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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 Dec 17, 2016.

RESPONSE Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 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 for improving emergency responder training and resource allocation for hazardous materials (hazmat) incidents involving railroads after evaluating the following topics:

the quality and application of training for state and local emergency responders related to rail hazmat incidents, including training for emergency responders serving small communities near railroads; the availability and effectiveness of federal, state, local, and nongovernmental funding levels related to training emergency responders for rail hazmat incidents, including emergency responders serving small communities near railroads; and the strategy for integrating commodity flow studies, mapping, and rail and hazmat databases for state and local emergency responders and increasing the rate of access to the individual responder in existing or emerging communications technology. The RESPONSE Subcommittee shall terminate within 90 days after the council submits a report approving the RESPONSE Subcommittee recommendations.