Summary: S.2664 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/01/2002)

First Responder Terrorism Preparedness Act of 2002 - Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to establish in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the Office of National Preparedness, headed by an Associate Director appointed by the President, to: (1) coordinate and build viable terrorism preparedness and response capability at all levels of government; (2) establish clearly defined standards and guidelines for terrorism preparedness and response; (3) establish and coordinating an integrated capability for preparedness and response; (4) coordinate provision of Federal terrorism preparedness assistance; and (5) establish an interoperable emergency communications and warning system.

Requires the Associate Director to designate a FEMA officer or employee in each of FEMA's ten regions to serve as the Office contact for the States in that region.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Director of FEMA (Director), acting through the Office, to: (1) establish a program to provide assistance to enhance the ability of State and local first responders to respond to incidents of terrorism, including incidents involving weapons of mass destruction; and (2) make specified funds available to the States and Territories (including additional funds based on need criteria such as population and location of vital infrastructures).

Requires that at least 75 percent of the assistance granted each State be provided to local governments and entities within the State in accordance with criteria established by the Director. Requires each State to coordinate with local governments and entities concerning the use of assistance provided.

Limits expenditures for administrative expenses of this program.

Requires the Director to coordinate provisions of assistance with specified Federal emergency relief agencies and programs, as well as (along with States) Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.

(Sec. 6) Requires the President carry out a program for the protection, assessment, monitoring, and study of the health and safety of first responders in the event one or more harmful substances are released in a major disaster area. Requires the President take appropriate measures to protect the privacy of any participant in a registry of first responders exposed to a harmful substance, or in a study of the long-term health effects of any such exposures. Authorizes the President to carry out the program through a cooperative agreement with a medical or academic institution, or a consortium of such institutions.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Director to provide each of 28 designated urban search and rescue task forces a grant to pay the costs of operations. Authorizes the Director to provide an additional discretionary grant to pay for equipment, training, transportation, expansion of the task force, incident support teams, and the costs of operations in excess of the funds provided.

Permits the Director to establish any additional task forces as long as the 28 original task forces are able to deploy at least two fully functional teams simultaneously.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2003 through 2006 for preparedness assistance for first responders and for the urban search and rescue task forces.