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§15-5A-7. Establishment of emergency planning districts and committees; composition, organization, duties.

(a) The state emergency response commission shall designate emergency planning districts in order to facilitate preparation and implementation of emergency plans. After designating emergency planning districts, the state emergency response commission shall appoint members of a local emergency planning committee for each emergency planning district. Each committee shall include representatives from each of the following groups or organizations: (1) Elected state and local officials; (2) law enforcement, civil defense, fire fighting, first aid, health, local environmental, hospital and transportation personnel; (3) broadcast and print media; (4) community groups; and (5) owners and operators of facilities subject to the requirements of this article. In addition to the above members, each county commission president from every county within the district, or a member of the county commission designated by the president, shall be appointed as a member of the committee and such appointment may fulfill the requirement to appoint elected local officials.

(b) Each local committee shall appoint a chairperson and establish procedural rules by which the committee shall function. Such rules shall include provisions for public notification of committee activities, public meetings to discuss the emergency plan, public comments, response to such comments by the committee and distribution of the emergency plan.

(c) The local committees shall submit their proposed procedural rules to the state emergency response commission for review and comment no later than January 1, 1990. If any local committees fail to submit proposed procedural rules, the state emergency response commission shall itself promulgate rules applicable to such local committees.

(d) The local emergency planning committee shall have and may exercise the following powers and authority and shall perform the following duties:

(1) Establish procedures for receiving and processing requests from the public for information regarding any emergency response plan, material safety data sheet, emergency, first aid and medical treatment procedures, list described in 42 U.S.C. §11021(a)(2), inventory form, toxic chemical release form, or followup emergency notice, including tier II information under 42 U.S.C. §11022;

(2) Designate an official to serve as coordinator for information for processing requests for information from the public;

(3) Develop and implement a comprehensive emergency response plan in accordance with 42 U.S.C. §11003, and review such plan once a year, or more frequently as changed circumstances in the community or at any facility may require: Provided, That such comprehensive emergency response plans may not require a covered facility to revise, modify or otherwise alter any emergency release response or release prevention plan that has been prepared pursuant to any other state or federal statute or regulation including, but not limited to, contingency plans developed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Spill Prevention and Countermeasure Plans, or Best Management Practices Plans developed under the Clean Water Act;

(4) Prior to implementation, submit a copy of the prepared emergency response plan to the state emergency response commission for review and recommendation;

(5) Publish annually a notice in local newspapers that the emergency response plan is available for review, as are those material safety data sheets, emergency, first aid and medical treatment procedures, inventory forms and followup emergency notices which have been submitted to the committee. The notice shall also state that members of the public who wish to review any such plan, sheet, form or followup notice may do so at a designated location;

(6) Establish deadlines for responding to information requests from the public; and

(7) Receive, catalogue and organize information required to be submitted to the committee under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §11001, et seq.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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