[4 PA. CODE CH. 117]
Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Fund
[28 Pa.B. 2822]
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), under the authority contained in 35 Pa.C.S. § 7313 (relating to powers and duties), proposes amendments to Chapter 117 (relating to Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Fund) to read as set forth in Annex A.
The proposed amendments are intended to streamline and improve the ability of PEMA to administer and operate the Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Fund (RTERF) and to carry out the many goals and objectives of the Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Program which was established to protect the health and welfare of all residents of this Commonwealth living within the vicinity of a highway used for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel.
Need for the Proposed Amendments
PEMA has found that the role of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council (Council) in approving the RTERF grant applications has become an increasingly proforma or perfunctory administrative exercise over the past several years. During that time, the Council has always, without debate, accepted and approved PEMA's recommendations concerning the amounts of the RTERF grants and the intended purposes for those grants. Due to scheduling problems, however, it has been difficult for the Council to meet in a timely manner to approve PEMA's grant recommendations. As a result, delays have occurred in the distribution of grant payments to the counties. This has hindered the counties' ability to perform certain functions under their radiation transportation emergency response programs. For these reasons, it is proposed to remove the Council from its supervisory role in the grant program and to replace it with PEMA which has been the actual program administrator and implementing agency for this grant program since its inception in 1985.
These proposed amendments should have a favorable impact on all State agencies, counties, municipalities and volunteer organizations that apply for grants from the RTERF because it will allow them to receive their grant moneys in a more timely manner.
PEMA has not set a sunset date for these regulations because the RTERF operates on a continuing basis. PEMA continues to monitor the operation of the RTERF and will propose improvements such as these amendments when required.
The proposed amendments will not change the amount of paperwork that State agencies, counties, municipalities and volunteer organizations submit to PEMA to receive a grant from the RTERF.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on June 9, 1998, a copy of these proposed amendments was submitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), the Senate State Government Committee and the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. In addition to the proposed amendments, IRRC and the Committees were provided with a copy of a detailed regulatory analysis form prepared by the agency in compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' A copy of the form is available to the public from the agency upon request. The agency will consider any comments or suggestions received from IRRC or the Committees, together with any comments or suggestions received from the public, prior to adopting the proposed amendments.
As provided by sections 5(c) and 6(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. §§ 745.5(c) and 745.6(a)), the proposed amendments will be deemed approved by the Committees on June 9, 1998 and by the IRRC on June 9, 1998, unless the Committees or IRRC recommend disapproval before these dates. If the Committees or IRRC recommends disapproval, the Regulatory Review Act provides detailed procedures by review by the agency, the Governor and the General Assembly.
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding these amendments to Mark Goodwin, Chief Counsel, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, P. O. Box 3321, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105, within 30 days following publication of this proposed amendment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
CHARLES F. WYNNE,
Fiscal Note: 30-50. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 4. ADMINISTRATION
PART V. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
CHAPTER 117. RADIATION TRANSPORTATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND
§ 117.1. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * * * *
Applicant--An all inclusive term that refers to all counties, municipalities, volunteer organizations and State agencies that are eligible to apply for funds from the RTERF.
[Council--The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council.]
* * * * *
§ 117.2. Purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to accomplish the following:
* * * * *
(2) Establish within the Agency a financial assistance program that will provide for the payment of [expenses] costs incurred by an eligible [county, municipality, volunteer organization and State agency] applicant for the procurement of equipment and the training and employment of personnel as a result of direct participation in the development and implementation, or both, of the EOP, Hazardous Materials Annex F. Information about the Plan may be obtained from the Agency or the county emergency management office.
§ 117.4. Allocation of funds.
* * * * *
(b) [As a result, an] An application from an eligible county[, municipality, volunteer organization] or State agency will be processed by the Agency on an individual basis in the order that the application is received during a funding year--July 1 to June 30.
* * * * *
§ 117.6. Application and review procedures for funding.
(a) The application procedures in this section apply to [an] eligible [county, municipality, volunteer organization and State agency] applicants that [seeks] seek funding from the RTERF.
(b) [An applicant] Applicants, except for [a] State [agency] agencies, shall submit a funding [request] application to the appropriate [County Emergency Management Agency] county emergency management agency. [That agency] The county emergency management agency shall review the [request] application in terms of its compliance with and advancement of the county's Radiation Emergency Response Plan. Upon approval by the [County Emergency Management Agency] county emergency management agency, the individual funding [request] application of the eligible [county,] municipality or volunteer organization shall be incorporated into the county's application for funding from the RTERF. [A] State [agency] agencies shall submit [a] funding [request] applications directly to the Agency. That [request] application shall be submitted under the signature of the State agency's secretary/director or designee.
(c) [To be eligible for funding, a county or State agency shall submit its funding application to the Agency. The funding application shall include the following information submitted on forms provided by the Agency:
(1) Funding application.
(2) Financial accounting statement.
(d) The financial accounting statement shall contain the following information:
(1) An itemized list of proposed expenditures.
(2) The projected date of an expenditure.
(3) The purpose of the expenditure.
(4) A copy of the bids, contract or other financial documentation that verifies the proposed expenditure.
(e) A county funding application shall also include the individual funding requests of an eligible municipality, volunteer organization, or both, submitted to that county for review, whether or not those requests were incorporated into the county's financial accounting statement.]
It is the obligation of the county to participate in negotiations and revisions concerning its funding application. In particular, the county shall attempt to resolve disputes that arise between the county and its municipalities and volunteer organization, or both, concerning the inclusion of individual funding requests into the county's [financial accounting statement] application. Disputes that cannot be resolved at the county level through negotiations will be resolved by the Agency during its review of the county's funding application. [During this review process, the Agency may request that the Council consider and decide the facts and issues in dispute between the county and its municipalities and volunteer organizations, or both.
(f)] (d) * * *
* * * * *
[(g) The Agency's application review process will be completed prior to the scheduled meeting date of the Council. At the Council's meeting, the Agency will make a recommendation to the Council concerning an application received and reviewed since the last meeting of the Council. Based upon that recommendation, the Council will approve a payment for an eligible applicant.
(h) A funding application received after the close of an application review period--2 working days before a scheduled Council meeting--will be reviewed by the Agency and be considered by the Council for a payment at its next scheduled meeting.]
(e) Upon the completion of the application review process, the Agency will approve a funding allocation for the eligible applicant.
(f) After the Agency's approval of a funding allocation, the Agency will forward the payment to an eligible applicant.
§ 117.7. [Disbursement of funds] (Reserved).
[(a) After the Council's approval of a payment, the Agency will forward the payment to an eligible county, municipality, volunteer organization or State agency.
(b) A payment will be dependent upon the availability of funds being present in the RTERF at the time of the intended disbursement.]
§ 117.8. Retention of records for audit.
(a) [A county, municipality, volunteer organization and State agency that has received a payment shall retain financial records, receipts, invoices, vouchers, supporting documents, statistical records and other records that were used to support and document the funding application.
(b) The records described in subsection (a) shall be retained for 3 years. The retention period starts at the end of the funding year--June 30--in which the funding allocation was made.
(c) A county, municipality, volunteer organization and State agency shall make the records described in subsection (a) available for audit by Commonwealth auditors and Agency officials, or both, within 10 days after receiving a written request that those records be made available for audit. An audit request may be made at any time during the 3-year record retention period.]
Records and supporting documents (that is, receipts, invoices, vouchers, and the like) related to grant funds shall be retained for 3 years. The retention period starts at the end of the funding year--June 30--in which the funding allocation was made.
(b) A county and State agency shall make the records described in subsection (a) available for audit by Commonwealth and Agency officials within 10 days after receiving a written request that those records be made available for audit. The audit request may be made at any time during the 3-year record retention period.
§ 117.9. Agency report.
On September 1 of a year, the Agency will submit a report on its operation of the RTERF for the preceding fiscal year to the Governor, [and] the General Assembly and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council. The report will include a summary of the activities of the [EOP, Hazardous Materials Program] Radiation Transportation Emergency Response Program. The report will [also] include [a proposed operating budget, a financial statement,] a list of the applications received and the amounts [made to the] allocated to eligible [jurisdictions, volunteer organizations and State agencies] applicants. An analysis of the adequacy of the fee established for the shipment of spent nuclear fuel will also be included in the report.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-966. Filed for public inspection June 19, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]
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