3750.14 Emergency planning and community right-to-know fund.

(A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the emergency planning and community right-to-know fund. Moneys received by the emergency response commission under section 3750.13 of the Revised Code and civil penalties imposed under division (B) of section 3750.20 of the Revised Code shall be credited to the fund until an aggregate amount of five million dollars has been credited to it during a fiscal year. All moneys in excess of five million dollars so received during a fiscal year shall be credited to the emergency response and community right-to-know reserve fund created in section 3750.15 of the Revised Code.

(B) The emergency response commission shall administer the emergency planning and community right-to-know fund. On or before the first day of May of each year, the commission shall allocate moneys in the fund for grants to each of the following entities or classes of entities in the percentages stated:

(1) To the commission, not less than fifteen nor more than twenty-five per cent of the moneys in the fund;

(2) To local emergency planning committees, not less than sixty-five nor more than seventy-five per cent of the moneys in the fund;

(3) To fire departments, not less than five nor more than fifteen per cent of the moneys in the fund.

Moneys credited to the fund under section 3750.13 of the Revised Code from the fees paid by the owner or operator of a facility who first submitted an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form for the facility on or before the first day of March of the current year shall not be considered when making allocations under divisions (B)(1), (2), and (3) of this section, but shall be distributed pursuant to division (E) of this section. The allocated moneys shall be distributed at the start of each fiscal year. The commission's decisions on the distribution of moneys from the fund are not appealable.

(C) From the moneys allocated under division (B)(1), (2), or (3) of this section, as appropriate, the commission shall make grants from the fund to the commission, local emergency planning committees, and fire departments for implementation and administration of this chapter and rules adopted under it, including, without limitation, the development and implementation of chemical emergency response and preparedness plans. The commission shall make grants under this division in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(7) of section 3750.02 of the Revised Code. In making grants to committees and fire departments under this division, the commission shall consider the needs of the emergency planning district or fire department in terms of the minimum amount of money necessary for a committee to prepare or revise, exercise, and review its chemical emergency response and preparedness plan in terms of its minimum requirements for personnel and essential office equipment; the number of facilities in the district or under the jurisdiction of the fire department that are subject to section 3750.05 of the Revised Code; the amounts of extremely hazardous substances produced, used, or stored in the district or territory under the jurisdiction of the fire department; the amounts of hazardous materials transported in or through the district or territory under the jurisdiction of the fire department; and the population within the district or under the jurisdiction of the fire department that resides in close proximity to facilities that are subject to that section and to principal routes for the transportation of hazardous materials identified or listed by regulations adopted under the "Hazardous Materials Transportation Act," 88 Stat. 2156 (1975), 49 U.S.C.A. 1801, as amended.

Each application for a grant under this division shall be made in accordance with rules adopted under division (B)(7) of section 3750.02 of the Revised Code and shall demonstrate that the grant will enhance the ability of the recipient or, in the case of the commission, the state as a whole to prepare for and respond to releases of hazardous substances and extremely hazardous substances. A fire department shall apply for and receive a grant under this division only through the committee for the emergency planning district in which the fire department is located.

(D)

(1) Moneys received by the commission, committees, and fire departments under this section shall not be used to do any of the following:

(a) Acquire first response equipment, except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section;

(b) Defray costs for copying and mailing hazardous chemical lists, material safety data sheets, or emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms submitted under this chapter for distribution to the public;

(c) Reimburse any person for expenditures incurred for emergency response and cleanup of a release of oil, a hazardous substance, or an extremely hazardous substance;

(d) Perform any assessment of damages to natural resources resulting from a release of oil, a hazardous substance, or an extremely hazardous substance.

(2) The commission may use moneys in the fund to pay the costs incurred by other state agencies in implementing and administering the requirements of this chapter and rules adopted under it.

(3) In making a grant under this section to the fire department of a municipal corporation that is collecting a fee pursuant to an ordinance, rule, or requirement for the reporting or providing of the names and amounts of extremely hazardous substances or hazardous chemicals produced, used, or stored at facilities in the municipal corporation that was in effect on the effective date of this section, the commission shall first determine the amount of the grant for which the fire department would otherwise be eligible under this section and shall subtract from that amount the total amount of the moneys collected by the municipal corporation during the preceding year pursuant to the reporting requirement, as certified to the commission in the grant application. If that calculation yields a positive remainder, the commission may make a grant to the fire department in that amount. Otherwise, the fire department is not eligible for a grant under this section for that year.

(4) After a committee determines that the initial training needs for emergency management personnel within its emergency planning district set forth in the committee's plan or most recent review of its plan under section 3750.04 of the Revised Code have been met, a committee may make grants from the moneys it receives under this section to fire departments located within the district for the purchase of first response equipment.

(5) During the first three fiscal years commencing after December 14, 1988, political subdivisions within an emergency planning district may apply to the committee of the district for reimbursement of moneys spent and in-kind contributions made by the political subdivision to the committee at any time prior to the committee's receipt of its first grant under this section for performance of the functions of a local emergency planning committee. The committee may make grants from the moneys it receives under this section during those fiscal years to reimburse any portion of the contributions made by a political subdivision to the committee to the extent that the committee considers that moneys are available for that purpose.

(E) In the year in which the owner or operator of a facility who is subject to filing an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form for the facility first files a form for the facility, the commission shall make a grant to the local emergency planning committee of the emergency planning district in which the facility is located for the total amount of the fees and any penalties collected under division (A)(1), (2), or (4) of section 3750.13 of the Revised Code in that year in connection with the filing of the form for the facility. The amount of the grant provided under this division shall be in addition to any grant provided to the committee under division (C) of this section or division (B) of section 3750.15 of the Revised Code. The amount of a grant to be provided under this division shall not be considered in determining the committee's need for a grant under division (C) of this section or division (B) of section 3750.15 of the Revised Code or in determining the amount of any such grant. If a committee also will receive a grant under division (C) of this section, the grant provided under this division shall accompany that grant. If a committee will not receive a grant under division (C) of this section in a year in which the committee is to receive a grant under this division, the grant under this division shall be made to the committee at the time that the grants under division (C) of this section are distributed. Moneys received by a local committee under this division shall be used for the same purposes as the grants received under division (C) of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 3750.14

History. Effective Date: 07-26-1991