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S. 546 (114th): RESPONSE Act of 2016

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 9, 2016.


RESPONSE Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish the Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs, and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Subcommittee of the National Advisory Council.

The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall develop recommendations, as appropriate, for improving emergency first responder training and resource allocation for hazardous materials (hazmat) incidents involving railroads after evaluating the following topics:

the quality and application of training for local emergency first responders related to rail hazmat incidents, with a particular focus on local emergency responders and small communities near railroads; the effectiveness of funding levels related to training local emergency first responders for rail hazmat incidents, with a particular focus on local emergency first responders and small communities near railroads; and the strategy for integrating commodity flow studies, mapping, rail and hazmat databases and other relevant data for local emergency first responders and increasing the rate of access to the individual responder in existing or emerging communications technology. The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall terminate within four years after this bill's enactment, unless given a one-year extension.