Summary: H.R.1389 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1389. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/20/2003)

Homeland Emergency Response Act of 2003 - Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to revise the responsibilities of the Office for Domestic Preparedness with respect to the preparedness of the United States for acts of terrorism, including to: (1) establish and coordinate an integrated capability for Federal, State, and local governments and emergency responders to plan for and address potential consequences of terrorism; (2) establish standards for a national, interoperable emergency communications and warning system which allows for communications capability between local and other first responders on all levels of government; and (3) evaluate equipment to be used by first responders to respond to incidents of terrorism, including incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a program of assistance to States and certain local governments to enhance the ability of State and local first responders to respond to incidents of terrorism, including incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Sets forth certain use and distribution requirements for such assistance.

Amends the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 to require the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide grants for counterterrorism activities of the fire departments in the five localities of greatest vulnerability.

Amends the USA Patriot Act to set forth a formula for the allocation of appropriations that exceed stated minimum amounts for grants to States to enhance State and local capability to prepare for and respond to terrorist acts. Authorizes the use of such grants also to enhance security facilities and to support counterterrorism, intelligence, and security activities (including personnel costs). Requires each State to distribute not less than 75 percent of grant amounts to local jurisdictions.

Amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to direct the President in instances where one or more harmful substances are being, or have been, released in an area that has been declared a major disaster area to carry out a program for the protection, assessment, monitoring, and study of the health and safety of first responders in such area (including authorizing the monitoring and treatment of first responders at Ground Zero from the attacks on New York City of September 11, 2001).