Legal Announcements - Public Notices and Guidance
NOTICE REGARDING NEXT STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE COMMISSION MEETING
The next SERC meeting is scheduled for 10 am on June 25, 2012 at the offices of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (3041 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN 37204, Suiter Room). A representative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 will be speaking about the EPA Risk Management Program. RMP requires facilities with multiple hazardous materials to prepare and maintain contingency plans for mitigating hazards. Other new changes for the hazardous materials program will be discussed, including the HAZMAT Team Operations Course (HMTO 2012), 2012 ERG issue and the OSHA HAZCOM changes under the Globally Harmonized System. This meeting is open to the public. Persons wishing to address the SERC must schedule with the Chairman for introduction and speaking rule compliance.
PAST SERC MEETINGS
A meeting of the State Emergency Response Commission was held on December 15, 2011 at the offices (Suiter Room) of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Houston Barracks, 3041 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN 37204-1502. A briefing was presented on the merits of changing report requirements for SARA Title III to become electronic only called E-Plan, identified the 72 counties that have adopted E-Plan as of August 2010, reported on growth of the HMEP ($548,087) of which HMEP sub-grants total $68,900, reported that 4,095 students have received HAZMAT training by TEMA in 2010, and that 1,873 have received HAZMAT training as of 30 June 2011, identified that 557 HAZMAT incidents were reported to TEMA and 16% of all incidents in 2011. A discussion ensued to project changes anticipated in the federal government regarding enforcement, including OSHA. A motion was adopted to accept the new HAZMAT brochure and distribute it to the regions for use, an LEPC Handbook and the TEMA HAZMAT Oversight Operations Guide were approved. A motion was passed to adopt digital EPCRA Reporting Tier II through E-Plan not later than March 1, 2014. The SERC also approved the Williamson County LEPC appointments. The next public meeting was scheduled for June 12, 2012.
A meeting of the State Emergency Response Commission was held on August 16, 2011 at the offices of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Houston Barracks, 3041 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN 37204-1502. A briefing was presented on the merits of reporting digitally for companies required to report chemicals or waste storage under SARA Title III. A draft brochure has been prepared to promote public awareness of hazardous materials. This brochure will be ready for approval by the Commission shortly.
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) held a public meeting at the TEMA offices on August 27, 2010. This meeting was one of the two regularly scheduled meetings per year and included discussion of creating a hazardous material threats and improvement of safety, some pictorial events and some history for the purpose of promoting public knowledge and preparedness. The next meeting was tentatively scheduled for February 2011.
In the previous SERC meeting, the State Emergency Response Commission met on Friday, March 12, 2010 in the Suiter Room at TEMA, 3041 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN. In summary, that meeting discussed the Environmental Protection Agency decision to fine Egyptian Laquer and Lasko, Incorporated of Williamson County for failing to properly report quantities of chemicals on hand under Title III (SARA). The SERC reviewed ways of improving protections for the public and recommended developing an outreach program to the counties to enhance the effectiveness of county government hazardous materials planning and to encourage Local Emergency Planning Committee involvement. Also discussed were ways to improve the utilization of electronic reporting of Tier II information for compliance with EPCRA (and Title III, SARA).
TEMA will announce meetings of the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) at this site to ensure that the public is aware of scheduled meetings. The SERC is formed to meet the federal requirements of law under Public Law 499, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
The membership of the SERC includes:
The State Emergency Response Commission must:
Go to Event History to see those incidents covered by the most recent executive order or proclamation.
The are several state laws, regulations and Executive Orders that apply to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, its activities and/or disasters and emergencies in Tennessee in general. For precise guidance, please go directly to the reference cited.
Executive Orders of the Governor
Governor's Executive Order 15
Governor Ned McWherter's Executive Order 15 is the document that establishes TEMA as the lead agency for the coordination of all emergency response activities of state government. EO15 also establishes the Emergency Services Coordinator (ESC) program, and requires the Commissioners and directors of all state agencies to designate a primary and alternate ESC, and provide them with a state vehicle, pager, cellular phone and radio capable of communicating with TEMA.
Governor's Executive Order 7
Governor Ned McWherter's Executive Order 7 makes TEMA the lead agency for carrying out the provisions of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, specifically making TEMA the administrative arm of the State Emergency Response Council.
Governor's Executive Order 49
Governor Phil Bredesen's Executive Order 49 establishes the State of Tennessee Public Safety Wireless Interoperable Communications Advisory Board to encourage public departments and agencies to purchase similar communications equipment that will operate with each other. This is intended to ensure that the improved exchange of information would expansively improve government cooperation and performance during emergencies.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS AFFECTING EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT:
APPROVAL OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FUNDING-
According to the Attorney General (OAG 09-140) the director of a county emergency management agency may establish a secondary emergency operating center somewhere in the county when the mayor has approved the measure and when the county commission has approved the measure. This is so even if the city where the center is operated will pay for it.
The opinion further clarifies that the mayor is in charge (command and control) of the emergency management agency, not any commissioner or other official. The act does not give the county mayor sole authority over all decisions of the emergency management agency, but requires the approval of the county commission. The intent of the law is likely to require the county commission to develop or approve the emergency plan and any plan which would require fiscal expenditure.
VOLUNTEERS- According to the Attorney General (OAG 04-174), volunteers do not qualify for “worker’s compensation benefits in the event of death or injury.” “Volunteers” are individuals who do not work for the government of the State of Tennessee. This definition does not include any employee of the government volunteering for service not typically in the employee’s normal duty or at the employee’s normal workplace. Volunteers still must be registered with the Board of Claims. Volunteers are provided “sovereign immunity” in states that have reciprocal agreements for emergency management. Volunteers must be reimbursed for all actual and necessary travel and subsistence if funds are available. If a person is paid more than expenses, that person is no longer a volunteer. TEMA policy is that volunteers will not be deployed outside the state as part of a federal or state team under EMAC or any other emergency management program. This ensures that state law (TCA 58-2-403) (EMAC agreement) requirements are met regarding payment of compensation for deaths or injuries in the line of duty.
There are several state laws that apply to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, its activities and/or disasters and emergencies in Tennessee in general.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2
TCA 58-2-101 - Disasters, Emergencies and Civil Defense, is the organic act that establishes TEMA, and defines what constitutes an emergency within Tennessee. This chapter also requires each county within the state to create and staff an emergency management organization, and directs that all local emergency plans conform to the design and functional requirements of the state's. Additionally, the law that previously existed as TCA 7-86-201 (the Public Safety Communications Act), has now been subsumed into this chapter. This is the legislation that creates the Public Safety Committee and defines standards for emergency dispatchers and the training they receive. This chapter runs through section 58-2-124.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2, Part 4
TCA 58-2-401 - Authority for Compact. This part authorizes civil defense and disaster compacts to be formed by the Governor. This includes the Civil Defense and Disaster Compact and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Articles of the agreements are found here.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 2, Part 6
TCA 58-2-601 - Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials. This part establishes a requirement to report hazardous materials accidents involving placarded transportation, other notifications and cleanup requirements.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 58, Chapter 8
TCA 58-8-101 - Mutual Aid and Emergency and Disaster Assistance Agreement Act of 2004. This chapter consists of 15 sections that grant special powers to counties to invoke mutual aid provisions.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 65, Chapter 15, Section 126
TCA 65-15-126 requires persons transporting nuclear fuel through the state of Tennessee to notify TEMA and the Department of Safety of the act, and to provide for the appropriate safety precautions and escorts for the vehicles.
Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68, Chapter 202, Section 104
TCA 68-202-104 requires the agency to provide training in the detection and monitoring of radioactive materials to personnel who staff the four commercial vehicle inspection centers across the state.
Law from 2011
HB 0544/SB 1476 w/Amendment # 3 was passed and coded as TCA 58-2-133. Education and Duty Requirements of Local Emergency Management Directors (LEMD). The law, Public Chapter 365, establishes minimum prerequisites for employment of new LEMD. A new director must have the minimum training and education required by the chief local elected official (CLEO) (usually the county mayor) in a job description approved by the governing body of the local jurisdiction, plus--
The LEMD must maintain knowledge of the--
The LEMD must possess the skill and ability to--
The LEMD has the following duties and responsibilities in addition to those imposed upon him by his approved job description--
The LEMD must attain the following minimum education--
These requirements are integrated into TCA 58-2-133. Passed into law May 30, 2011 and effective July 1, 2011.
Law from 2010
Chapter No. 1091 (HB2822/SB2839). National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) participation required. Amends TCA Title 6, Chapter 58 by requiring all counties and municipalities with a flood insurance rate map or flood hazard boundary map published by FEMA that identifies a special flood hazard area within its boundaries to meet the requirements for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on or before June 30, 2012. A county or municipality without such a map must, within twenty four (24) months from the effective date of any such map published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), meet the requirements for participation in the NFIP
Laws from 2009
These acts may directly affect operations of emergency management.
SB-0890/HB-0713 - Emergency Management -
SB-1243/HB-0815 - Emergency Management
SB-0107/HB-0393 - Motor Vehicles
HB-0980/SB-1685 - TEMA
HB-1778/SB-1992 - Gun control
Chapter 853. (10-7-504)
Confidential status of personal information of government employees. Amends protected information of state employees to include home telephone and personal cell phone numbers, residential information, including the street address, city, state and zip code (same for county, municipal and other public employees). [adds to previously existing law: unpublished telephone numbers, bank account information, driver's license information (except as it applies to the state job duties), social security number and same information for state employees' immediate family or household members.]