3750.15 Emergency planning and community right-to-know reserve fund.

(A) There is hereby created in the state treasury the emergency planning and community right-to-know reserve fund consisting of all moneys credited to it under section 3750.14 of the Revised Code. Fifty per cent of the moneys in the reserve fund shall be used for the grant program under division (B) of this section, and fifty per cent of the moneys shall be held in reserve for the purposes of division (C) of this section. The emergency response commission shall administer the reserve fund.

(B) The commission may make grants from the reserve fund to the commission, local emergency planning committees, and fire departments for the development and implementation of chemical emergency response and preparedness plans, advanced training, data management, performing hazard analysis and vulnerability studies for purposes of developing or revising their plans, and the acquisition of first response equipment. No more than twenty-five per cent of the moneys available for grants in any year shall be available to the commission. A fire department may apply for and receive a grant only through the committee for the local emergency planning district in which the fire department is located. Grants to committees and fire departments for advanced training, data management, performing hazard analysis and vulnerability studies, or the acquisition of first response equipment shall be made only when expenditures for that purpose are identified as being needed in the chemical emergency response and preparedness plan of the district prepared under section 3750.04 of the Revised Code or in the most recent review of the plan conducted under division (C) of that section. 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 governing the awarding of those grants.

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 governing applications for grants under this division 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. All applications for grants from the reserve fund to a committee and to fire departments within the jurisdiction of a committee shall be submitted by the committee to the commission at the same time. Each application from a committee shall demonstrate that expenditures from applicable local revenues for the purpose of preparedness for emergency response to those releases and for administration of the district's emergency response program did not decline during the immediately preceding three years. No grant under this division shall exceed one hundred thousand dollars.

No grant shall be made under this division unless the grantee provides matching funds equal to twenty-five per cent of the amount requested. If two or more committees submit a joint application for a grant to promote cooperative emergency planning and training or to share first response equipment, the matching requirement shall be reduced to ten per cent of the amount requested. The matching funds required by this division may consist of contributions of money by any person or of contributions in kind through the purchase of first response equipment; however, moneys allocated under section 3750.14 of the Revised Code shall not be used to provide any of the matching funds required by this division.

Grant moneys awarded to the commission under this division may be expended, by contract, to support the participation of any state agency in chemical emergency response planning and training or to acquire first response equipment for any state agency whose needs have been identified in the state emergency response plan prepared under division (B)(13) of section 3750.02 of the Revised Code. The state agency receiving moneys from the commission shall provide the required matching funds from moneys available to the agency, other than those received under division (D)(2) of section 3750.14 of the Revised Code.

Grant moneys awarded under this division shall not be used to do either of the following:

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

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

(C) If in any fiscal year less than five million dollars is credited to the emergency planning and community right-to-know fund created in section 3750.14 of the Revised Code, the director of budget and management, upon the certification of the commission, may transfer up to fifty per cent of the moneys in the reserve fund to that fund. The director shall transfer only such amounts of the reserve fund to the fund as are necessary to ensure that all budgetary requirements of the fund are met, provided that expenditures from the fund shall not exceed five million dollars during any fiscal year.

Effective Date: 07-26-1991