans, such as realtors, subcontractors, apartment owners, public housing authorities, pediatricians, family practitioners, nurse clinics, child clinics, other health care providers, child care and preschool operators, and kindergarten teachers to encourage them to distribute the materials to their clients, patients, students, or customers.  The commissioner shall also identify those points in time or specific occasions, when members of the public are in contact with public agencies and lead might be an issue, such as building permits, home renovations, and the ANFC and WIC appropriate state and federal programs, and make the materials available on these occasions.

(b)  The commissioner shall prepare an appropriate media campaign to educate the public on lead poisoning prevention.  The commissioner shall encourage professional property managers, rehab rehabilitation and weatherization contractors, minimum housing inspectors, social workers, and visiting nurses to attend education and awareness workshops.

(c)  The commissioner shall develop a program or approve a program, or both, to train owners and managers of rental target housing and child care facilities and their employees to perform essential maintenance practices.  The names and addresses of all persons who attend the approved training program shall be maintained as a public record that the commissioner shall provide to the department of housing and community affairs.

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 1755 is amended to read:

§ 1755.  UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO SCREENING

(a)  Not later than November 1, 1993, the The commissioner shall publish the results of the department’s lead poisoning prevalence study.  Not later than January 1, 1994, the commissioner shall publish and the guidelines establishing that establish the methods by which and the intervals at which children under six years of age are recommended to should be screened and tested given a confirmation test for blood lead poisoning, according to the age of the children and their probability of exposure to high‑dose sources of lead.  The guidelines shall take into account the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics and shall be updated as those recommendations are changed.  The commissioner may also shall recommend screening for lead poisoning in other high risk groups.

(b)  Not later than January 1, 1994, the Vermont  the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall recommend to the general assembly whether lead screening should be a common benefit under the universal access proposals it has presented, and, if so, how such benefits should be financed.  The cost of implementing the Vermont commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration’s plan under this chapter shall be included in the unified health care budget to be adopted by the authority effective July 1, 1994.

(c)  Beginning July 1, 1994, all All health care providers who provide primary medical care shall ensure that parents and guardians of children below the age of six are advised of the availability and advisability of screening and testing their children for lead poisoning in accordance with the commissioner’s guidelines,:

(1)  Screen all children one‑ and two‑years old for lead unless the parent or guardian of the child objects on the grounds that the procedure conflicts with the parent or guardian’s moral or religious tenets or practices.

(2)  Conduct a confirmation test of blood lead levels by venous draw for any child whose screening results are ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood or more.

(d)(c)  Any health care provider or employee thereof making the diagnosis of lead poisoning shall report such diagnosis to the department within such time and using such format as the department shall prescribe.  Any laboratory in Vermont which that analyzes blood samples of children below the age of six Vermont residents for lead levels shall report to the department such all information on blood lead analyses as required by the department may require including data on the number and results of blood lead analyses performed by the laboratory.  All health care providers who analyze blood samples for lead levels or who use laboratories outside Vermont to analyze blood samples of children below the age of six for lead levels shall report to the department such all information as required by the department may require including data on the number and results of such blood lead tests.  The commissioner shall establish procedures to ensure the confidentiality of the children and familiesAll blood lead data reports to the department shall include the name, date of birth, date of blood test, and address of the individual whose blood is analyzed and, if known, the owner of the residence of the individual.

(e)  After the guidelines established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section have been in place for two years, the commissioner shall determine the percentage of children below the age of six who are being screened in accordance with those guidelines.  If fewer than 75 percent of such children are receiving such screening, the secretary shall adopt rules to require that all health care providers who provide primary medical care to young children shall ensure that their patients are screened and tested according to the commissioner’s guidelines beginning January 1, 1997.  Such rules shall provide that no screening or testing shall be required pursuant to this subsection if the parent or guardian of the child objects to the child undergoing blood lead screening on the grounds that such screening conflicts with their moral or religious tenets or practices.

Sec. 6.  18 V.S.A. § 1756 is amended to read:

§ 1756.  ANNUAL REPORT 

(a)  The commissioner shall, at least annually, on or before October 15, analyze and summarize all aggregate the information collected during the previous fiscal year relating to lead screening and confirmation testing information provided by physicians, health care facilities, and laboratories and shall provide this information to all other local and state agencies involved with case management and lead hazard reduction.

(b)  The commissioner shall also at least annually on or before October 15 provide to the general assembly, the health community, and the general public an analysis and summary of such data, collected during the previous fiscal year, and a progress report on the commissioner’s efforts to prevent elevated blood lead poisoning in young children levels in a format that is easily understandable to nontechnical readers.  The report shall include:

(1)  The number and percentage of children under the age of six who have been screened and tested for lead poisoning had a confirmation test, and the number found to have lead poisoning at various blood lead levels of those children.

(2)  Estimates of the public and private costs incurred since July 1, 1993 to prevent, correct, or treat lead poisoning.

(3)  An analysis of barriers to universal blood screening of children under the age of six years.

(3)  The number of home visits conducted, work plans issued, and the number and nature of enforcement actions taken based on elevated blood lead levels.

(4)  Any report to the general assembly required by subsection 1757(d) of this title.

(5)  The number of annual EMP compliance certifications filed with the department.

(6)  The number and blood lead levels of all individuals not included in subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(7)  The commissioner’s recommendations for action.

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 1757 is amended to read:

§ 1757.  LEAD POISONED CHILDREN

(a)  Upon receiving a report that a child under age six has been diagnosed by a qualified physician to have lead poisoning, the a screening test result of ten or more micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, or a lower level as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner shall take prompt action to confirm the diagnosis ensure that the child obtains a confirmation test pursuant to subsection 1755(b) of this title.

(b)  If the child is severely lead poisoned has an elevated blood lead level, the commissioner shall provide for information on lead hazards to the parents or guardians of the child.

(c)  If the child has a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood and if resources permit, the commissioner:

(1)  Shall provide an inspection of the dwelling unit occupied by the child or the child care center the child attends, by a state inspector or licensed private inspector lead risk assessor, and a plan developed in consultation with the parents, owner, physician, and others involved with the child to minimize the exposure of the child to lead.  The plan developed under this subdivision shall require that any lead hazards identified through the inspection be addressed through interim controls or abatement.

(2)  The commissioner may May inspect and evaluate other dwelling units in a the building in which a severely lead‑poisoned the child has been identified as is living and if it is reasonable to believe that a child under the age of six occupies, receives care, or otherwise regularly frequents the other dwelling units in that building.

(3)  Shall promptly take necessary action to ensure compliance with this section including appropriate enforcement action.  If the commissioner finds a violation of section 1759 of this title, a civil penalty shall be assessed.

(c)  The commissioner shall work with the parents, owner, physician, and others involved with the child to develop a plan to minimize exposure of the child to lead hazards.

(d)  Concerning target housing which is rented or leased, on or before January 1, 1994, the secretary with the concurrence of the commissioner of housing and community affairs shall adopt rules to implement this section including rules which assure that prompt action will be taken to confirm a lead poisoning diagnosis, to inspect the possible sources of lead poisoning, and to secure voluntary compliance or to take necessary enforcement action.  Enforcement action shall include providing the child’s parents or guardians and the owner of the dwelling unit with appropriate educational materials on lead poisoning prevention and may include requiring the owner of the dwelling unit to initiate interim controls or abatement of lead‑based paint hazards within a specified time.  If resources do not permit the commissioner to provide the inspection and plan pursuant to subsection (b) of this section for at least 80 percent of the children with a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood during any fiscal year, the commissioner shall submit a special report on this lack of resources to the general assembly no later than October 15 following the end of that fiscal year.

(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the commissioner’s authority under any other provision of Vermont law.

Sec. 8.  18 V.S.A. § 1758 is amended to read:

§ 1758.  HOUSING REGISTRY LEAD HAZARD DATA

(a)  The department shall issue certificates to all persons who satisfactorily complete a training program on performing essential maintenance practices for lead‑based hazard control and shall compile a list of those persons’ the names of all persons who satisfactorily complete a training program on essential maintenance practices, lead‑safe renovation, and any other lead hazard training programs authorized by the department.

(b)  If additional funds are appropriated to the department in fiscal year 1998, on or before October 1, 1997, the department of housing and community affairs shall establish and maintain a list of housing units which (1) are lead free or (2) have undergone lead hazard control measures and passed independent dust clearance tests. The registry shall be maintained as a public record.

(c)  The department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, child development division shall identify all child care facilities in which the owners have completed essential maintenance practices or lead hazard control measures and provide the findings to the department annually.

Sec. 9.  18 V.S.A. § 1759 is amended to read:

§ 1759.  ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE PRACTICES

(a)  For the purposes of this section, all All paint in target housing and child care facilities is presumed to be lead‑based unless a certified lead inspector or lead risk assessor has determined that it is not lead‑based.  All owners of rental target housing and child care facilities shall perform the Essential maintenance practices in rental target housing and child care facilities shall be performed only by a person who has successfully completed an EMP training program approved by the commissioner or a person who works under the direct, on‑site supervision of a person who has successfully completed such training.  That person shall comply with section 1760 of this title and shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid creating lead hazards during any renovations, remodeling, maintenance, or repair project that disturbs more than one square foot of lead‑based paint, pursuant to guidelines issued by the department.  The following essential maintenance practices on their property shall be performed in all rental target housing and child care facilities, unless a lead inspector or a lead risk assessor has certified that the property is lead‑free:

(1)  Take all reasonable precautions to avoid creating lead hazards during any renovation, remodeling, maintenance, or repair project that disturbs a lead‑based painted surface pursuant to guidelines issued by the department. The guidelines shall include the following requirements:

(A)  A prohibition against lead‑based paint removal by burning, water blasting, dry scraping, power sanding, or sandblasting, unless authorized by the department.

(B)  Use of good work practices and safety precautions to prevent the spread of lead dust, including limiting access to work areas to workers, covering the work area with six mil polyethylene plastic or the equivalent, wearing of protective clothing by workers, protecting belongings of occupants by covering or removing them from the work area, misting painted surfaces before disturbing the paint, and wetting sweeping debris.

(C)  At the conclusion of the work, specialized cleaning of the work area shall be performed shall be thoroughly cleaned using methods designed to remove lead dust and recommended by the department.

(2)  Perform visual on‑site inspections of all interior and exterior surfaces and fixtures of the building to identify deteriorated paint and install window well inserts into all windows, or protect window wells by another method approved by the department, no later than July 1, 1998; thereafter, visual on‑site inspections shall be performed annually and upon a change of tenant.  Install window well inserts in all windows, or protect window wells by another method approved by the department.

(3)(2)  At least once a year and at each change of tenant, and annually in units in which a child six years of age or younger resides clean all window wells and window sills within the unit and in all areas of the building to which access by tenants is not restricted by the rental agreement.  The cleaning shall be accomplished by using cleaning methods, products, and devices that are effective in the removal of lead‑contaminated dust and recommended by the department perform visual on‑site inspection of all interior and exterior painted surfaces and components at the property to identify deteriorated paint.

(4)(3)  Promptly and safely remove or stabilize lead‑based paint if more than one square foot of deteriorated lead‑based paint is found on any interior or exterior surface located within any area of the building property to which access by tenants is not restricted by the rental agreement or on any exterior porch or an exterior wall, surface or fixture within the exterior porch.  An owner shall restore the assure that all surfaces to be are free of deteriorated lead‑based paint within 30 days after deteriorated lead‑based paint has been visually identified or within 30 days after receipt of a written or oral report of deteriorated lead‑based paint from any person including the department, a tenant, or from an owner of a child care facility.  If Because exterior paint repairs cannot be completed in cold weather, any exterior repair work is identified after November 1 of any year, the repair may be delayed for completion until shall be completed no later than the following May 31 of the following year provided that access to surfaces and components with lead hazards and areas directly below the deteriorated surfaces is restricted by the use of physical barriers or other methods approved by the department.

(5)(4)  If more than one square foot of deteriorated paint is found on any exterior wall surface or fixture not covered by subdivision (4)(3) of this subsection and is located in an area frequented by children six years of age or younger in warm weather, the owner shall:

(A)  promptly and safely repair and stabilize the paint and restore the surface; or

(B)  prohibit access to the area, surface, or fixture to assure that children will not come into contact with the deteriorated lead‑based paint.

(5)  Annually remove all visible paint chips from the ground on the property and assure that any bare soil within four feet of buildings is inaccessible by using any appropriate and effective method, including fencing, groundcover, or other vegetation, or covering the bare soil with stone or other materials recommended by the department.    

(6)  At least once a year, using methods recommended by the department, thoroughly clean all interior horizontal surfaces, except ceilings, in common areas accessible to tenants.

(6)(7)  Provide written LBP hazard information prepared or approved by the department to current and prospective tenants and current and prospective owners of child care facilities. At each change of tenant, thoroughly clean all interior horizontal surfaces of the dwelling unit, except ceilings, using methods recommended by the department.

(7)(8)  Post, in a prominent place in buildings containing rental target housing units or a child care facility, a notice to occupants emphasizing the importance of promptly reporting deteriorated paint to the owner or to the owner’s agent.  The notice shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or the owner’s agent.

(8)  Attend a training program offered or approved by the department.  The training, which shall be available to any person who repairs, remodels or renovates property, shall be attended by the owner, the owner’s property manager, or a representative of the owner’s regular maintenance staff. 

(9)  Ensure that any person who performs essential maintenance work has completed a department‑approved training program or is being supervised on‑site by a person who has completed the training program and complies with the essential maintenance practices. 

(10)  At each change of tenant, the owner shall clean all horizontal surfaces, except ceilings, within all areas of the building used by tenants and not otherwise restricted by the rental agreement.  This cleaning shall be done by using cleaning methods, products and devices prescribed by the department that are effective in cleaning up lead‑contaminated dust, such as vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters, and wet‑cleaning with trisodium phosphate or other lead specific detergents.

(b)  The owner of rental target housing or a child care facility shall perform all the following:

(1)  When the essential maintenance practices are completed, the owner shall sign an affidavit indicating that, to the best of the owner’s knowledge and belief EMP compliance statement certifying that the essential maintenance practices have been performed, including the addresses of the units in which EMPs were performed, the dates they were completed, and by whom they were of completion, and the person who performed the EMPs, and that subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection have been or will be complied withThe owner shall file the affidavit

(2)  File the statement required in subdivision (1) of this subsection with the owner’s liability insurance carrier and the department, and shall provide a copy of the statement to all tenantsAnnually, the owner shall conduct a visual check, perform required essential maintenance practices, and sign and file an affidavit as required by this subsection. 

(3)  Provide current and prospective tenants with written information regarding lead hazards approved by the department at the time the owner provides the tenant with the EMP compliance statement.

Sec. 10.  18 V.S.A. § 1760 is amended to read:

§ 1760.  CERTIFICATION; RULES; REPORT; FUTURE DEPARTMENT
  UNSAFE WORK PRACTICES

(a)  No later than January 1, 1997, the secretary shall adopt rules that establish methods and practices to be used by licensed inspectors who certify that target housing and child care facilities are lead free or have had lead‑based paint hazards identified and controlled and have passed independent dust clearance tests.  The rules shall include the duration of validity of any certifications and requirements for renewal of certifications.

(b)  By January 1, 1999, the secretary shall report to the general assembly on the need for additional essential maintenance practices or other actions to further prevent lead poisoning in children based on significant:

(1)  Reductions in the number and percentage of poisoned and severely lead‑poisoned children.

(2)  Increases in the number and percentages of owners of rental target housing that have performed essential maintenance practices.

(3)  Increases in the number and percentage of housing units that have achieved higher levels of lead hazard control.

(4)  Advances in lead poisoning prevention technology.

(5)  Impact of public education efforts in reducing the lead levels of children at risk.

(c)  After July 1, 2000, the secretary may adopt rules for the low cost and cost effective implementation of the essential maintenance practices established in section 1759 of this title and additional recommended low cost and cost effective essential maintenance practices and other actions to further prevent lead poisoning in children.

(a)  No person shall disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint using unsafe work practices.  The commissioner may include additional unsafe work practices by rule.  Unsafe work practices include the following, unless specifically authorized by the department:

(1)  Removing lead‑based paint by:

(A)  Open flame burning or torching.

(B)  Use of heat guns operated above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.

(C)  Dry scraping.

(D)  Machine sanding or grinding.

(E)  Uncontained hydro‑blasting or high pressure washing.

(F)  Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without containment and high‑efficiency particulate exhaust controls.

(G)  Chemical stripping using methylene chloride products.

(2)  Failing to employ one or more of the following lead‑safe work practices: 

(A)  Limiting access to interior and exterior work areas.

(B)  Enclosing interior work areas with plastic sheathing or other effective lead dust barrier.

(C)  Using protective clothing.

(D)  Misting painted surfaces before disturbing paint.

(E)  Wetting paint debris before sweeping to limit dust creation.

(F)  Any other measure required by the department.

(b)  If it is determined that a person is disturbing lead‑based paint using unsafe work practices, the commissioner may require the person to cease work and to take action necessary to terminate or mitigate lead hazards.  The order shall identify the unsafe work practice, the location of the work being performed, and the person performing the work.

(c)  No person shall perform, or hire another person to perform, any work for compensation of any kind in any target housing or child care facility if the work is likely to disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint unless the person hired holds a current registration or license issued by the department applicable to the work to be performed.

(d)  No person shall perform any renovation in target housing or child care facility for compensation without complying with the pre‑renovation notification requirements pursuant to rules of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Sec. 11.  18 V.S.A. § 1760a is added to read:

§ 1760a.  ENFORCEMENT; ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER; PENALTIES

(a)  The commissioner may issue an administrative order when the commissioner determines that there has been a violation of this chapter.  The order shall be served on the respondent in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and a copy of the order shall be provided to the attorney general.  An order shall be effective on receipt unless stayed by court order.  An administrative order shall include:

(1)  A statement of the facts that provide the basis for the violation.

(2)  Identification of the applicable statute, rule, permit, assurance, work plan, or order.

(3)  Rights of appeal pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(4)  Notice that injunctive relief in the order is effective on receipt unless stayed by court order.

(5)  The amount of any administrative penalty.

(6)  Suspension of registration, certification, or licensure, if any.

(7)  Applicable directives for actions to address any violations described in the order.

(b)  A person who violates a provision of this chapter in target housing or a child care facility shall be subject to an administrative penalty of not more than $10,000.00 for each violation or for each day of a continuing violation.  A violator may be subject to any other available enforcement proceedings, remedies, and penalties.  In assessing a penalty, the commissioner shall consider at least the following:

(1)  The degree of actual or potential impact on public health resulting from the violation.

(2)  The confirmed elevated blood lead level of the child who occupies or regularly frequents the property.

(3)  The extent of the violator’s knowledge of the violation.

(4)  The respondent’s record of compliance with essential maintenance practice requirements.

(5)  Any economic gain derived from the violation, including the estimated costs avoided by noncompliance.

(6)  The deterrent effect of the penalty on the violator and the regulated community.

(7)  The cost to the state of investigation, enforcement, and attorney fees.

(8)  The length of time the violation has existed.

(9)  Any other relevant factors. 

(c)  In lieu of part or all of a civil penalty, the commissioner may accept a contribution to the lead hazard education and cleanup fund.  Penalties or payments paid in lieu of penalties paid pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the lead hazard education and cleanup fund.

(d)  A person may appeal a violation determination and penalty to the superior court within 30 days after the determination is issued.  The superior court review shall be de novo and pursuant to Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. 

(e)  The commissioner may refer violations of this chapter to the attorney general for civil or criminal enforcement.

(f)  The attorney general shall bring the case in the name of the state of Vermont.

(g)  In any civil action brought pursuant to this section in which a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, relief shall be obtained upon a showing that there is the probability of success on the merits, and that a violation exists or a violation is imminent and likely to result in substantial harm.  There is no requirement to demonstrate immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage for an action under this subsection.

(h)  The attorney general may seek all equitable and legal remedies available, including civil penalties.

(i)  The court shall assess civil penalties pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(j)  Nothing in this section shall limit the commissioner’s authority under any other provision of law.

Sec. 12.  18 V.S.A. § 1761 is amended to read:

§ 1761.  DUTY OF REASONABLE CARE; NEGLIGENCE; LIABILITY

(a)  Owners of target housing and owners of child care facilities shall take reasonable care to prevent exposure to, and the creation of, lead‑based paint lead hazards.  In an action brought under this section, evidence of actions taken or not taken to satisfy the requirements of this chapter, including performing essential maintenance practices, may be admissible evidence of reasonable care or negligence.

(b)  Any person who suffers an injury proximately caused by an owner’s breach of this duty of reasonable care shall have a cause of action to recover damages and for other appropriate equitable relief.

(c)  A person who is severely lead poisoned as a result of a violation of the duty of reasonable care before the age of six, or a parent, legal guardian or other person authorized to act on behalf of that person, shall have a cause of action to recover damages and other appropriate relief.

(d)  The owner of target housing or a child care facility who has reduced lead‑based paint lead hazards by completing risk assessment and controls and who has had a licensed inspector a lead risk assessor certify, pursuant to rules under section 1760 of this title, that identified lead‑based paint lead hazards have been controlled in target housing or child care facility premises and the housing or facility contains no lead‑contaminated dust shall not be liable for injury or other relief claimed to be caused by exposure to lead during the time period covered by the certification.

This immunity does not apply if:

(1)  there was fraud in the certification process; or

(2)  the owner violated conditions of the certification; or

(3)  the owner created lead‑based paint lead hazards during renovation, remodeling, maintenance, or repair after the certification; or

(4)  the owner failed to respond in a timely fashion to notification that lead‑based paint lead hazards may have recurred on the premises.

(e)(d)  A defendant in an action brought under this section has a right of contribution from any other person or persons who have violated subsection (a) of this section.

(f)(e)  The remedies provided under this section shall be the exclusive remedies against owners arising from lead‑based paint lead hazards, except for the following:

(1)  causes of action under 9 V.S.A. chapter 63;

(2)  causes of action for relief under 9 V.S.A. § 4458; and

(3)  common law actions for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

(g)(f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the commissioner or any agency or instrumentality of the state of Vermont to seek remedies available under any other provision of Vermont statutory law.

(h)(g)  In an action under 9 V.S.A. § 4458, compliance by the landlord with the duties required under section 1759 of this title shall create a conclusive presumption of habitability with respect to lead‑based paint hazards.  However, if a child under the age of six who occupies or regularly frequents the dwelling is lead poisoned as defined in subdivision 1751(b)(16) of this title has a confirmed elevated blood lead level, this presumption shall be rebuttable, not conclusive.  Presumptions under this subsection shall be limited to actions based on a breach of the warranty of habitability under 9 V.S.A. § 4458.

(i)  This section shall apply only to actions arising from acts or omissions that occur on or after July 1, 1996.

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. § 1762 is amended to read:

§ 1762.  SECURED LENDERS AND FIDUCIARIES; LIABILITY

(a)  A person who holds indicia of ownership in rental target housing or a child care facility furnished by the owner or person in lawful possession, for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation and takes full legal title through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure or otherwise shall not be liable as an owner of the property for injury or loss claimed to be caused by exposure to lead of a child on the premises, provided that, on or before the 120th day after the date of possession, the person completes all the following:

(1)  performs essential Essential maintenance practices as required by section 1759 of this title; and .

(2)  fully discloses Full disclosure to all potential purchasers, child care facility operators or tenants of the property of any information in the possession of such the person or the person’s agents, regarding the presence of lead‑based paint lead hazards or a lead‑poisoned child on the property and, upon request, provides, including providing copies of all written reports on lead‑based paint lead hazards to potential purchasers, operators, or tenants.

(b)  The immunity provided in subsection (a) of this section shall expire 365 days after the secured lender or fiduciary takes full legal title.

(c)  A person who holds legal title to rental target housing or a child care facility as an executor, administrator, trustee, or the guardian of the estate of the owner, and demonstrates that in that fiduciary capacity does not have either the legal authority or the financial resources to fund capital or major property rehabilitation necessary to conduct essential maintenance practices shall not be personally liable as an owner for injury or loss caused by exposure to lead by a child on the premises.  However, nothing in this section shall limit the liability of the trust estate for such claims and those claims may be asserted against the trustee as a fiduciary of the trust estate.

Sec. 14.  18 V.S.A. § 1763 is amended to read:

§ 1763.  PUBLIC FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE; RENTAL TARGET
HOUSING AND CHILD CARE FACILITIES

Every state agency or instrumentality that makes a commitment to provide public financial assistance for the purchase or rehabilitation of rental target housing or child care facilities shall give priority to projects in which the property is lead free, the lead hazards have been or will be identified and abated, or lead‑based paint the lead hazards have been or will be identified and controlled and have passed or will pass an independent dust clearance test that determines that the property contains no lead‑contaminated dust prior to occupancy or use.  Priority rental target housing projects may include units occupied by severely lead‑poisoned children with a confirmed venous blood lead level at or greater than ten micrograms of lead per deciliter or at a lower level as determined by the commissioner and units in a building that are likely to contain lead‑based paint lead hazards.  For purposes of this section, “public financial assistance” means any grant, loan, or allocation of tax credits funded by the state or the federal government, or any of their agencies or instrumentalities.

Sec. 15.  18 V.S.A. § 1764 is amended to read:

§ 1764.  LEAD INSPECTORS; FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEAD HAZARD CONTROL ACTIVITIES

The commissioner may require that a registrant, licensee, or an applicant for a registration or license under section 1752(d) 1752 of this title provide evidence of ability to properly indemnify a person who suffers damage from lead‑based paint the registrant’s or licensee’s activities such as proof of effective liability insurance coverage or a surety bond in an amount to be determined by the commissioner which shall not be less than $300,000.00.  This section shall not restrict or enlarge the liability of any person under any applicable law.

Sec. 16.  18 V.S.A. § 1765 is amended to read:

§ 1765.  LIABILITY INSURANCE

(a)  If the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration determines that lead‑based paint lead hazards have substantially diminished the availability of liability insurance for owners of rental property or child care facilities and that a voluntary market assistance plan will not adequately restore availability, the commissioner shall order liability insurers to provide or continue to provide liability coverage or to participate in any other appropriate remedial program as determined by the commissioner, provided the prospective insured is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

* * *

Sec. 17.  18 V.S.A. § 1766 is added to read:  

§ 1766.  LEAD HAZARD EDUCATION AND CLEANUP FUND

(a)  A fund to be known as the lead hazard education and cleanup fund is created in the state treasury shall be administered by the Vermont housing and conservation board to assist Vermont families and property owners to control lead hazards in housing.  The board shall administer the fund in compliance with 10 V.S.A. § 312 and the policies and priorities of the board lead‑based paint hazard reduction program with particular attention to targeting resources, promoting primary prevention in order to maximize both the number of young children protected from exposure to lead hazards and the number of homes made safe from lead hazards.  Disbursement may be authorized to fund any of the following:

(1)  Free or reduced rate training on essential maintenance practices and lead‑safe work practices for property owners, contractors, child care facility operators and other appropriate persons.

(2)  Public education and outreach.

(3)  Costs minimally necessary to administer the fund.

(4)  Technical assistance to Vermont property owners to identify and control housing‑based lead hazards.

(5)  Collection and analysis of environmental samples.

(6)  Grants and loans to property owners to control lead hazards in housing units likely to be inhabited by families with young children.

(b)  The fund shall consist of loan repayments, recovered disbursements, donations, gifts, administrative penalties related to lead hazards, and any funds appropriated by the general assembly, or received from any other source, private or public.  All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.  Interest earned by the fund shall remain in the fund. 

(c)  The executive director of the Vermont housing and conservation board or designee, and the commissioner of health or designee, shall annually review receipts and disbursements from the fund, evaluate the effectiveness of the fund in meeting its purposes and goals, evaluate the reasonableness of the cleanup costs, and recommend changes to enhance and encourage abatement of lead hazards in target housing and child care facilities and, on each January 15, submit an annual report of its findings to the general assembly. 

Sec. 18.  18 V.S.A. § 1767 is added to read: 

§ 1767.  TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF TARGET HOUSING; RISK
  ASSESSMENT; EMP COMPLIANCE

(a)  At the time a purchase and sale agreement for target housing is executed, the real estate agent and seller shall provide the buyer with a lead paint hazard brochure, materials on other lead hazards in housing, and a disclosure form approved by the commissioner.  The disclosure form shall include any assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order, the terms of which are not completed, and, if the property is rental target housing, verification that the essential maintenance practices have been completed and that a current EMP compliance statement has been filed with the department.

(b)  At a closing for the transfer of title of target housing, real estate agents and sellers shall provide the buyer with a lead‑safe renovation practices packet approved by the commissioner and shall disclose any assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order not disclosed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the terms of which are not completed.

(c)  No transfer of title of a rental target housing, building or unit may occur if the building or unit is currently the subject of an assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order unless the assurance or order is amended in writing to transfer to the buyer all remaining obligations under the assurance or order. 

(d)  At the time of transfer of title of rental target housing the real estate agents and sellers shall provide the buyer with information explaining EMP obligations approved by the commissioner. 

(e)  A buyer of rental target housing who has purchased a building or unit that is not in full compliance with section 1759 of this title shall bring the target housing into compliance with section 1759 of this title within 60 days after the closing.  Within the 60‑day period, the buyer may submit a written request for an extension of time for compliance, which the commissioner may grant in writing for a stated period of time for good cause only.  Failure to comply with this subsection shall result in a mandatory civil penalty.

(f)  This section shall not apply to target housing that has been certified lead free.

(g)  Noncompliance with this section shall not affect marketability of title.

Sec. 19.  24 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:

§ 2291.  ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

* * *

(23)  To enforce laws related to lead hazards pursuant to chapter 38 of Title 18, including requiring screening and testing of individuals, enforcing the use of safe work practices and essential maintenance practices.  This subdivision confers no new authority to regulate firearms, ammunition, or shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, or reloading ammunition.

Sec. 20.  GRANTS FOR LEAD HAZARD REDUCTION

The commissioner is authorized to secure grants from public and private sources and to receive and disburse funds that are assigned, donated, or bequeathed to the department to increase lead hazard reduction activities, to promote primary prevention of exposure to lead hazards, and to evaluate primary prevention programs in the state.

Sec. 22.  CONSTRUCTION

Nothing in this act shall be construed to regulate firearms, ammunition, or shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, or reloading ammunition.

Sec. 23.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, except section 18, relating to transfer of target housing, and the licensing requirement for lead safe renovators shall take effect on July 1, 2008.

(Committee vote: 7-0-1)

Rep. Mrowicki of Putney, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Lead is highly toxic to humans, particularly to young children, and can cause irreversible damage resulting in long‑lasting, permanent neurological damage, including decreases in I.Q.

(2)  Medical research shows that there is no safe level of lead, and that decreases in I.Q. are greatest for the first ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in young children.

(3)  In February 2007, the Vermont department of health announced that it would lower from ten to five micrograms of lead per deciliter the blood lead level that triggers educational outreach.

(4)  In 2004, four percent of all Vermont children aged one and two years who received lead screening–or approximately 300 children–had blood lead levels at or above ten micrograms per deciliter.  Approximately one third or nearly 3,000 of all children tested had blood lead levels at or above five micrograms.  In 2006, 2.7 percent of all Vermont children under the age of six who received lead screening–or approximately 250 children–had blood lead levels at or above ten micrograms per deciliter.  Approximately 20 percent or nearly 2,000 of all children under the age of six tested had blood lead levels at or above five micrograms per deciliter.

(5)  The primary exposure to lead for Vermont children is lead‑based paint in housing built prior to 1978 when lead was banned in residential paint.   Vermont has over 112,000 owner‑occupied housing units and over 56,000 rental housing units built prior to 1978.

(6)  Vermont’s existing lead law, which has been in place since 1996, attempts to prevent exposing children to lead in rental housing and child care facilities by requiring that EMP be performed in nearly all rental housing units and child care facilities built prior to 1978.  Even though 40 percent of children with blood lead levels above 20 micrograms per deciliter live in owner-occupied housing, the primary provisions under current law that attempt to prevent elevated blood lead levels in children in owner‑occupied housing are related to public awareness.

(7)  The intent of this act is to decrease Vermonters’ exposure to lead in pre-1978 housing and child care facilities.  This act does not address lead in other consumer products, in ammunition, or at shooting ranges.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 1751 is amended to read:

§ 1751.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  Words and phrases used in this chapter or in rules adopted pursuant to this chapter and not defined herein shall have the meanings given to them have the same definitions as provided in the Federal Residential Lead‑Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.  In the event of unless there is an inconsistency between meanings given in such federal act and meanings given in this chapter, the federal act shall apply except where meanings given in this chapter serve to narrow, limit or restrict the applicability of a word or phrase, in which cases the narrower meaning shall apply in which case, any definition provided in this section that narrows, limits, or restricts shall control.

(b)  For the purposes of this chapter:

(1)  “Abatement” means any set of measures designed to permanently eliminate lead‑based paint hazards in accordance with standards established by appropriate state and federal agencies.  The term includes:

(A)  the removal Removal of lead‑based paint and lead‑contaminated dust, the permanent containment or encapsulation of lead‑based paint, the replacement of lead‑painted surfaces or fixtures, and the removal or covering of lead‑contaminated soil; and .

(B)  all All preparation, cleanup, disposal, and post‑abatement clearance testing activities associated with such measures.

(2)  “Certified inspector” or “licensed inspector” means an individual who has been trained by an accredited training program and certified by the department to perform the duties of an inspector or risk assessor.  “Child” or “children” means an individual or individuals under the age of 18 years, except where specified as a child or children six years of age or younger.

(3)  “Child care facility” means a day care facility or family day care home as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 4902 that was constructed prior to 1978.

(4)  “Commissioner” means the commissioner of the department of health.

(5)  “Comprehensive environmental lead inspection” or “inspection” means a surface‑by‑surface investigation to determine the presence of lead‑based paint and the provision of a report explaining the results of the investigation.

(6)  “Department” means the department of health.

(7)  “Deteriorated paint” means any interior or exterior lead‑based paint that is peeling, chipping, chalking, flaking, or cracking or any lead‑based paint located on an interior or exterior surface or fixture that is damaged or deteriorated.

(8)(5)  “Dwelling” means either of the following:

(A)  a single‑family dwelling, A detached family residential unit including attached structures such as porches and stoops; or.

(B)  a A single‑family dwelling residential unit in a structure that contains more than one separate residential dwelling unit, and which is used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, in whole or in part, as the home or residence of one or more persons.

(6)  “Elevated blood lead level” means having a blood lead level of at least five micrograms per deciliter of human blood, or a lower threshold as determined by the commissioner.

(7)  “EMP” means essential maintenance practices required by section 1759 of this title.

(9)(8)  “Independent dust clearance” means a visual examination and collection of environmental samples, including dust samples, by a licensed inspector in whose firm or corporation lead inspector or lead assessor who has no financial interest in either the work being performed or the owner of the property to be inspected has no financial interest, and is independent of both the persons performing the work and the owner of the property.  The licensed inspector lead inspector or lead assessor shall use methods specified by the department and analysis by an accredited laboratory to determine that lead exposures do not exceed limits set by the department utilizing current information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(9)  “Inspection” means a surface‑by‑surface investigation to determine the presence of lead‑based paint and other lead hazards and the provision of a report explaining the results of the investigation.

(10)  “Interim controls” means a set of measures designed to temporarily reduce human exposure to lead‑based paint hazards, including specialized cleaning, repairs, maintenance, painting, temporary containment, ongoing monitoring of lead‑based paint hazards or potential hazards, and the establishment of management and resident education programs.

(11)  “Lead‑based paint” means paint or other surface coatings that contain lead in excess of limits established under section 302(c) of the Federal Lead‑Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act.

(12)  “Lead contractor” means any person engaged in deleading or lead hazard reduction as a business and includes consultants and inspectors who design, perform, oversee or evaluate lead hazard reduction projects employing one or more individuals licensed by the department under this chapter.

(13)  “Lead‑based paint activities” means:

(A)  in the case of target housing, risk assessment, inspection, and abatement.

(B)  in the case of any public building constructed before 1978, identification of lead‑based paint and materials containing lead‑based paint, deleading, and demolition.  The term “lead‑based paint activities” may be further limited or restricted by rule adopted by the secretary. “Lead abatement worker” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to perform abatements.

(14)  “Lead designer” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to prepare lead abatement project designs, occupant protection plans, and abatement reports.

(14)(15)  “Lead‑based paint hazard” or “LBP” “Lead hazard” means any condition that causes exposure to lead inside and in the immediate vicinity of target housing from water, lead‑contaminated dust, lead‑contaminated soil, lead‑contaminated paint that has deteriorated or is present in accessible surfaces, friction surfaces, or impact surfaces, or building materials that would result in adverse human health effects as defined by the department using current information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(15)  “Lead‑based paint hazard control” or “LBP hazard control” or “lead hazard control” means a measure or set of measures designed to control or eliminate human exposure to lead‑based paint hazards through methods that include interim controls, abatement, and complete removal.

(16)  “Lead poisoning” means a confirmed blood lead level in a child six years of age or younger greater than or equal to ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood, unless the commissioner finds by rule that a higher or lower concentration is necessary to protect public health.  “Lead inspector” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to conduct inspections.

(17)  “Lead risk assessor” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to conduct risk assessments.

(18)  “Lead‑safe renovator” means any person who has completed a lead‑safe training program approved by the department and has a current registration issued by the department to perform renovations in target housing or child care facilities in which interior or exterior lead‑based paint will be disturbed.

(19)  “Lead supervisor” means any individual who has satisfactorily completed an accredited training program approved by the department and has a current license issued by the department to supervise and conduct abatement projects and prepare occupant protection plans and abatement reports. 

(17)(20)  “Occupant” means any person who resides in, or regularly uses, a dwelling, car mobile dwelling unit, or structure.

(18)(21)  “Owner” means any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:

(A)  Has legal title to any dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or of the property.

(B)  Has charge, care, or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility as agent of the owner or guardian of the estate of the owner.  An agent of the owner does not include real estate and property management functions where the agent is only responsible for the property management and does not have authority to fund capital or major property rehabilitation on behalf of the owner.

(C)  For purposes of publicly‑owned property only, the owner shall be the Is the chief executive officer of the municipal or state agency which that owns, leases, or controls the use of the publicly owned property.

(D)  A Is a person who holds indicia of ownership in a dwelling or dwelling unit or child care facility furnished by the owner or person in lawful possession for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation shall not be considered an owner unless such person has taken full legal title of a dwelling or child care facility through foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or otherwise.  “Owner” does not include a person who holds indicia of ownership given by the person in lawful possession for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation.  Indicia of ownership includes interests in real or personal property that are held as security or collateral for repayment of a financial obligation such as a mortgage, lien, security interest, assignment, pledge, surety bond or guarantee and includes   participation rights of a financial institution used for legitimate commercial purposes in making or servicing the loan.

(E)  Owns a building in which a child care facility is located or owns the child care business, although the owner of the child care business may not own the building.

(19)(22)  “Rental target housing” means target housing offered for lease or rental under a rental agreement as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4451.  “Rental target housing” does not include a rented single room located within a residential dwelling unit in which the owner of the dwelling unit resides unless a child six years of age or younger resides in or is expected to reside in that dwelling unit.

(20)(23)  “Risk assessment” means an on‑site investigation by a licensed inspector or risk assessor lead risk assessor to determine and report the existence, nature, severity, and location of lead‑ based paint lead hazards, including information gathering about the age and history of the property and occupancy by children under the age of six years of age or younger, visual inspection, limited wipe sampling, or other environmental sampling techniques, other appropriate risk assessment activities and a report on the results of the investigation.

(21)  “Secretary” means the secretary of the agency of human services.

(22)  “Severely lead‑poisoned” means a confirmed venous blood lead level in a child six years of age or younger that is greater than or equal to 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of whole blood or as defined by the commissioner.

(23)  “State inspector” means the commissioner or any person who is authorized in writing by the commissioner to conduct inspections for the department.

(24)  “Screen,” “screened,” or “screening” relating to blood lead levels, means the initial blood test to determine the presence of lead in a human.

(24)(25)  “Target housing” means any dwelling or dwelling unit constructed prior to 1978 and used as a residence, except any 0‑bedroom residential dwelling unit or any residential dwelling unit located in multiple‑unit buildings or projects reserved for the exclusive use of the elderly or persons with disabilities, unless a child six years of age or younger resides in or is expected to reside in that housing.   “Target housing” does not include units in a hotel, motel, or other lodging, including condominiums, that are designed and rented for transient occupancy for travelers or vacationers and not intended to be used as a primary residence 30 days or less.

Sec. 3.  18 V.S.A. § 1752 is amended to read:

§ 1752.  ACCREDITATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS;
  CERTIFICATION, REGISTRATION AND LICENSURE OF
  ENVIRONMENTAL LEAD INSPECTORS AND LEAD
  CONTRACTORS, SUPERVISORS AND WORKERS

(a)  No later than six months after promulgation of final federal regulations under section 402 of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), the The department shall develop a program to administer and enforce the lead‑based paint activities training and certification standards, regulations, or requirements of this chapter and other requirements as established by the administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency for persons engaged in lead‑based paint lead abatement activities.  The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement and enforce this chapter, including establishing standards and specifications for registration, licensing, issuing a certificate, and accreditation of training programs both within and outside Vermont.

(b)  The secretary shall adopt emergency rules, and not later than January 1, 1994, the secretary shall adopt permanent rules, establishing standards and specifications for the accreditation of training programs both within and outside Vermont, including the mandatory topics of instruction, the knowledge and performance standards that must be demonstrated by graduates in order to be certified, and required qualifications for training programs and instructors. Such standards shall be designed to protect children, their families, and workers from improperly‑conducted lead‑based paint activities, and shall be at least as protective of human health and the environment as the federal program.  Hands‑on instruction and instruction for identification and proper handling of historic fabric and materials shall be components of the required training.  The commissioner shall issue certificates to all persons who satisfactorily complete an approved EMP training program for lead hazard control.

(c)  The commissioner shall certify risk assessors, designers, issue registrations and licenses to laboratories, inspectors, lead-safe renovation contractors, lead contractors, supervisors, abatement workers, and other persons engaged in lead‑based paint activities when such persons individuals, and firms, provided they have successfully completed an accredited a training program approved by the commissioner and met such other requirements as the secretary may, by rule, impose complied with all registration and licensing criteria required by the commissioner.

(d)  After the adoption of rules pursuant to subsection (b) of this section Except as provided in subsection 1760(c) of this title, no person shall perform for compensation of any kind engage in any activity likely to disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint activities without first registering or obtaining a license from the commissioner, as provided in this section.  The commissioner may grant a license to a person who holds a comparable valid license from another state.

(e)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the authority of the secretary, the commissioner of health, the commissioner of labor, or the commissioner of environmental conservation under the provisions of any other law. 

Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 1753 is amended to read:

§ 1753.  ACCREDITATION, REGISTRATION, CERTIFICATION, AND LICENSE FEES

(a)  The commissioner shall assess fees for accrediting training programs and for certifications, registrations, licenses, and license renewals issued in accordance with this chapter.  Fees shall not be imposed on any state or local government or nonprofit training program and may be waived for the purpose of training state employees.

(b)  Each accredited training program, registrant, and licensee shall be subject to the following fees:

Training courses = $480.00 per year

Lead contractors = $600.00 per year

Lead workers = $60.00 per year

Supervisors Lead supervisors = $120.00 per year

Inspectors Lead inspectors = $180.00 per year

Risk assessors Lead risk assessors = $180.00 per year

Designers Lead designers = $180.00 per year

Laboratories = $600.00 per year

Lead-safe renovation contractors Lead‑safe renovators = $50.00 per year

(c)  Each lead abatement project shall be subject to the following permit fees:

(1)  Lead abatement project permit fee $50.00.

(2)  Lead abatement project permit revision $25.00.

(d)  Fees imposed by this section shall be deposited into the lead paint abatement accreditation and licensing special fund.  Monies in the fund may be used by the commissioner only to support departmental accreditation, certification, and licensing activities related to this chapter.  The fund shall be subject to the provisions of subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

Sec. 5.  18 V.S.A. § 1754 is amended to read:

§ 1754.  PUBLIC EDUCATION

(a)  Beginning January 1, 1994, the The commissioner of health shall prepare and distribute clear and simple printed materials describing the dangers of lead poisoning, the need for importance of parents to have having their child children screened, how to have a child tested and receive a confirmation test, recommended nutrition and housekeeping practices, and materials on other lead hazards in housing, identifying possible sources of lead exposure in housing in addition to lead‑based paint, and describing methods for addressing those sources.  The commissioner shall work with persons and organizations involved in occupations that may involve lead‑based paint hazards or childhood lead poisoning to distribute the materials to their clients, patients, students, or customers whose work involves disturbance of lead‑based paint or preventing and treating elevated blood lead levels in humans, such as realtors, subcontractors, apartment owners, public housing authorities, pediatricians, family practitioners, nurse clinics, child clinics, other health care providers, child care and preschool operators, and kindergarten teachers to encourage them to distribute the materials to their clients, patients, students, or customers.  The commissioner shall also identify those points in time or specific occasions, when members of the public are in contact with public agencies and lead might be an issue, such as building permits, home renovations, and the ANFC and WIC appropriate state and federal programs, and make the materials available on these occasions.

(b)  The commissioner shall prepare an appropriate media campaign to educate the public on lead poisoning the prevention of elevated blood lead levels.  To the extent resources permit, educational outreach efforts shall include public service announcements, education through community access channels, direct mailings to homeowners, postings in public places, or other methods that cost effectively communicate this information to the broad public.  The commissioner shall encourage professional property managers, rehab rehabilitation and weatherization contractors, minimum housing inspectors, social workers, and visiting nurses to attend education and awareness workshops.

(c)  The commissioner shall develop a program or approve a program, or both, to train owners and managers of rental target housing and child care facilities and their employees to perform essential maintenance practices.  The names and addresses of all persons who attend the approved training program shall be maintained as a public record that the commissioner shall provide to the department of housing and community affairs.

Sec. 6.  18 V.S.A. § 1755 is amended to read:

§ 1755.  UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO SCREENING

(a)  Not later than November 1, 1993, the The commissioner shall publish the results of the department’s lead poisoning prevalence study.  Not later than January 1, 1994, the commissioner shall publish guidelines establishing that establish the methods by which and the intervals at which children under six years of age are recommended to should be screened and tested given a confirmation test for elevated blood lead poisoning levels, according to the age of the children and their probability of exposure to high‑dose sources of lead.  The guidelines shall take into account the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics and shall be updated as those recommendations are changed.  The commissioner may also shall recommend screening for lead poisoning in other high risk groups.

(b)  Not later than January 1, 1994, the Vermont  the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall recommend to the general assembly whether lead screening should be a common benefit under the universal access proposals it has presented, and, if so, how such benefits should be financed.  The cost of implementing the Vermont commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration’s plan under this chapter shall be included in the unified health care budget to be adopted by the authority effective July 1, 1994.

(c)  Beginning July 1, 1994 , all All health care providers who provide primary medical care shall ensure that parents and guardians of children below the age of six are advised of the availability and advisability of screening and testing their children for lead poisoning in accordance with the commissioner’s guidelines,:

(1)  Screen for lead, or refer for lead screening, all children one or two years of age unless the parent or guardian of the child refuses to consent.

(2)  Conduct, or refer for, a confirmation test of blood lead levels by venous draw for any child whose screening result is ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood or more.

(3)  The requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, including the blood lead level at which a confirmation test may be required, may be amended by the commissioner by rule to allow for the most effective methods and timing of screening and testing according to scientific studies and according to the guidelines and recommendations referenced in subsection (a) of this section, provided the rules are consistent with the requirements of those subdivisions.

(d)(c)  Any health care provider or employee thereof making the diagnosis of lead poisoning shall report such diagnosis to the department within such time and using such format as the department shall prescribe.  Any laboratory in Vermont which that analyzes blood samples of children below the age of six Vermont residents for lead levels shall report to the department such all information on blood lead analyses as required by the department may require including data on the number and results of blood lead analyses performed by the laboratory.  All health care providers who analyze blood samples for lead levels or who use laboratories outside Vermont to analyze blood samples of children below the age of six for lead levels shall report all information required by the department to the department such information as the department may require including data on the number and results of such blood lead tests.  The commissioner shall establish procedures to ensure the confidentiality of the children and families immediately by telephone if the result of any analysis is 45 micrograms or more of lead per deciliter of blood, or by electronic means within 14 days of analysis if the result of the analysis is less than 45 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.  All blood lead data reports to the department shall include the name, date of birth, date of blood test, and address of the individual whose blood is analyzed and, if known, the owner of the residence of the individual.

(e)(d)  After the guidelines established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section have been in place for two years, the commissioner shall determine the percentage of children below the age of six who are being screened in accordance with those guidelines.  If fewer than 75 percent of such children are receiving such screening, the secretary shall adopt rules to require that all health care providers who provide primary medical care to young children shall ensure that their patients are screened and tested according to the commissioner’s guidelines beginning January 1, 1997.  Such rules shall provide that no screening or testing shall be required pursuant to this subsection if the parent or guardian of the child objects to the child undergoing blood lead screening on the grounds that such screening conflicts with their moral or religious tenets or practices.  No health care provider shall be liable for the refusal of a parent or guardian to consent to have a child screened or have a confirmation test of blood lead level, or for a parent’s or guardian’s failure to follow through with a referral for a screening or confirmation test.

Sec. 7.  18 V.S.A. § 1756 is amended to read:

§ 1756.  ANNUAL REPORT 

(a)  The commissioner shall, at least annually, on or before October 15, analyze and summarize all aggregate the information collected during the previous fiscal year relating to lead screening and confirmation testing information provided by physicians, health care facilities, and laboratories, and shall provide this information to all other local and state agencies involved with case management and lead hazard reduction.

(b)  The commissioner shall also at least annually on or before October 15 provide to the general assembly, the health community, and the general public an analysis and summary of such data, collected during the previous fiscal year, and a progress report on the commissioner’s efforts to prevent elevated blood lead poisoning in young children levels in a format that is easily understandable to nontechnical readers.  The report shall include:

(1)  The For each age group for children six years of age or younger, the number and percentage of children under the age of six who have been screened and tested for lead poisoning had a confirmation test, and the number found to have lead poisoning  results of those tests at various blood lead levels.

(2)  Estimates of the public and private costs incurred since July 1, 1993 to prevent, correct, or treat lead poisoning.

(3)  An analysis of barriers to universal blood screening of children under the age of six years of age or younger.

(3)  The number of children over the age of six and adults who have had a lead screen or a confirmation test and the number at various blood lead levels.

(4)  An analysis of current data related to studies on the health risks associated with elevated blood lead levels, as well as any information on technological advances related to the prevention of elevated blood lead levels.

(5)  A description of the department’s activities relating to inspections and plans to address sources of lead for children with a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.  The report shall include the number and percentage of homes inspected and plans developed relative to the number of children with a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood reported to the department and, if that percentage is less than 80, an explanation of the barriers to and efforts of the department to achieve that level.

(6)  The number of annual EMP compliance certifications filed with the department and the number and percentage of child care facilities which the department for children and families, child development division, has identified as having completed EMP or lead hazard control measures pursuant to subsection 1758(c) of this title.

(7)  Findings as required under subsection 1766(c) of this title relative to the lead hazard education and cleanup fund.

(8)  A description of the department’s public education and outreach efforts pursuant to section 1754 of this title, including monies spent and persons and geographical areas targeted.

(9)  An analysis of historical trends related to:  the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels; the filing of EMP compliance certifications; spending on public education programs; and the number, nature, and outcome of enforcement actions.

(10)  The commissioner’s recommendations for action. 

(11)  The commissioner’s 2009 report to the general assembly shall include:  an analysis of provider reimbursement rates for blood lead level screenings and confirmation tests under the Medicaid program and under the primary, private health insurance programs offered to Vermont residents; in consultation with the office of Vermont health access, a cost estimate for full Medicaid reimbursement; and, in consultation with the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration, a cost estimate for a private insurance mandate related to screenings and confirmation tests for all one- and two-year olds. 

Sec. 8.  COMMISSIONER’S RECOMMENDATION REGARDING MANDATORY SCREENINGS AND CONFIRMATION TESTS

By January 15, 2009, the commissioner of health shall submit to the house committee on human services and the senate committee on health and welfare a letter containing a recommendation on whether screenings and confirmation tests should be mandatory, as provided in subsection 1755(b) of this title.  Any proposed recommendation by the commissioner shall not be effective unless enacted by the general assembly.

Sec. 9.  18 V.S.A. § 1756a is added to read:

§ 1756a.  SPECIAL REPORT ON INSPECTIONS

In any fiscal year in which the commissioner does not conduct inspections and develop plans to address sources of lead exposure for at least 80 percent of all children six years of age or younger with a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the commissioner shall submit to the general assembly by October 15 a report detailing the barriers to and efforts of the department to achieve that level.

Sec. 10.  18 V.S.A. § 1757 is amended to read:

§ 1757.  LEAD POISONED CHILDREN WITH ELEVATED BLOOD LEAD LEVELS

(a)  Upon receiving a report that a child under age six has been diagnosed by a qualified physician to have lead poisoning, the a screening test result of ten or more micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, or a lower level as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner shall take prompt action to confirm the diagnosis ensure that the child obtains a confirmation test.

(b)  If the child is severely lead poisoned has an elevated blood lead level, the commissioner shall provide for information on lead hazards to the parents or guardians of the child.

(c)  If a child six years of age or younger has a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, and if resources permit, the commissioner:

(1)  Shall provide an inspection of the dwelling unit occupied by the child or the child care center facility the child attends, by a state inspector or licensed private inspector lead risk assessor, and develop a plan in consultation with the parents, owner, physician, and others involved with the child to minimize the exposure of the child to lead.  The plan developed under this subdivision shall require that any lead hazards identified through the inspection be addressed.

(2)  The commissioner may May inspect and evaluate other dwelling units in a the building in which a severely lead‑poisoned the child has been identified as is living and if it is reasonable to believe that a child under the age of six years of age or younger occupies, receives care, or otherwise regularly frequents the other dwelling units in that building.

(c)  The commissioner shall work with the parents, owner, physician, and others involved with the child to develop a plan to minimize exposure of the child to lead hazards.

(d)  Concerning target housing which is rented or leased, on or before January 1, 1994, the secretary with the concurrence of the commissioner of housing and community affairs shall adopt rules to implement this section including rules which assure that prompt action will be taken to confirm a lead poisoning diagnosis, to inspect the possible sources of lead poisoning, and to secure voluntary compliance or to take necessary enforcement action.  Enforcement action shall include providing the child’s parents or guardians and the owner of the dwelling unit with appropriate educational materials on lead poisoning prevention and may include requiring the owner of the dwelling unit to initiate interim controls or abatement of lead‑based paint hazards within a specified time. 

(e)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the commissioner’s authority under any other provision of Vermont law.

Sec. 11.  18 V.S.A. § 1758 is amended to read:

§ 1758.  HOUSING REGISTRY LEAD HAZARD DATA

(a)  The department shall issue certificates to all persons who satisfactorily complete a training program on performing essential maintenance practices for lead‑based hazard control and shall compile a list of those persons’ the names of all persons who satisfactorily complete a training program on EMP, lead‑safe renovation, and any other lead hazard training program authorized by the department.

(b)  If additional funds are appropriated to the department in fiscal year 1998, on or before October 1, 1997, the department of housing and community affairs shall establish and maintain a list of housing units which (1) are lead free or (2) have undergone lead hazard control measures and passed independent dust clearance tests. The registry shall be maintained as a public record.

(c)  The department of social and rehabilitation services for children and families, child development division, shall identify all child care facilities in which the owners have completed essential maintenance practices EMP or lead hazard control measures and provide the findings percentage of all child care facilities that the number represents to the department annually by September 1 for the previous fiscal year.

Sec. 12.  18 V.S.A. § 1759 is amended to read:

§ 1759.  Essential maintenance practices

(a)  For the purposes of this section, all paint is presumed to be lead‑based unless a certified inspector has determined that it is not lead‑based.  All owners of rental target housing and child care facilities shall perform the Essential maintenance practices (EMP) in rental target housing and child care facilities shall be performed only by a person who has successfully completed an EMP training program approved by the commissioner or a person who works under the direct, on‑site supervision of a person who has successfully completed such training.  That person shall comply with section 1760 of this title and shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid creating lead hazards during any renovations, remodeling, maintenance, or repair project that disturbs more than one square foot of lead‑based paint, pursuant to guidelines issued by the department.  The following essential maintenance practices EMP on their property shall be performed in all rental target housing and child care facilities, unless a lead inspector or a lead risk assessor has certified that the property is lead‑free:

(1)  Take all reasonable precautions to avoid creating lead hazards during any renovation, remodeling, maintenance, or repair project that disturbs a lead‑based painted surface pursuant to guidelines issued by the department. The guidelines shall include the following requirements:

(A)  A prohibition against lead‑based paint removal by burning, water blasting, dry scraping, power sanding, or sandblasting, unless authorized by the department.

(B)  Use of good work practices and safety precautions to prevent the spread of lead dust, including limiting access to work areas to workers, covering the work area with six mil polyethylene plastic or the equivalent, wearing of protective clothing by workers, protecting belongings of occupants by covering or removing them from the work area, misting painted surfaces before disturbing the paint, and wetting sweeping debris.

(C)  At the conclusion of the work, specialized cleaning of the work area shall be performed shall be thoroughly cleaned using methods designed to remove lead dust and recommended by the department.

(2)  Perform visual on‑site inspections of all interior and exterior surfaces and fixtures of the building to identify deteriorated paint and install window well inserts into all windows, or protect window wells by another method approved by the department, no later than July 1, 1998; thereafter, visual on‑site inspections shall be performed annually and upon a change of tenant.  Install window well inserts in all windows, or protect window wells by another method approved by the department.

(3)(2)  At least once a year and at each change of tenant, and annually in units in which a child six years of age or younger resides clean all window wells and window sills within the unit and in all areas of the building to which access by tenants is not restricted by the rental agreement.  The cleaning shall be accomplished by using cleaning methods, products, and devices that are effective in the removal of lead‑contaminated dust and recommended by the department perform visual on‑site inspection of all interior and exterior painted surfaces and components at the property to identify deteriorated paint.

(4)(3)  Promptly and safely remove or stabilize lead‑based paint if more than one square foot of deteriorated lead‑based paint is found on any interior or exterior surface located within any area of the building dwelling to which access by tenants is not restricted by the rental agreement or on any exterior porch or an exterior wall, surface or fixture within the exterior porch.  An owner shall restore the assure that all surfaces to be are free of deteriorated lead‑based paint within 30 days after deteriorated lead‑based paint has been visually identified or within 30 days after receipt of a written or oral report of deteriorated lead‑based paint from any person including the department, a tenant, or from an owner of a child care facility.  If Because exterior paint repairs cannot be completed in cold weather, any exterior repair work is identified after November 1 of any year, the repair may be delayed for completion until shall be completed no later than the following May 31 of the following year provided that access to surfaces and components with lead hazards and areas directly below the deteriorated surfaces is clearly restricted.

(5)(4)  If more than one square foot of deteriorated paint is found on any exterior wall surface or fixture not covered by subdivision (4)(3) of this subsection and is located in an area frequented by children six years of age or younger in warm weather, the owner shall:

(A)  promptly and safely repair and stabilize the paint and restore the surface; or

(B)  prohibit access to the area, surface, or fixture to assure that such children will not come into contact with the deteriorated lead‑based paint.

(5)  For any outdoor area frequented in warm weather by children six years of age or younger, annually remove all visible paint chips from the ground on the property and assure that any bare soil within four feet of buildings is inaccessible by using any appropriate and effective method, including fencing, groundcover, or other vegetation, or covering the bare soil with stone or other materials recommended by the department.    

(6)  At least once a year, using methods recommended by the department, thoroughly clean all interior horizontal surfaces, except ceilings, in common areas accessible to tenants.

(6)(7)  Provide written LBP hazard information prepared or approved by the department to current and prospective tenants and current and prospective owners of child care facilities. At each change of tenant, thoroughly clean all interior horizontal surfaces of the dwelling unit, except ceilings, using methods recommended by the department.

(7)(8)  Post, in a prominent place in buildings containing rental target housing units or a child care facility, a notice to occupants emphasizing the importance of promptly reporting deteriorated paint to the owner or to the owner’s agent.  The notice shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or the owner’s agent.

(8)  Attend a training program offered or approved by the department.  The training, which shall be available to any person who repairs, remodels or renovates property, shall be attended by the owner, the owner’s property manager, or a representative of the owner’s regular maintenance staff. 

(9)  Ensure that any person who performs essential maintenance work has completed a department‑approved training program or is being supervised on‑site by a person who has completed the training program and complies with the essential maintenance practices. 

(10)  At each change of tenant, the owner shall clean all horizontal surfaces, except ceilings, within all areas of the building used by tenants and not otherwise restricted by the rental agreement.  This cleaning shall be done by using cleaning methods, products and devices prescribed by the department that are effective in cleaning up lead‑contaminated dust, such as vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters, and wet‑cleaning with trisodium phosphate or other lead specific detergents.

(b)  The owner of rental target housing or a child care facility shall perform all the following:

(1)  When the essential maintenance practices EMP are completed, the owner shall sign an affidavit indicating that, to the best of the owner’s knowledge and belief EMP compliance statement certifying that the essential maintenance practices EMP have been performed, including the addresses of the units in which EMPs were performed, the dates they were completed, and by whom they were of completion, and the person who performed the EMPs, and that subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection have been or will be complied withThe owner shall file the affidavit

(2)  File the statement required in subdivision (1) of this subsection with the owner’s liability insurance carrier and the department and shall provide a copy of the statement to all tenantsAnnually, the owner shall conduct a visual check, perform required essential maintenance practices, and sign and file an affidavit as required by this subsection. 

(3)  Provide current and prospective tenants with written information regarding lead hazards approved by the department at the time the owner provides the tenant with the EMP compliance statement.

Sec. 13.  18 V.S.A. § 1760 is amended to read:

§ 1760.  CERTIFICATION; RULES; REPORT; FUTURE DEPARTMENT
  UNSAFE WORK PRACTICES

(a)  No later than January 1, 1997, the secretary shall adopt rules that establish methods and practices to be used by licensed inspectors who certify that target housing and child care facilities are lead free or have had lead‑based paint hazards identified and controlled and have passed independent dust clearance tests.  The rules shall include the duration of validity of any certifications and requirements for renewal of certifications.

(b)  By January 1, 1999, the secretary shall report to the general assembly on the need for additional essential maintenance practices or other actions to further prevent lead poisoning in children based on significant:

(1)  Reductions in the number and percentage of poisoned and severely lead‑poisoned children.

(2)  Increases in the number and percentages of owners of rental target housing that have performed essential maintenance practices.

(3)  Increases in the number and percentage of housing units that have achieved higher levels of lead hazard control.

(4)  Advances in lead poisoning prevention technology.

(5)  Impact of public education efforts in reducing the lead levels of children at risk.

(c)  After July 1, 2000, the secretary may adopt rules for the low cost and cost effective implementation of the essential maintenance practices established in section 1759 of this title and additional recommended low cost and cost effective essential maintenance practices and other actions to further prevent lead poisoning in children.

(a)  All paint in target housing and child care facilities is presumed to be lead‑based unless a lead inspector or lead risk assessor has determined that it is not lead‑based.  Unsafe work practices include the following, unless specifically authorized by the department:

(1)  Removing lead‑based paint by:

(A)  Open flame burning or torching.

(B)  Use of heat guns operated above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.

(C)  Dry scraping.

(D)  Machine sanding or grinding.

(E)  Uncontained hydro‑blasting or high pressure washing.

(F)  Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without containment and high‑efficiency particulate exhaust controls.

(G)  Chemical stripping using methylene chloride products.

(2)  Failing to employ one or more of the following lead‑safe work practices: 

(A)  Limiting access to interior and exterior work areas.

(B)  Enclosing interior work areas with plastic sheathing or other effective lead dust barrier.

(C)  Using protective clothing.

(D)  Misting painted surfaces before disturbing paint.

(E)  Wetting paint debris before sweeping to limit dust creation.

(F)  Any other measure required by the department.

(b)  No person shall disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint using unsafe work practices in rental target housing or in child care facilities. 

(c)  No person shall perform, or hire another person to perform, any work for compensation of any kind in any target housing or child care facility if the work is likely to disturb more than one square foot of lead‑based paint unless the person hired:

(1)  holds a current registration or license issued by the department applicable to the work to be performed;

(2)  performs work that only infrequently and incidentally involves the disturbance of lead-based paint; or

(3)  performs no more than one project that involves the disturbance of lead-based paint in an owner-occupied, single-family dwelling.

(d)  No person shall perform any renovation in target housing or child care facility for compensation without complying with the pre‑renovation notification requirements pursuant to rules of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(e)  If it is determined that a person is disturbing lead‑based paint using unsafe work practices, the commissioner may require the person to cease work and to take action necessary to terminate the unsafe activity or mitigate lead hazards.  The order shall identify the unsafe work practice, the location of the work being performed, and the person performing the work.

Sec. 14.  18 V.S.A. § 1760a is added to read:

§ 1760a.  ENFORCEMENT; ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER; PENALTIES

(a)  The commissioner may issue an administrative order when the commissioner determines that there has been a violation of this chapter.  The order shall be served on the respondent in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and a copy of the order shall be provided to any resident of an affected unit, any other person directly affected by the order, and to the attorney general.  An order shall be effective upon receipt by the respondent unless stayed by court order, and shall provide for compliance within a reasonable amount of time depending on the number and severity of the violations.  An administrative order shall include:

(1)  A statement of the facts that provide the basis for the violation.

(2)  Identification of the applicable statute, rule, permit, assurance, work plan, or order.

(3)  Rights of appeal pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(4)  Notice that the order is effective upon receipt by the respondent unless stayed by court order.

(5)  The amount of any administrative penalty.

(6)  Suspension of registration, certification, or licensure issued under this chapter, if any.

(7)  Applicable directives for actions to address any violations described in the order.

(b)  A person who violates a provision of this chapter in target housing or a child care facility shall be subject to an administrative penalty in accordance with section 130 of this title.  A violator may be subject to any other available enforcement proceedings, remedies, and penalties.  In assessing a penalty, the commissioner shall consider at least the following:

(1)  The degree of actual or potential impact on public health resulting from the violation.

(2)  The extent of the violator’s knowledge of the violation.

(3)  The confirmed elevated blood lead level of the child who occupies or regularly frequents the property.

(4)  The respondent’s record of compliance with essential maintenance practice requirements.

(5)  Any economic gain derived from the violation, including the estimated costs avoided by noncompliance.

(6)  The deterrent effect of the penalty on the violator and the regulated community.

(7)  The cost to the state of investigation, enforcement, and attorney fees.

(8)  The length of time the violation has existed.

(9)  Any other relevant factors. 

(c)  In lieu of part or all of a civil penalty, in the discretion of the commissioner, a payment may be made by the respondent to the lead hazard education and cleanup fund.  Penalties paid pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the lead hazard education and cleanup fund.

(d)  A person may appeal a violation determination and penalty to the superior court within 30 days after the determination is issued.  The superior court review shall be de novo and pursuant to the procedures set out in Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e)  The commissioner may refer violations of this chapter to the attorney general for civil or criminal enforcement and possible assessment of civil penalties pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(f)  The attorney general shall bring the case in the name of the state of Vermont.

(g)  In any civil action brought pursuant to this section in which a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, relief shall be obtained upon a showing that there is the probability of success on the merits, and that a violation exists or a violation is imminent and likely to result in substantial harm.  There is no requirement to demonstrate immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage for an action under this subsection.

(h)  The attorney general may seek all equitable and legal remedies available, including civil penalties.

(i)  The court shall assess civil penalties pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section.

(j)  Nothing in this section shall limit the commissioner’s authority under any other provision of law.

Sec. 15.  18 V.S.A. § 1761 is amended to read:

§ 1761.  DUTY OF REASONABLE CARE; NEGLIGENCE; LIABILITY

(a)  Owners of target housing and owners of child care facilities shall take reasonable care to prevent exposure to, and the creation of, lead‑based paint lead hazards.  In an action brought under this section, evidence of actions taken or not taken to satisfy the requirements of this chapter, including performing essential maintenance practices EMP, may be admissible evidence of reasonable care or negligence.

(b)  Any person who suffers an injury proximately caused by an owner’s breach of this duty of reasonable care shall have a cause of action to recover damages and for all other appropriate equitable relief.

(c)  A person who is severely lead poisoned as a result of a violation of the duty of reasonable care before the age of six, or a parent, legal guardian or other person authorized to act on behalf of that person, shall have a cause of action to recover damages and other appropriate relief.

(d)  The owner of target housing or a child care facility who has reduced lead‑based paint hazards by completing risk assessment and controls and who has had a licensed inspector a lead risk assessor certify, pursuant to rules under section 1760 of this title the Vermont regulations for lead control, that all identified lead‑based paint lead hazards have been controlled in target housing or child care facility premises and the housing or facility contains no lead‑contaminated dust has passed an independent dust clearance test, shall not be liable for injury or other relief claimed to be caused by exposure to lead during the time period covered by the certification.  The lead risk assessor shall determine the time period of the certification and any special conditions.

This immunity does not apply if:

(1)  there was fraud in the certification process; or

(2)  the owner violated conditions of the certification; or

(3)  the owner created lead‑based paint lead hazards during renovation, remodeling, maintenance, or repair after the certification; or

(4)  the owner failed to respond in a timely fashion to notification that lead‑based paint lead hazards may have recurred on the premises.

(e)(d)  A defendant in an action brought under this section has a right of contribution from any other person or persons who have violated subsection (a) of this section is determined to be responsible, in whole or in part, for the child’s blood lead level.

(f)(e)  The remedies provided under this section shall be the exclusive remedies against owners arising from lead‑based paint lead hazards, except for the following:

(1)  causes of action under 9 V.S.A. chapter 63;

(2)  causes of action for relief under 9 V.S.A. § 4458; and

(3)  common law actions for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

(g)(f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of the commissioner or any agency or instrumentality of the state of Vermont to seek remedies available under any other provision of Vermont statutory law.

(h)(g)(1)  In an action under 9 V.S.A. § 4458, compliance by the landlord with the duties required under section 1759 of this title shall create a conclusive presumption of habitability with respect to lead‑based paint hazards.  However except that, if a child under the age of six years of age or younger who occupies or regularly frequents the dwelling is lead poisoned as defined in subdivision 1751(b)(16) of this title has a confirmed blood lead level at or above ten micrograms of lead per deciliter, this presumption shall be rebuttable, not conclusive

     (2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an action brought under 9 V.S.A. § 4458 while the landlord is in compliance with a plan required by section 1757(c) of this title or during the time period of the certification under subsection (c) of this section, such compliance or certification shall create a conclusive, non-rebuttable presumption of habitability with respect to lead‑based paint hazards. 

     (3)  Presumptions under this subsection shall be limited to actions based on a breach of the warranty of habitability under 9 V.S.A. § 4458.

(i)  This section shall apply only to actions arising from acts or omissions that occur on or after July 1, 1996.

Sec. 16.  18 V.S.A. § 1762 is amended to read:

§ 1762.  SECURED LENDERS AND FIDUCIARIES; LIABILITY

(a)  A person who holds indicia of ownership in rental target housing or a child care facility furnished by the owner or person in lawful possession, for the primary purpose of assuring repayment of a financial obligation and takes full legal title through foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure or otherwise shall not be liable as an owner of the property for injury or loss claimed to be caused by exposure to lead of a child on the premises, provided that, on or before the 120th day after the date of possession, the person completes all the following:

(1)  performs essential maintenance practices EMP as required by section 1759 of this title; and .

(2)  fully discloses Full disclosure to all potential purchasers, child care facility operators or tenants of the property of any information in the possession of such the person or the person’s agents, regarding the presence of lead‑based paint lead hazards or a lead‑poisoned child on the property and, upon request, provides, including providing copies of all written reports on lead‑based paint lead hazards to potential purchasers, operators, or tenants.

(b)  The immunity provided in subsection (a) of this section shall expire 365 days after the secured lender or fiduciary takes full legal title.

(c)  A person who holds legal title to rental target housing or a child care facility as an executor, administrator, trustee, or the guardian of the estate of the owner, and demonstrates that in that fiduciary capacity does not have either the legal authority or the financial resources to fund capital or major property rehabilitation necessary to conduct essential maintenance practices shall not be personally liable as an owner for injury or loss caused by exposure to lead by a child on the premises.  However, nothing in this section shall limit the liability of the trust estate for such claims and those claims may be asserted against the trustee as a fiduciary of the trust estate.

Sec. 17.  18 V.S.A. § 1763 is amended to read:

§ 1763.  PUBLIC FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE; RENTAL TARGET
HOUSING AND CHILD CARE FACILITIES

Every state agency or instrumentality that makes a commitment to provide public financial assistance for the purchase or rehabilitation of rental target housing or child care facilities shall give priority to projects in which the property is lead free, the lead hazards have been or will be identified and abated, or lead‑based paint the lead hazards have been or will be identified and controlled and have passed or will pass an independent dust clearance test that determines that the property contains no lead‑contaminated dust prior to occupancy or use.  Priority rental target housing projects may include units occupied by severely lead‑poisoned children six years of age or younger with a confirmed venous blood lead level at or greater than ten micrograms of lead per deciliter or at a lower level as determined by the commissioner and units in a building that are likely to contain lead‑based paint lead hazards.  For purposes of this section, “public financial assistance” means any grant, loan, or allocation of tax credits funded by the state or the federal government, or any of their agencies or instrumentalities.

Sec. 18.  18 V.S.A. § 1764 is amended to read:

§ 1764.  LEAD INSPECTORS; FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR LEAD HAZARD CONTROL ACTIVITIES

The commissioner may require that a registrant, licensee, or an applicant for a registration or license under section 1752(d) 1752 of this title provide evidence of ability to properly indemnify a person who suffers damage from lead‑based paint the registrant’s or licensee’s activities such as proof of effective liability insurance coverage or a surety bond in an amount to be determined by the commissioner which shall not be less than $300,000.00.  This section shall not restrict or enlarge the liability of any person under any applicable law.

Sec. 19.  18 V.S.A. § 1765 is amended to read:

§ 1765.  LIABILITY INSURANCE

(a)  If the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration determines that lead‑based paint lead hazards have substantially diminished the availability of liability insurance for owners of rental property or child care facilities and that a voluntary market assistance plan will not adequately restore availability, the commissioner shall order liability insurers to provide or continue to provide liability coverage or to participate in any other appropriate remedial program as determined by the commissioner, provided the prospective insured is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

* * *

Sec. 20.  18 V.S.A. § 1766 is added to read:  

§ 1766.  LEAD HAZARD EDUCATION AND CLEANUP FUND

(a)  A fund to be known as the lead hazard education and cleanup fund is created in the state treasury shall be administered by the Vermont housing and conservation board to assist Vermont families and property owners to control lead hazards in housing.  The board shall administer the fund in compliance with 10 V.S.A. § 312 and the policies and priorities of the board’s lead‑based paint hazard reduction program with particular attention to targeting resources, promoting primary prevention in order to maximize both the number of young children protected from exposure to lead hazards and the number of homes made safe from lead hazards.  Disbursement may be authorized to fund any of the following:

(1)  Free or reduced rate training on EMP and lead‑safe work practices for property owners, contractors, child care facility operators and other appropriate persons.

(2)  Public education and outreach.

(3)  Costs minimally necessary to administer the fund.

(4)  Technical assistance to Vermont property owners to identify and control housing‑based lead hazards.

(5)  Collection and analysis of environmental samples.

(6)  Grants and loans to property owners to control lead hazards in housing units likely to be inhabited by families with young children.

(b)  The fund shall consist of loan repayments, recovered disbursements, donations, gifts, administrative penalties related to lead hazards, and any funds appropriated by the general assembly, or received from any other source, private or public.  All balances in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the fund.  Interest earned by the fund shall remain in the fund. 

(c)  Annually, by September 1, the executive director of the Vermont housing and conservation board or designee, and the commissioner of health or designee, shall annually review receipts and disbursements from the fund for the previous fiscal year, evaluate the effectiveness of the fund in meeting its purposes and goals, evaluate the reasonableness of the cleanup costs, and recommend changes to enhance and encourage abatement of lead hazards in target housing and child care facilities and their findings shall be included in the annual report required under section 1756 of this title. 

Sec. 21.  18 V.S.A. § 1767 is added to read: 

§ 1767.  TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF TARGET HOUSING; RISK
  ASSESSMENT; EMP COMPLIANCE

(a)  At the time a purchase and sale agreement for target housing is executed, the real estate agent and seller shall provide the buyer with materials approved by the commissioner, including a lead paint hazard brochure, materials on other lead hazards in housing, and a disclosure form.  The disclosure form shall include any assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order, the terms of which are not completed, and, if the property is rental target housing, verification that the EMP have been completed and that a current EMP compliance statement has been filed with the department.

(b)  At a closing for the transfer of title of target housing, real estate agents, sellers, and other transferors shall provide the buyer or transferee with any materials delineated in subsection (a) of this section not previously disclosed and a lead‑safe renovation practices packet approved by the commissioner and shall disclose any assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order not disclosed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the terms of which are not completed.

(c)  No transfer of title of a rental target housing, building or unit may occur if the building or unit is currently the subject of an assurance of discontinuance, administrative order, or court order unless the assurance or order is amended in writing to transfer to the buyer or other transferee all remaining obligations under the assurance or order. 

(d)  At the time of any transfer of title of rental target housing the real estate agents, sellers, and other transferors of title shall provide the buyer or transferee with information approved by the commissioner explaining EMP obligations. 

(e)  A buyer or other transferee of title to rental target housing who has purchased or received a building or unit that is not in full compliance with section 1759 of this title shall bring the target housing into compliance with section 1759 of this title within 60 days after the closing.  Within the 60‑day period, the buyer or transferee may submit a written request for an extension of time for compliance, which the commissioner may grant in writing for a stated period of time for good cause only.  Failure to comply with this subsection shall result in a mandatory civil penalty.

(f)  This section shall not apply to target housing that has been certified lead free.

(g)  Noncompliance with this section shall not affect marketability of title.

Sec. 22.  24 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:

§ 2291.  ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

* * *

(23)  To enforce laws related to lead hazards pursuant to chapter 38 of Title 18, including requiring screening and testing of individuals, enforcing the use of safe work practices and EMP.  This subdivision confers no new authority to regulate firearms, ammunition, or shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, or casting and reloading ammunition.

Sec. 23.  GRANTS FOR LEAD HAZARD REDUCTION

The commissioner of health is authorized to secure grants from public and private sources and to receive and disburse funds that are assigned, donated, or bequeathed to the department to increase lead hazard reduction activities, to promote primary prevention of exposure to lead hazards, and to evaluate primary prevention programs in the state.

Sec. 24.  CONSTRUCTION

Nothing in this act shall be construed to regulate firearms, ammunition, or shooting ranges or circumstances resulting from shooting, handling, storing, or casting and reloading ammunition.

Sec. 25.  SUNSET

Section 1756 of Title 18, requiring the commissioner of health to file an annual report related to lead in housing, shall be repealed on October 16, 2014.

Sec. 26.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008, except:

(1)  Sec. 6, subsection 1755(b) of Title 18, relating to mandatory screenings and confirmation tests; Sec. 13, subsection 1760(c) of Title 18, only as it relates to unsafe work practices in owner-occupied housing by hired persons; and Sec. 21, relating to transfer of target housing, shall take effect on July 1, 2009; and

(2)  Sec. 9, relating to a special report on inspections, shall take effect on October 16, 2014.

(Committee vote: 9-2-0)

Favorable

H. 709

     An act relating to campgrounds.

Rep. Wright of Burlington, for the Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, recommends the bill ought to pass.

( Committee Vote: 7-0-1)

J. R. H. 45

     Joint resolution urging Congress to repeal the planned Competitive Loan Auction Pilot program for the Federal Family Education Loan program’s PLUS LOANS to parents.

Rep. Oxholm of Vergennes, for the Committee on Education, recommends the resolution ought to be adopted.

(Committee vote: 8-0-3)

(For text see House Journal 1/22/08, P. 46)

Senate Proposal of Amendment

H. 575

An act relating to small eligible telecommunications carriers;

     The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill in Sec. 1, 30 V.S.A. §227d(b)(4), by striking out the second sentence in its entirety.

(For House amendments see House Journal 1/31/08, pp. 109-111.)

Action Postponed Until Thursday, February 28, 2008

H. 864

An act relating to making miscellaneous amendments to education law.

Pending Action: Second Reading

NOTICE CALENDAR

Committee Bills for Second Reading

H. 870

An act relating to the regulations and professions and occupations.

(Rep. Evans of Essex will speak for the Committee on Government Operations.)

H. 871

An act relating to professional requirements for the deputy attorney general, assistant attorneys general, probate judges, deputy state’s attorneys, constables and sheriffs.

(Rep. Lippert of Hinesburg will speak for the Committee on Judiciary.)

H. 873

An act relating to the cleanup of Lake Champlain and other state waters.

(Rep. Deen of Westminster will speak for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.)

Favorable with Amendment

H. 112

     An act relating to protection of health care and public safety personnel from communicable disease.

Rep. Fisher of Lincoln, for the Committee on Human Services, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 5 is added to read:

Subchapter 5.  Communicable Disease Testing

§ 1140.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this subchapter:

(1)  “Bloodborne pathogen” means a pathogenic microorganism that is present in human blood and can cause disease in humans.  Such pathogens include hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

(2)  “Emergency personnel” shall have the same meaning as in section 3171 of Title 20, but shall also include members of a ski patrol trained through the National Ski Patrol or substantially similar program.

(3)  “Employer” means the organization on whose behalf a worker is employed or volunteering when rendering health services to a source patient pursuant to this subchapter.

(4)  “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 9432(8) of this title.

(5)  “Health care worker” means any individual or employee of a health care provider who provides medical or other health services in the course of the worker’s employment.

(6)  “Health services” means activities and functions that are directly related to care, treatment, or diagnosis of a patient, including emergency medical treatment.

(7)  “Manner sufficient to transmit” means consistent with current guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Vermont.

(8)  “Public safety personnel” means an individual employed or volunteering for a fire department, police department, or ambulance service.

(9)  “Source patient” means an individual who, in the course of receiving health services, may have exposed a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel to blood or bodily fluids in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne disease.

(9)  “Worker” means emergency personnel, health care worker, or public safety personnel.

§ 1141.  COMMUNICABLE DISEASE TESTING

(a)  A health care provider may order a test for bloodborne pathogens if a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness to the affected worker while engaged in rendering health services to the source patient, and provided that:

(1)  the source patient:

(A)  has provided informed consent, as defined in subsection 9701(16) of this title; or

(B)  is deceased;

(2)  the worker has provided a blood sample and consented to testing for bloodborne pathogens and a physician has documented that bloodborne pathogen test results are needed for beginning, continuing, modifying, or discontinuing medical treatment for the worker;

(3)  a physician with specialty training in infectious diseases has confirmed that the worker has been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of the source patient in a manner sufficient to transmit a bloodborne pathogen-related illness;

(4)  a health care provider has informed the worker of the confidentiality requirements in subsection (c) of this section and the penalties for unauthorized disclosure of source patient information under subsection (e) of this section; and

(5)  a health care provider has informed the source patient of the purpose and confidentiality provisions in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, respectively, if applicable.

(b)  Bloodborne pathogen test results of a source patient obtained under subsection (a) of this section are for diagnostic purposes and to determine the need for treatment or medical care specific to a bloodborne pathogen-related illness of a worker.  Test results may not be used as evidence in any criminal or civil proceedings.

(c)  The result of a test ordered pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is protected health information subject to the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and contained in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, and any subsequent amendments.  Test results shall be confidential except that the worker who sustained the exposure, the health care provider who ordered the test, and the source patient, upon his or her request, shall be informed of the test results.  Test results reported to the worker and documented in his or her medical record shall not include any personally identifying information relative to the source patient.  Test results shall be transmitted to the commissioner of health pursuant to subsection (i) of this section.

(d)  Prior to laboratory testing of a source patient’s blood sample for bloodborne pathogens, personal identifiers shall be removed from the sample.

(e)  Unauthorized disclosures of test results obtained under this section shall be subject to the penalties provided under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. subsections 1320d-5 and 1320d-6.

(f)  The results of rapid testing technologies shall be considered preliminary and may be released in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions as approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.  Corroborating or confirmatory testing must be conducted as follow-up to a positive preliminary test.

(g)  The health care provider who requested the test shall provide the source patient and the worker an opportunity to receive follow-up testing and shall provide information on options for counseling, as appropriate.

(h)  Records pertaining to testing performed pursuant to this section shall not be recorded in the source patient’s medical record unless authorized by the source patient and shall not be maintained in the location where the test is ordered or performed for more than 60 days.

(i)  A laboratory having personal knowledge of a test result under this section shall transmit within 24 hours a report thereof to the department of health pursuant to subsection 1001(k) of this title.

(j)  The employer of any worker exposed to blood or bodily fluids while rendering health services to a source patient during the performance of normal job duties shall maintain an incident report with information regarding the exposure that is relevant to a workers’ compensation claim.  The employer shall not be provided or have access to information personally identifying the source patient.

(k)  The costs of all diagnostic tests authorized by these provisions shall be borne by the employer of the worker.

(l)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a health care provider who orders or performs a test under this section shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability for doing so.  A health care provider’s duties under this section are not continuing but limited to testing and services performed under this section.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 1001(k) is added to read:

(k)  The commissioner shall maintain a separate database of reports received pursuant to subsection 1141(i) of this title for the limited purpose of tracking the number of tests performed pursuant to subchapter 5, chapter 21 of this title.  The database shall not include any information that personally identifies a patient.

(Committee vote: 11-0-0)

H. 549

     An act relating to establishing buffer zones along waterways of the state.

Rep. Deen of Westminster, for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that:

(1)  The surface waters of Vermont are an invaluable resource to the state and its citizens.

(2)  The navigable surface waters of the state are held in trust by the state for its citizens, and, thus, the state is bound to protect and conserve these waters.

(3)  The shorelands adjacent to the waters of the state harbor some of the most valuable natural resources in the state and serve important functions related to the health and quality of the state’s surface waters.

(4)  The shorelands adjacent to the state’s surface waters are often fragile natural resources, and their protection in the face of increasing development pressure is necessary to maintain the vitality and health of the state’s surface waters.

(5)  Under current law, the potential exists for uncoordinated, unplanned, and piecemeal development along the state’s surface waters, which could result in significant negative impacts on the waters of Vermont.

(6)  The agency of natural resources’ river management corridor program has worked successfully with municipalities to identify and map flood hazard zones, and the agency’s river management corridor program should continue and be supported.  However, additional protection of the state’s shorelands is necessary.

(7)  Buffer zones consisting of trees and other vegetation adjacent to the lakes of the states and within the state’s river corridors function to control water pollution; control building within the state’s shorelands; preserve and protect wetlands; help maintain and protect, channel, streambank, and floodplain stability; preserve and protect the habitat of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife; promote open space; and achieve additional environmental protection for the surface waters of Vermont.

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 1421 is amended to read:

§ 1421.  POLICY

To aid in the fulfillment of the state’s role as trustee of its navigable waters and to promote public health, safety, convenience, and general welfare, it is declared to be in the public interest to make studies, establish policies, make plans, make rules, require buffer zones along the lakes and streams of the state, promote the protection and management of the river corridors of the state, and authorize municipal shoreland zoning bylaws, all for the efficient use, conservation, development, and protection of the state’s water resources.  The purposes of the rules shall be to further the maintenance of safe and healthful conditions,; prevent and control water pollution; protect spawning grounds, fish, and aquatic life; control building sites, placement of structures, and land uses,; preserve shore cover and natural beauty,; and provide for multiple use of the waters in a manner to provide for the best interests of the citizens of the state.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 1422 is amended to read:

§ 1422.  DEFINITIONS

In this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1)  “Agency” means the agency of natural resources;.

(2)  “Board” means water resources panel of the natural resources board;.

(3)  “Department” means department of environmental conservation;.

(4)  “Navigable water” or “navigable waters” means Lake Champlain, Lake Memphremagog, the Connecticut River, all natural inland lakes within Vermont, and all streams, ponds, flowages, and other waters within the territorial limits of Vermont, including the Vermont portion of boundary waters, which are boatable under the laws of this state;.

(5)  “Public shorelands” means state‑owned lands adjacent to navigable waters;.

(6)  “Public waters” means navigable waters excepting those waters in private ponds and private preserves as set forth in sections 5204, 5205, 5206, and 5210 of this title;.

(7)  “Secretary” means the secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s duly authorized representative;.

(8)  “Shorelands” means the lands being between the normal mean water mark level of a lake, pond, or impoundment exceeding twenty 20 acres and a line not less than five hundred 500 feet nor more than one thousand 1,000 feet from such mean water mark level.

(9)  “Outstanding resource waters” mean waters of the state designated by the board as having exceptional natural, recreational, cultural, or scenic values.

(10)  “Existing use” means the established use, activity, or development occurring within a buffer zone on July 1, 2010, including:

(A)  repair, renovation, or maintenance, provided that the result of any repair, renovation, or maintenance is a functionally equivalent use; and

(B)  maintenance of a cleared area, including lawns and beaches, within the buffer, provided that the cleared area is not enlarged and no change in use occurs.

(11)  “Lake” means a body of standing water, including ponds and reservoirs that may have natural or artificial water level control.  Off-stream reservoirs specifically constructed for the following purposes shall not be considered lakes:  snowmaking storage, golf course irrigation, stormwater management, and fire suppression.

(12)  “Riparian buffer” means an undisturbed area adjacent to a lake or stream in the state consisting of trees, shrubs, groundcover plants, duff layer, and naturally vegetated, uneven ground surface that extends horizontally across the surface of the land from the mean water level of a lake or from the top of bank or top of slope of a stream.

(13)  “River corridor” means an area adjacent to streams, as defined by the agency of natural resources, necessary to accommodate the slope and platform of the stream’s naturally stable channel wherein encroachment and channel management activities that constrain the stream channel from achieving natural stability may increase risks to public safety, fluvial erosion hazards, property loss, and water quality and habitat degradation.

(14)  “Stream” means the full length and width, including the bed and banks, of any watercourse, including rivers, creeks, brooks, and branches.  “Stream” does not mean constructed drainageways, including water bars, swales, and roadside ditches.

(15)  “Top of bank” means the point along the bank of a stream where an abrupt change in slope is evident, and where the stream is generally able to overflow the banks and enter the adjacent floodplain during flows at or exceeding the average annual high water stage.

(16)  “Top of slope” means a break in slopes adjacent to steep-banked streams that have little or no floodplain; or a break in slope where the side slopes adjacent to an incised, or deeply cut, channel meet floodplains that have been abandoned or are undergoing abandonment. 

(17)  “Trail” means a recognized part of the Vermont trail system under section 443 of this section or land used for hiking, walking, bicycling,

cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle riding, horseback riding, and other similar activities that is regularly maintained by a state or federal agency, a municipality, person, or incorporated group or association.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 1427 is added to read:

§ 1427.  MINIMUM RIPARIAN BUFFER

(a)  The agency of natural resources shall continue to develop flood hazard area maps that delineate the river corridors of the streams of the state.  In addition, the agency of natural resources shall include on a flood hazard area map a riparian buffer zone along the streams of the state.  The size of the buffer zone included on a flood hazard area map shall be determined by site specific conditions.

(b)  Beginning July 1, 2010, a riparian buffer of at least 50 feet shall be established along the lakes and the streams of the state unless:

(1)  The municipality in which a stream is located has adopted a flood hazard area map developed by the agency of natural resources under subsection (a) of this section, provided that:

(A)  the flood hazard area map adopted by the municipality includes a riparian buffer zone; and

(B)  the exemption from the requirements of this section shall only apply to those streams included within the flood hazard area map and shall not apply to lakes located within the municipality; or

(2)  The municipality in which a lake or a stream is located has adopted riparian buffer zoning under section 4425 of Title 24; or

(3)  The municipality in which a lake or a stream is located adopted a riparian buffer bylaw prior to July 1, 2010 and that bylaw, as determined by the agency of natural resources:

(A)  Is consistent with the purposes and the requirements of 24 V.S.A. § 4425;

(B)(i)  Requires the establishment of a riparian buffer of at least 50 feet; or

(ii)  Establishes a riparian buffer of less than 50 feet that is based on site specific conditions; and

(C)  The municipality updates its riparian buffer bylaw to be consistent with the requirements of section 4425 of Title 24 subsequent to the next revision of its town plan.

(4)  Use of the land is authorized under this section or the rules adopted under subsection (d) of this section.

(c)  The following are allowed in the riparian buffer zone or are subject to environmental review under other provisions of law and are not subject to the requirements of subsection (b) of this section:

(1)  Activities by persons subject to the regulatory requirements of chapter 215 of Title 6.

(2)  Forestry conducted in compliance with accepted silvicultural practices as defined by the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation under section 2622 of this section.

(3)  Existing uses.

(4)  Reconstruction, repair, or maintenance of linear public transportation facilities; improvements directly related to providing transportation enhancements; and safety features on or adjacent to linear public transportation facilities.

(5)  The control of non-native, invasive species of plants where such control is authorized by law or approved by the agency of natural resources.

(6)  Maintenance or repair of pollution abatement facilities permitted under section 1263 of this title.

(7)  Railroad activities and facilities within the jurisdiction of federal law.

(8)  Stormwater treatment facilities or practices existing within a riparian buffer as of July 1, 2010, including repair or maintenance under a permit issued under section 1264 of this title.

(9)  Construction of electric transmission projects that are subject to 30 V.S.A. § 248.

(10)  Development or a subdivision permitted under or subject to chapter 151 of this title.

(11)  The routine repair and maintenance of utility lines and poles, including vegetation maintenance in utility line corridors, in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts and is in accordance with a plan approved by the agency of natural resources.

(12)  The emergency repair of utility lines and poles in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to the riparian buffer.

(13)  Trail construction and maintenance conducted in conformance with applicable management standards recommended by the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation.

(14)  Stairways or paths of not more than six feet in width that lead to a lake or a stream.

(15)  Additional exemptions adopted by the agency of natural resources under subsection (d) of this section

(d)  The agency of natural resources shall adopt substantive and technical rules to implement this section , including rules for uses that:

(1)  Regulate the development and use of riparian buffers in order to prevent and control water pollution; prevent and control stormwater runoff; preserve and protect wetlands; maintain and protect channel, streambank, and floodplain stability; preserve and protect the habitat of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife; promote open space and aesthetics; and achieve other municipal, regional, or state conservation and development objectives for riparian buffers.  These rules may:

(A)  Regulate the planting and maintenance of vegetation.

(B)  Regulate maintenance of existing access to public waters.

(C)  Set standards or criteria that regulate development or change of use of buildings or structures within riparian buffers.

(D)  Regulate the use and storage of hazardous materials, as that term is defined in section 6602 of this title, provided that any requirements adopted under this section are consistent with and at least as stringent as state and federal law.

(E)  Regulate practices or the use or storage of other materials that could impair water quality, provided that any requirements adopted under this section are consistent with and at least as stringent as state and federal law.

(F)  Establish requirements for the mitigation of the impact of a use allowed under subdivision (d)(3) of this subsection, including mitigation offsets, mitigation banking, and impact fees.

(G)  Establish other requirements to promote the sound management and use of riparian buffers.

(2)  Authorize uses that may be conducted in a riparian buffer, including standards for:

(A)  The development of buildings within the riparian buffer

(B)  Allowing encroachment on a riparian buffer by an existing or new use.

(C)  Change in use of existing nonconforming uses.

(D)  Recreational uses within the buffer, including docks, decks, piers, access areas, landing areas, and beaches.

(E)  Except as otherwise provided in this section, utility lines.

(F)  New stormwater treatment facilities or practices permitted by the agency of natural resources.

(G)  Lake or stream conservation or restoration projects approved by the agency of natural resources.

(H)  Construction of new alignment linear public transportation facilities.

(I)  Private crossings of riparian buffers, including driveways and other access roads.

(3)  Allow a use not set forth under subdivision (c)(2) of this section within a riparian buffer when:

(A)  The proposed use must impact the buffer in order to fulfill the purpose of the use and the use will, insofar as possible and reasonable in light of its purpose:

(i)  Retain in its natural condition the portion of the buffer that is not impacted by the use out of necessity;

(ii)  Retain or provide vegetation which, when relevant to the allowed use, screens the use from the surface of a lake or stream;

(iii)  Stabilize the bank of the stream or lake from erosion when necessary with vegetative cover.

(B)  The applicant takes reasonable measures to minimize impact on the riparian buffer; and

(C)  Suitable mitigation will be provided for any impact to the riparian buffer so that no net loss of acreage to the riparian buffer occurs.  The agency of natural resources may approve off-site mitigation or some combination of on-site and offsite mitigation of the impact to the riparian buffer when on-site mitigation alone is not reasonable or appropriate.

(4)  Exempt certain uses or activities from the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

(e)  In order to implement the rules issued by the agency of natural resources under subsection (d) of this section, the secretary of natural resources may, after notice and opportunity for a public hearing, issue and enforce a general permit for any category of uses or activities within the riparian buffer provided, that the uses or activities in such category are similar in nature.

Sec. 5.  10 V.S.A. § 8003(a) is amended to read:

(a)  The secretary may take action under this chapter to enforce the following statutes:

* * *

(17)  10 V.S.A. § 2625, relating to heavy cutting of timber; and

(18)  10 V.S.A. chapter 164, relating to comprehensive mercury management; and

(19)  10 V.S.A. § 1427, relating to minimum riparian buffers.

Sec. 6.  10 V.S.A. § 8503(a)(1) is amended to read:

(a)  This chapter shall govern all appeals of an act or decision of the secretary, excluding enforcement actions under chapters 201 and 211 of this title and rulemaking, under the following authorities and under the rules adopted under those authorities:

(1)  The following provisions of this title:

* * *

(O)  section 1427 (relating to minimum riparian buffers).

Sec. 7.  24 V.S.A. § 4303(10) is amended to read:

(10)  “Land development” means the division of a parcel into two or more parcels, the construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of any building or other structure, or of any mining, excavation, or landfill, alteration or removal of vegetation or trees within riparian buffers, and any change in the use of any building or other structure, or land, or extension of use of land.

Sec. 8.  24 V.S.A. § 4411 is amended to read:

§ 4411.  ZONING BYLAWS

(a)  A municipality may regulate land development in conformance with its adopted municipal plan and for the purposes set forth in section 4302 of this title to govern the use of land and the placement, spacing, and size of structures and other factors specified in the bylaws related to public health, safety, or welfare.  Zoning bylaws may permit, prohibit, restrict, regulate, and determine land development, including the following:

(1)  Specific uses of land and shoreland facilities;

(2)  Dimensions, location, erection, construction, repair, maintenance, alteration, razing, removal, and use of structures;

(3)  Areas and dimensions of land to be occupied by uses and structures, as well as areas, courts, yards, and other open spaces and distances to be left unoccupied by uses and structures;

(4)  Timing or sequence of growth, density of population, and intensity of use;

(5)  Uses within a riparian buffer, as that term is defined in section 1422 of Title 10.

(b)  All zoning bylaws shall apply to all lands within the municipality other than as specifically limited or exempted in accordance with specific standards included within those bylaws and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.  The provisions of those bylaws may be classified so that different provisions may be applied to different classes of situations, uses, and structures and to different and separate districts of the municipality as may be described by a zoning map made part of the bylaws.  The land use map required pursuant to subdivision 4382(a)(2) of this title of any municipality may be designated as the zoning map except in cases in which districts are not deemed by the planning commission to be described in sufficient accuracy or detail by the municipal plan land use map.  All provisions shall be uniform for each class of use or structure within each district, except that additional classifications may be made within any district for any or all of the following:

(1)  To make transitional provisions at and near the boundaries of districts.

(2)  To regulate the expansion, reduction, or elimination of certain nonconforming uses, structures, lots, or parcels.

(3)  To regulate, restrict, or prohibit uses or structures at or near any of the following:

(A)  Major thoroughfares, their intersections and interchanges, and transportation arteries.

(B)  Natural or artificial bodies of water.

(C)  Places of relatively steep slope or grade.

(D)  Public buildings and public grounds.

(E)  Aircraft and helicopter facilities.

(F)  Places having unique patriotic, ecological, historical, archaeological, or community interest or value, or located within scenic or design control districts.

(G)  Flood or other hazard areas and other places having a special character or use affecting or affected by their surroundings.

(H)  Riparian buffers, as that term is defined in section 1422 of title 10.

(4)  To regulate, restrict, or prohibit uses or structures in overlay districts, as set forth in subdivision 4414(2) of this title.

Sec. 9.  24 V.S.A. § 4414 is amended to read:

§ 4414.  ZONING; PERMISSIBLE TYPES OF REGULATION

Any of the following types of regulations may be adopted by a municipality in its bylaws in conformance with the plan and for the purposes established in section 4302 of this title.

(1)  Zoning districts.  A municipality may define different and separate zoning districts, and identify within these districts which land uses are permitted as of right, and which are conditional uses requiring review and approval, including the districts set forth in this subdivision (1).

(A)  Downtown, village center, new town center, and growth center districts.  The definition or purpose stated for local downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center zoning districts should conform with the applicable definitions in section 2791 of this title.  Municipalities may adopt downtown, village center, new town center, or growth center districts without seeking state designation under chapter 76A of this title.  A municipality may adopt a manual of graphic or written design guidelines to assist applicants in the preparation of development applications.  The following objectives should guide the establishment of boundaries, requirements, and review standards for these districts:

* * *

(G)  Riparian buffers.  In accordance with section 4424 of this title, a municipality may adopt bylaws to regulate riparian buffers, as that term is defined in section 1422 of Title 10, in order to prevent and control water pollution; prevent and control stormwater runoff; preserve and protect wetlands; maintain and protect channel, streambank, and floodplain stability; preserve and protect the habitat of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife; promote open space and aesthetics; and achieve other municipal, regional, or state conservation and development objectives for riparian buffers.  Riparian buffer bylaws may regulate the design and location of development, control building location, require the provision and maintenance of vegetation, require provisions for access to public waters for all residents and owners of the development, and impose other requirements authorized by this chapter.

* * *

Sec. 10.  24 V.S.A. § 4425 is added to read:

§ 4425.  RIPARIAN BUFFER BYLAWS

(a)  A municipality may adopt freestanding bylaws or amend zoning or unified development bylaws to regulate development and use of riparian buffers, as that term is defined in section 1422 of Title 10.

(b)  Bylaws adopted under this section shall include:

(1)  Provisions to promote the sound management and use of riparian buffers.

(2)  A provision barring use or development within a riparian buffer zone unless such use or development is authorized by the bylaws or the appropriate municipal panel.

(3)  Provisions to ensure the timely and appropriate enforcement of the bylaws.

(c)  Except as otherwise prohibited under section 4413 of this title, riparian buffer bylaws adopted under this section may:

(1)  Set a buffer width of greater than 50 feet within the municipality or portions of the municipality.

(2)  Set a buffer width of fewer than 50 feet within the municipality or portions of the municipality, provided that the reduced buffer width:

(A)  Is necessary to address existing development or existing uses within the municipality, including the repair, maintenance, or renovation of such development or uses;

(B)  Applies to property located within a designated downtown development district or designated village center, as these terms are defined in section 2791 of this title; or

(C)  Applies to property located within an area that the municipality has designated by bylaw:

(i)  for development according to historic development patterns; or

(ii)  for redevelopment of land that has been disturbed prior to July 1, 2010, by industrial or urban development.

(3)  Contain standards or criteria that regulate the development or change of use of buildings or structures within riparian buffers.

(4)  Authorize allowed or conditional uses within the buffer.  In adopting allowed uses or conditional uses under this subsection, a municipality may regulate a use allowed under 10 V.S.A. § 1427, provided that the municipality is not prohibited from regulating such a use under section 4413 of this title or other provisions of state or federal law.

(5)  Prohibit the use and storage of hazardous materials, as that term is defined in section 6602 of Title 10, provided that any bylaw adopted under this subdivision shall be consistent with and at least as stringent as state and federal law.

(6)  Prohibit practices or the use and storage of other materials that could impair water quality, provided that any bylaw adopted under this subdivision shall be consistent with and at least as stringent as state and federal law.

(7)  Establish other restrictions to promote the sound management and use of riparian buffers.

Sec. 11.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES OUTREACH AND
   EDUCATION ON RIPARIAN BUFFERS

Prior to January 15, 2009, the agency of natural resources, in consultation with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, regional planning commissions, the Vermont planners association, and the Vermont land education and training collaborative, shall develop educational and training programs and conduct public hearings to inform municipalities and municipal planners of the environmental and planning benefits of riparian buffers and the requirements of this act.  In developing the education programs required by this section, the agency may utilize various types of media.

Sec. 12.  REPORT OF AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES; RIPARIAN

               BUFFER RULES

On or before December 15, 2009, and on or before December 15, 2010, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy with a status report on the rules required by 10 V.S.A. § 1427 regarding the development and use of riparian buffers along lakes and streams of the state.

Sec. 13.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

Beginning January 15, 2009, and biennially thereafter, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house committee on fish, wildlife and water resources and the senate committee on natural resources and energy regarding the status of riparian buffer zoning with Vermont.  The report shall include:

(1)  A summary of the municipalities that have adopted riparian buffer zoning or a riparian buffer bylaws;

(2)  a summary of municipalities that have adopted flood hazard area zoning as part of riparian buffer zoning or bylaw;

(3)  an analysis, based on information available to the agency, of the impact of riparian buffer zoning on the waters of the state; and

(4)  any recommendations that the state or municipalities make regarding the regulation of the use of land within riparian buffers.

Sec. 14.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

(Committee vote: 5-3-1)

H. 806

     An act relating to public water systems.

Rep. Randall of Troy, for the Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 1675a is added to read:

§ 1675a.  PERMITTING EXEMPTION

(a)  The requirements of this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter, except the construction permitting requirements, shall not apply to a public water system that:

(1)  Consists only of distribution and storage facilities and does not have any collection and treatment facilities;

(2)  Obtains all of its water from, but is not owned or operated by, a public water system to which this chapter applies;

(3)  Does not sell water to any person, for any other reason than the supply of water to another water system;

(4)  Is not a carrier which conveys passengers in interstate commerce; and

(5)  Is served by a public water system that certifies to the secretary that:

(A)  The receiving public water system is responsible for the repair and maintenance of their own water system unless otherwise agreed to by the wholesale system and

(B)  The public water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for:

(i)  including the receiving public water system in its water quality sampling plans;

(ii)  providing consumer confidence reports to the receiving system’s users; and

(iii)  issuing public notice to the receiving system’s users if a violation of a drinking water contaminant standard exists or if the secretary determines that a condition exists that may present a risk to public health.

(b)  The water system supplying water to the receiving water system is responsible for the requirements contained in subdivision (a)(5)(B) of this section until 180 days after the water system supplying water to the receiving water system files a notice with the secretary of natural resources and the receiving system of its intent to withdraw from any obligation made under subdivision (a)(5)(B) of this section.

(c)  Notwithstanding the exemption contained in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of natural resources may take any reasonable steps that are necessary to abate a public health threat at a public water system that is otherwise exempt.

(Committee vote: 8-0-1)

H. 859

     An act relating to increasing substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and transitional housing for offenders in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and reduce corrections costs.

Rep. Rodgers of Glover, for the Committee on Institutions, recommends the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS AND INTENT

(a)  The general assembly finds that:

(1)  Vermont’s incarcerated population is growing at an unsustainable rate.

(2)  Property and drug offenders are the fastest growing segment of the prison population.  Between 2000 and 2006, over half the increase in the felony prison population was due to property and substance abuse offenses.

(3)  Seventy-seven percent of those sentenced for a property or drug felony have a substance abuse disorder.  Two-thirds of them report having received mental health treatment in the past.  Fifty-five percent report being frequently unemployed prior to incarceration.

(4)  Of those incarcerated for a property or drug felony, only 13 percent are receiving treatment.

(b)  The general assembly further finds that:

(1)  Each month approximately 70 inmates meet the criteria for reentering the community under the supervision of the commissioner of corrections on conditional reentry status.  However, almost half are not released because of insufficient housing options.

(2)  Studies show that the length of sentences served by offenders does not affect their recidivism rates. Therefore, current law authorizes the commissioner of corrections to release certain offenders on reintegration furlough 90 days prior to the minimum sentence date.  However, on average, eligible inmates serve only 53 days in reintegration furlough status.  If all those who are eligible serve the full 90 days of reintegration status, the result could be a savings of up to 90 corrections beds.

(c)  Therefore, in order to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and reduce the cost to the state of incarcerating offenders, it is the intent of the general assembly to increase substance abuse treatment services, vocational training, and transitional housing available to offenders; and establish processes for reducing incarceration time when appropriate.

(d)  It is further the intent of the general assembly that the provisions of this act are a long range plan to guide expenditures from additional corrections savings in future years. 

Sec. 2.  Reserved

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 723(c) is added to read:

(c)  Prior to release under this section, the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 4.  28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) is amended to read:

(8)  To prepare for reentry into the community.

(A)  Any offender sentenced to incarceration may shall be furloughed to the community up to 90 days prior to completion of the minimum sentence, at the commissioner’s discretion and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (C) of this subdivision (8), provided that an offender sentenced to a minimum term of fewer than 180 days shall not be eligible for furlough under this subdivision until the offender has served at least one-half of his or her minimum term of incarceration.

* * *

(C)  The commissioner may authorize reintegration furlough under subdivisions (A) and (B) of this subdivision (8) only if the days are awarded the commissioner determines that public safety is not compromised and that the offender will receive community services necessary to reduce the chances of recidivism.  The commissioner shall make the determination in accordance with rules adopted pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 designed to:

(i)  Evaluate factors such as risk of reoffense, history of violent behavior, history of compliance with community supervision, compliance with the case plan, progress in treatment programs designed to reduce criminal risk, and obedience to rules and regulations of the facility.

(ii)  Ensure adequate departmental supervision of the offender when furloughed into the community.

(iii)  Ensure that each offender has a reentry plan which identifies services necessary to succeed upon reentry and that the necessary services are available to the offender. 

* * *

(E)  Prior to release under this subdivision (8), the department shall screen, and if appropriate, assess each felony drug and property offender for substance abuse treatment needs using an assessment tool designed to assess the suitability of a broad range of treatment services, and it shall use the results of this assessment in preparing a reentry plan.  The department shall attempt to identify all necessary services in the reentry plan, and work with the offender to make connections to necessary services prior to release so that the offender can begin receiving services immediately upon release. 

Sec. 5.  STATEWIDE DRUG COURT STUDY

The court administrator, the deputy commissioner of the alcohol and drug abuse program in the department of health, and the commissioner of mental health shall report to the house and senate committees on judiciary by December 15, 2008 on the advisability and feasibility of expanding the drug court program to every county in the state.  The report shall address:

(1)  the financial costs of expanding the drug court program statewide;

(2)  the workforce impact which a statewide expansion of the program would have, and whether new staff would be required;

(3)  whether current state facilities have the capacity to support statewide expansion, and whether and where any new facilities would be required; and

(4)  any other matter deemed relevant to the issue of statewide drug court expansion.     

 

Sec. 6.  FACILITIES REORGANIZATION AND RENOVATION; BUDGETARY SAVINGS ALLOCATIONS IN FISCAL YEARS 2009 AND 2010

(a)  Department of corrections expenditures on correctional services including out-of-state beds grew from $93,255,650.00 in fiscal year 2004 to $120,533,309.00 in fiscal year 2008.  The amount of funding proposed for fiscal year 2009 is $123,589,833.00.

(b)  It is the intent of the general assembly to achieve savings in the department of corrections that will be reinvested in substance abuse screening and treatment and reentry support which results in reduced recidivism by the proposed reorganization of three correctional facilities as follows:

(1)  Northwest Regional Correctional Facility.  Transfer men to other facilities, renovate the space, and transfer women from the Dale Correctional Facility and Southeast Correctional Facility to the Northwest Regional Correctional Facility,

(2)  Dale State Correctional Facility.  Close the building as a correctional facility.

(3)   Southeast Correctional Facility.  Renovate space to become a 100‑bed work camp for felony drug and property offenders.

(c)  In fiscal year 2009, a savings of $600,000.00 is anticipated as a result of this reorganization.  The department of corrections shall reinvest these funds in fiscal year 2009 as follows:

(1)  The amount of $100,000.00 shall be to increase the capacity of the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) to provide services to those offenders with drug abuse disorders who are on preapproved furlough status under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7).

(2)  The amount of $208,000.00 shall be for entering into contracts with several community‑based substance abuse treatment providers in different geographic regions of the state to provide the substance abuse treatment services to persons on conditional reentry status pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of 28 V.S.A. or furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808.

(3)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to fund the establishment of a pilot program to:

(A)  conduct a voluntary and confidential screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs at the time of arraignment of individuals charged with felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(B)  conduct a mandatory screening and assessment, when screening indicates that an assessment is appropriate, for substance abuse and mental health treatment needs following adjudication and prior to sentencing of individuals found guilty of felony property, drug, or fraud offenses;

(C)  provide the results of any screening and assessment conducted under this section to the judge following adjudication and prior to sentencing so that the judge can use the information to determine the level of treatment to be provided while the individual is in the custody of the commissioner of corrections; and

(D)  enable the commissioner to gather data regarding the prevalence of co-occuring substance abuse and mental health disorders.   

(4)  The amount of $88,000.00 shall be to assess offenders for substance abuse treatment needs prior to release.

(d)  Additional savings in fiscal 2009 from reorganization of correctional facilities may be available depending on the timing of the reorganization.  Any additional fiscal year 2009 savings shall be reinvested as follows and in the following order: 

(1)  The amount of $150,000.00 to provide grants to community providers of transitional housing to increase the number of beds available by 10 beds for three to six months of housing for at least 20 offenders reentering the community on furlough pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808 or conditional reentry pursuant to subchapter 1A of chapter 11 of Title 28;

(2)  The amount of $650,000.00 shall be to provide vocational training and residential substance abuse programs in a work camp for felony drug and property offenders;

(3)  The amount of $1,000,000.00 shall be for the purpose of expanding the corrections reentry housing program to include the addition of 60 new transitional housing beds as well as expanding housing search and retention resources to include funding for housing assistance granted to housing authorities to be used in accordance with DOC directives;

(4)  The amount of $365,000.00 shall be to expand the ISAP program to include a residential component for those who have been furloughed to the community pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); and

(5)  The amount of $200,000.00 shall be to develop the capacities of the substance abuse treatment system to work effectively with offenders, and function efficiently as a collaborative system.

(e)  In fiscal year 2010, a savings of $3 million is anticipated from reorganization of correctional facilities and other provisions of this act, assuming all inflationary needs of the department are funded.  Therefore, the commissioner of corrections shall develop a budget for fiscal year 2010 which reinvests the savings so that all the programs begun under subsection (c) of this section are funded again, and all the programs described in subsection (d) of this section are funded.

(f)  The joint fiscal office shall track and report to the joint fiscal committee in January and July of 2009, savings in the corrections budget resulting from the proposed closing of the Dale State Correctional Facility, transfer of men from the Northwest Correctional Facility to other facilities, transfer of women from the Dale Correctional Facility and Southeast Correctional Facility to the Northwest Correctional Facility, renovation of the Southeast Correctional Facility to be a work camp, and savings resulting from the provisions of this act. 

Sec. 7.  ACCOUNTABILITY; REPORTS

(a)  On or before January 15, 2010, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on:

(1)  the prevalence of co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorders among those committed to the custody of the commissioner of corrections;

(2)  the success of and problems encountered in:

(A) expanding the ISAP program pursuant to Sec.6(c)(1) of this act:

(B) implementing the pilot program authorized and funded in Sec. 6(c)(3) of this act, as well as, recommendations for continuing the program, or expanding the program, or both; and

(C)  developing reentry plans which identify necessary services needed upon release, and in working with community providers to ensure that each offender receives those services immediately upon release; and

(3)  the progress made since passage of this act in establishing a comprehensive system of community substance abuse treatment services which is coordinated with corrections services.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2011, the commissioner of corrections shall report to the senate committee on judiciary, the house committee on institutions and corrections, and the house committee on judiciary on the successes of and problems encountered in working to meet the following goals with the funds provided and through the programs established in this act:

(1)  increase by at least 30 the number of offenders with sentences of one or more years placed in the department of corrections’ intensive substance abuse program (ISAP) pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7);

(2)  move at least 10 offenders who are in the intensive phase of receiving ISAP services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7), and who are unsuccessful and would otherwise be reincarcerated to a community-based residential substance abuse treatment program which may be a component of ISAP;

(3)  incarcerate no more than 20 percent of offenders who are receiving substance abuse treatment services under 28 V.S.A. § 808(a)(7); 

(4)  reduce by 10 percent the number of reincarcerations of those on conditional reentry with a high need for substance abuse treatment;

(5)  increase the number of inmates released on furlough, pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808, by 25 individuals per month; and

(6)  increase the average number of days released on reintegration furlough pursuant to 28  V.S.A. § 808(a)(8) prior to the minimum sentence to as close to 90 days as possible. 

(c)  Until the corrections oversight committee informs the commissioner that it no longer requires the information, the commissioner of corrections shall include in monthly reports to the committee:

(1)  the number of inmates eligible for furlough under 28 V.S.A.

§ 808 and considered appropriate for release by the commissioner but who have not been released because the commissioner is unable to find appropriate housing, employment, treatment, or other services;

(2)  which treatment or other services would have been necessary and in which geographic region the services would have been needed, to enable release; and

(3)  the number of days of incarceration that could have been avoided if the community resources had been available and these offenders had been released.

(d)  The joint fiscal office and office of finance and management shall jointly document the impact of the policies and provisions of this act on corrections costs and shall report their findings to the general assembly on or before January 15, 2010 and in January of each year for five years thereafter.

(Committee vote: 9-0-2)

 

Senate Proposal of Amendment to House Proposal of Amendment

S. 209

An act relating to the Vermont energy efficiency and affordability act.

The Senate has considered the House  proposal of amendment to Senate bill of the following title:

S. 209An act relating to the Vermont energy efficiency and affordability act.

The Senate has concurred in the House Proposal of amendment with the following amendments thereto, in which the concurrence of the House is requested:

     First:  In Sec, 11, 30 V.S.A. § 203a(a) by striking out the following:

:  (1)  net revenues above costs associated with payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO‑NE) for capacity savings resulting from the activities of an energy efficiency utility designated under subdivision 209(d)(2) of this title;

(2)

     Second: In Sec. 12, 30 V.S.A. § 209(d), after subdivision (6), by adding a new subdivision to be numbered subdivision (7) to read as follows:

(7)  Net revenues above costs associated with payments from the New England Independent System Operator (ISO‑NE) for capacity savings resulting from the activities of the energy efficiency utility designated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be deposited into the electric efficiency fund established by this section.

     Third:  After Sec. 13, by adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 13a to read as follows:

  * * * Affordability * * *

Sec. 13a.  30 V.S.A. § 218(e) is added to read:

(e)  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the board, on its own motion or upon petition of any person, may issue an order approving a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement that provides reduced rates for low income electric utility consumers better to assure affordability.  For the purposes of this subsection, “low income electric utility consumer” means a customer who has a household income at or below 150 percent of the current federal poverty level.  When considering whether to approve a rate schedule, tariff, agreement, contract, or settlement for low income electric utility consumers, the board shall take into account the potential impact on, and cost‑shifting to, other utility customers.

     Fourth: In Sec. 14, amending 30 V.S.A. § 219a, in subdivision (g)(5), by striking out the second sentence, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Various buildings owned by municipalities, including water and wastewater districts, fire districts, villages, school districts, and towns, may constitute a group net metering system.  A union or district school facility shall be considered in the same group net metering system with buildings of its member municipalities that are located within the service area of the same electric company that serves the facility.

     Fifth: In Sec. 14, amending 30 V.S.A. § 219a, by striking subsection (l) and inserting the following:

(l) The board shall adopt rules regarding the application of the esthetics criterion established in subdivision 248(b)(5) of this title to an application for a certificate under this section for a single, net metered wind turbine that is less than 150 feet in height.

     Sixth:  In Sec. 15, 30 V.S.A. § 235(a), after the second sentence, by inserting the following:  The contracts entered into during the first year after the effective date of this section shall be for a period of time of no greater than three years.

     And in subsection (c), after the period, by adding the following:

During fiscal year 2009, any contracts or grants to be made from the fund for other than administrative purposes shall be subject to appropriation by the general assembly.  The department shall provide the joint fiscal committee, at the committee’s November 2008 meeting, with a preliminary report on the program to be presented to the public service board.

      

     Seventh: In Sec. 25, in 32 V.S.A. § 5402c(c), by striking out the following: “a 15 percent nameplate capacity” and inserting in lieu thereof the following: 15 percent of the facility’s average capacity factor

     Eighth: By striking out Sec. 36 in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Sec. 36 to read as follows:

Sec. 36.  REPORT ON VALUATION OF NET METERED SYSTEMS

     By December 1, 2008, the department of taxes shall present to the House and Senate committees on natural resources and energy a report on how net metered systems are now being valued and taxed at the town and municipal level in Vermont and recommendations on how such customer-sited renewable energy generation should be valued for property tax purposes by towns and municipalities.

(For text see House Journal 2/13/08- P. 198 – P. 238; 2/14/08 – P. 266  )

PUBLIC HEARINGS

     Thursday, March 13, 2008, Room 11 – 6 – 8 PM,  House Committee on Ways and Means – H. 866 – Education Adjusted Gross Income Tax & H. 869 – Local Affordability Education Formula (LEAF)

     Thursday, March 27, 2008, Room 11 – 5:00 – 7:00 PM, House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources – H. 543  Funding of the Department of Fish and Wildlife

INFORMATION NOTICE

The following item was received by the Joint Fiscal Committee:

            JFO #2318 –$51,000 grant from the National Parks Service, Historic Preservation Grants Division to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs.  These grant funds (with $51,000 in non-federal match) will be used to create Geographic Information System (GIS) database information for the following eight designated downtowns:  Bennington, Brandon, Burlington, Poultney, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, White River Junction, and Winooski.  This information will be used in municipal planning, economic development activities, and heritage tourism promotion.   [JFO received 02/25/08]



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us