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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-537


[4 PA. CODE CH. 120b]

Public Safety Emergency Telephone Program

[29 Pa.B. 1719]

   The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), under the authority contained in 35 Pa.C.S. §§ 7103 and 7313 (relating to power to adopt regulations; and powers and duties) proposes amendments to Chapter 120b to read as set forth in Annex A.

   The proposed amendments are intended to promote the public's health, safety and welfare by establishing standards for the development of county 9-1-1 emergency communications plans. Those plans and the technical requirements of these proposed amendments set forth minimum standards for the operation of public safety answering points (PSAPs). A PSAP is a telephone answering point within a county that an individual seeking emergency assistance (for example, fire, police, medical) can call on a 24-hour a day, 7 days-per-week basis. In addition, these proposed amendments also identify all of the eligible cost categories for the expenditure of county 9-1-1 fees that are collected from telephone subscribers under the authority of the Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act (35 P. S. §§ 7011--7021) (act).

Need for the Proposed Amendments

   These proposed amendments are needed to make the regulations consistent with several statutory changes that the act of February 12, 1998 (P. L. 64, No. 17) (Act 17) made to the act. In particular, Act 17 expanded the types of expenditures that counties can incur for the operation of their 9-1-1 emergency communications systems to include training for their 9-1-1 personnel, the purchase of mobile communications equipment, the development and maintenance of a master street address guide, the erection of street signs on State and local highways and the conduct of public education activities. Act 17 also increased from 60 days to 90 days the time period that PEMA, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission have to review and approve county 9-1-1 emergency communications plans and their contribution rates. All of these statutory changes have been incorporated into these proposed amendments.

Affected Persons

   These proposed amendments should have a favorable impact on all counties operating a 9-1-1 emergency communications system because it expands the eligible cost categories for the expenditure of county 9-1-1 funds for the operation of those 9-1-1 systems.

Sunset Requirement

   PEMA has not set a sunset date for these proposed amendments because all county 9-1-1 emergency communications systems operate on a continuing basis. PEMA continues to monitor those systems and will propose improvements such as these proposed amendments when required.

Paperwork Requirements

   These proposed amendments will not change the amount of paperwork that State agencies and counties must prepare as part of the administration of their 9-1-1 emergency communications systems.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on March 18, 1999, 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 PEMA in compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' A copy of the form is available to the public from PEMA upon request. PEMA will consider comments or suggestions received from IRRC or the Committees, together with comments or suggestions received from the public, prior to adopting the proposed amendments.

   If IRRC has objections to any portion of the proposed regulations, it will notify the Department within 10 days of the close of the Committees' review period. The notification shall specify the regulatory review criteria that have not been met by that portion of the proposed regulations. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the regulations, by the Department, the General Assembly and the Governor of objections raised.

Contact Person

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding these proposed amendments to Mark Goodwin, Chief Counsel, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, P. O. Box 3321, Harrisburg, PA 17105, within 30 days of publication of these proposed amendments in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   Fiscal Note:  30-51. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




§ 120b.102. Definitions.

   The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

*      *      *      *      *

   County plan--An emergency communications plan developed by a county or two or more counties in concert and submitted to the Agency on a triennial basis outlining the [proposed] county's 9-1-1 system, including the contribution rate. The plan shall be unique to the county to meet the individual needs of the county, the local governments and emergency service providers within the county.

*      *      *      *      *

   Directly related personnel salary and benefit costs--Wage, salary and benefit costs for personnel responsible for provision of 9-1-1 services. The term may include PSAP personnel at telephone answering or dispatch stations, or both, and 9-1-1 supervisory personnel. The amount of the contribution rate dedicated to salary, training and benefit costs may not exceed [60%] 70% of the total surcharge, subscriber fee, collected during each county's fiscal year.

*      *      *      *      *

§ 120b.103. Development of county plan.

   Upon the agreement of the governing authority of a county to establish a 9-1-1 system, a plan shall be drafted which meets, at least, the minimum technical standards promulgated by the [Council] Agency. The formation of multijurisdictional or regional 9-1-1 systems is authorized.

   (1)  In counties which currently have a 9-1-1 system in operation, if a contribution rate is to be established, a 9-1-1 coordinator shall be appointed and a plan shall be developed that meets the minimum technical standards promulgated by the [Council] Agency.

   (2)  In counties which currently do not have an operational system, if a system is to be developed and a contribution rate is to be established, a 9-1-1 coordinator shall be appointed and a county plan shall be developed that meets the minimum technical standards as promulgated by the [Council] Agency.

*      *      *      *      *

   (7)  At a minimum, each county 911 plan shall contain the following information:

*      *      *      *      *

   (iii)  A description of the operational plan for the system, including the technical components as required by the [Council] Agency and as outlined in § 120b.104 (relating to technical standards for plans) in sufficient detail to describe the operational aspects of the system, including staffing, supervision, training, interrelationship with public agencies, daily operations, emergency operations and equipment requirements.

*      *      *      *      *

   (8)  Updating and expanding the present system shall require an amended plan to be filed with the Agency. A public meeting is not required for the amended plan unless the county proposes to change the contribution rate established in the existing county plan. An amended plan shall contain [the same information as an original plan as provided for in paragraph (7) and shall] the following information:

*      *      *      *      *

   (iii)  Provide a 9-1-1 fund balance summary statement indicating, by year, revenues accrued and expenditure totals for personnel [and], training, equipment [, by category,] and other eligible cost categories together with the current fund balance.

*      *      *      *      *

   (11) A county plan shall be considered a public record under the provision of the act of June 21, 1957 (P. L. 390, No. 212) (65 P. S. §§ 66.1--66.4), known as the Right To Know Law.

§ 120b.105.  Contribution rate.

   Counties that presently have 9-1-1 systems may establish a contribution rate to cover nonrecurring and operating costs of an existing system by using the same contribution rate approval mechanisms as a new 9-1-1 system. A county which did not have a 9-1-1 system in operation on September 9, 1990, but which awarded a contract for a 9-1-1 system prior to September 9, 1990, shall be considered to have a present system. For the Commission to review the contribution rate requested by the county, the data called for in this chapter, as appropriate, shall be included in the county plan. The plan shall include:

*      *      *      *      *

   (3)  The estimated nonrecurring and recurring costs, if applicable, for each component of the 9-1-1 system for which the county is eligible for reimbursement. The costs may include the following:

*      *      *      *      *

   (xii)  Personnel salary, training and benefits.

*      *      *      *      *

§ 120b.106. Eligible costs.

*      *      *      *      *

   (b)  The costs may include the following items:

   (1)  Nonrecurring costs.

*      *      *      *      *

   (xiii)  Mobile communications equipment.

   (xiv)  Development and maintenance of a master street address guide.

   (xv)  Erection of street signs on State and local highways.

   [(xiii)] (xvi)  *  *  *

   (2)  Recurring costs.

*      *      *      *      *

   (vii)  Personnel salary, training and benefit costs directly related to the provision of 9-1-1 services subject to a maximum of [60%] 70% of the contribution rate revenue.

*      *      *      *      *

   (x)  Public education costs.

   (c)  The following costs are deemed to be ineligible costs:

*      *      *      *      *

   (6)  [Mobile communications equipment including pagers, scanners or portable communications devices.

   (7)]  *  * *

   [(8)] (7)  *  *  *

   [(9)] (8)  Telephone costs not directly associated with the provision of 9-1-1 services.

   [(10)] (9)  *  *  *

*      *      *      *      *

§ 120b.108. Review and approval of plans.

*      *      *      *      *

   (e)  The Council shall have [60] 90 days to review the plan and make suggested revisions to the plan. The Council may contact the county for clarification or further information during the review of the plan.

   (f)  The [60] 90-day review period shall consist of [60] 90-calendar days, beginning with the day the Council receives the plan from the Agency.

*      *      *      *      *

   (h)  The Commission will have [60] 90 days to review the plan. The Commission's review applies only to the proposed contribution rate.

*      *      *      *      *

   (j)  The [60] 90-day review period shall consist of [60] 90-calendar days, beginning the day the Commission receives the plan from the Agency.

*      *      *      *      *

§  120b.113. Accuracy standards for 9-1-1 database systems.

   (a)  The Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) is an information file prepared by a county that contains a list of all street names and address ranges within a county's 9-1-1 service area.

   (1)  Associated with each street are the low/high address ranges as well as a designation for odd, even or all numbers as appropriate; street directionals, such as N, S, E, W; and street types such as ST (street), RD (road), LN (lane).

   (2)  The MSAG may also contain a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) designation and the appropriate emergency service providers (police, fire and medical) assigned to each address range.

   (b)  A Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) customer database contains the billed customer's telephone number, name and service address. Once a county creates an MSAG, the county and the LEC shall perform a database validation process every 6 months by comparing LEC customer data with the MSAG data.

   (1)  When substantive database mismatches are detected during the validation process and are subsequently corrected to the extent that at least 95% of the LEC's customer database matches the MSAG database, the LEC customer database may be loaded into the county's MSAG database.

   (2)  When 100% street addressing has not taken place within a certain geographical area of a county, the use of a partial county MSAG may be used as long as the data load represents an accuracy rate of at least 95%.

   (3)  Thereafter, additional validation processes shall be implemented by a county and the LEC or LECs to eliminate, insofar as possible, any substantive mismatches between the county's MSAG and LEC's customer database.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-537. Filed for public inspection April 2, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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