Text: S.2971 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 114-326 (12/16/2016)

 
[114th Congress Public Law 326]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 1967]]

      NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM ACT OF 2016

[[Page 130 STAT. 1968]]

Public Law 114-326
114th Congress

                                 An Act


 
       To authorize the National Urban Search and Rescue Response 
              System. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 2016 -  [S. 2971]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: National Urban 
Search and Rescue Response System Act of 2016.>> 
SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 42 USC 5121 note.>> SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Urban Search and Rescue 
Response System Act of 2016''.
SEC. 2. NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM.

    (a) In General.--Title III of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5141 et seq.) is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
``SEC. 327. <<NOTE: 42 USC 5165f.>> NATIONAL URBAN SEARCH AND 
                        RESCUE RESPONSE SYSTEM.

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Applicability.>> Definitions.--In this section, the 
following definitions shall apply:
            ``(1) Administrator.--The term `Administrator' means the 
        Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
            ``(2) Agency.--The term `Agency' means the Federal Emergency 
        Management Agency.
            ``(3) Hazard.--The term `hazard' has the meaning given the 
        term in section 602.
            ``(4) Nonemployee system member.--The term `nonemployee 
        System member' means a System member not employed by a 
        sponsoring agency or participating agency.
            ``(5) Participating agency.--The term `participating agency' 
        means a State or local government, nonprofit organization, or 
        private organization that has executed an agreement with a 
        sponsoring agency to participate in the System.
            ``(6) Sponsoring agency.--The term `sponsoring agency' means 
        a State or local government that is the sponsor of a task force 
        designated by the Administrator to participate in the System.
            ``(7) System.--The term `System' means the National Urban 
        Search and Rescue Response System to be administered under this 
        section.
            ``(8) System member.--The term `System member' means an 
        individual who is not a full-time employee of the Federal 
        Government and who serves on a task force or on a System 
        management or other technical team.
            ``(9) Task force.--The term `task force' means an urban 
        search and rescue team designated by the Administrator to 
        participate in the System.

[[Page 130 STAT. 1969]]

    ``(b) General Authority.--Subject to the requirements of this 
section, the Administrator shall continue to administer the emergency 
response system known as the National Urban Search and Rescue Response 
System.
    ``(c) Functions.--In administering the System, the Administrator 
shall provide for a national network of standardized search and rescue 
resources to assist States and local governments in responding to 
hazards.
    ``(d) <<NOTE: Contracts.>> Task Forces.--
            ``(1) Designation.--The Administrator shall designate task 
        forces to participate in the 
        System. <<NOTE: Determination. Criteria.>> The Administration 
        shall determine the criteria for such participation.
            ``(2) Sponsoring agencies.--Each task force shall have a 
        sponsoring agency. The Administrator shall enter into an 
        agreement with the sponsoring agency with respect to the 
        participation of each task force in the System.
            ``(3) Composition.--
                    ``(A) Participating agencies.--A task force may 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, one 
                or more participating agencies. The sponsoring agency 
                shall enter into an agreement with each participating 
                agency with respect to the participation of the 
                participating agency on the task force.
                    ``(B) Other individuals.--A task force may also 
                include, at the discretion of the sponsoring agency, 
                other individuals not otherwise associated with the 
                sponsoring agency or a participating agency. The 
                sponsoring agency of a task force may enter into a 
                separate agreement with each such individual with 
                respect to the participation of the individual on the 
                task force.

    ``(e) Management and Technical Teams.--The Administrator shall 
maintain such management teams and other technical teams as the 
Administrator determines are necessary to administer the System.
    ``(f) Appointment of System Members Into Federal Service.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Administrator may appoint a System 
        member into Federal service for a period of service to provide 
        for the participation of the System member in exercises, 
        preincident staging, major disaster and emergency response 
        activities, and training events sponsored or sanctioned by the 
        Administrator.
            ``(2) Nonapplicability of certain civil service laws.--The 
        Administrator may make appointments under paragraph (1) without 
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, 
        governing appointments in the competitive service.
            ``(3) Relationship to other authorities.--The authority of 
        the Administrator to make appointments under this subsection 
        shall not affect any other authority of the Administrator under 
        this Act.
            ``(4) Limitation.--A System member who is appointed into 
        Federal service under paragraph (1) shall not be considered an 
        employee of the United States for purposes other than those 
        specifically set forth in this section.

    ``(g) Compensation.--
            ``(1) Pay of system members.--Subject to such terms and 
        conditions as the Administrator may impose by regulation,

[[Page 130 STAT. 1970]]

        the Administrator shall make payments to the sponsoring agency 
        of a task force--
                    ``(A) <<NOTE: Reimbursement.>> to reimburse each 
                employer of a System member on the task force for 
                compensation paid by the employer to the System member 
                for any period during which the System member is 
                appointed into Federal service under subsection (f)(1); 
                and
                    ``(B) to make payments directly to a nonemployee 
                System member on the task force for any period during 
                which the nonemployee System member is appointed into 
                Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
            ``(2) Reimbursement for employees filling positions of 
        system members.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Subject to such terms and 
                conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
                regulation, the Administrator shall make payments to the 
                sponsoring agency of a task force to be used to 
                reimburse each employer of a System member on the task 
                force for compensation paid by the employer to an 
                employee filling a position normally filled by the 
                System member for any period during which the System 
                member is appointed into Federal service under 
                subsection (f)(1).
                    ``(B) Limitation.--Costs incurred by an employer 
                shall be eligible for reimbursement under subparagraph 
                (A) only to the extent that the costs are in excess of 
                the costs that would have been incurred by the employer 
                had the System member not been appointed into Federal 
                service under subsection (f)(1).
            ``(3) Method of payment.--A System member shall not be 
        entitled to pay directly from the Agency for a period during 
        which the System member is appointed into Federal Service under 
        subsection (f)(1).

    ``(h) Personal Injury, Illness, Disability, or Death.--
            ``(1) In general.--A System member who is appointed into 
        Federal service under subsection (f)(1) and who suffers personal 
        injury, illness, disability, or death as a result of a personal 
        injury sustained while acting in the scope of such appointment, 
        shall, for the purposes of subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 
        5, United States Code, be treated as though the member were an 
        employee (as defined by section 8101 of that title) who had 
        sustained the injury in the performance of duty.
            ``(2) Election of benefits.--
                    ``(A) In general.--A System member (or, in the case 
                of the death of the System member, the System member's 
                dependent) who is entitled under paragraph (1) to 
                receive benefits under subchapter I of chapter 81 of 
                title 5, United States Code, by reason of personal 
                injury, illness, disability, or death, and to receive 
                benefits from a State or local government by reason of 
                the same personal injury, illness, disability or death 
                shall elect to--
                          ``(i) receive benefits under such subchapter; 
                      or
                          ``(ii) receive benefits from the State or 
                      local government.
                    ``(B) Deadline.--A System member or dependent shall 
                make an election of benefits under subparagraph (A) not 
                later than 1 year after the date of the personal injury,

[[Page 130 STAT. 1971]]

                illness, disability, or death that is the reason for the 
                benefits, or until such later date as the Secretary of 
                Labor may allow for reasonable cause shown.
                    ``(C) Effect of election.--An election of benefits 
                made under this paragraph is irrevocable unless 
                otherwise provided by law.
            ``(3) Reimbursement for state or local benefits.--Subject to 
        such terms and conditions as the Administrator may impose by 
        regulation, if a System member or dependent elects to receive 
        benefits from a State or local government under paragraph 
        (2)(A), the Administrator shall reimburse the State or local 
        government for the value of the benefits.
            ``(4) Public safety officer claims.--Nothing in this 
        subsection shall be construed to bar any claim by, or with 
        respect to, any System member who is a public safety officer, as 
        defined in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control 
        and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b), for any benefits 
        authorized under part L of title I of that Act (42 U.S.C. 3796 
        et seq.).

    ``(i) Liability.--A System member appointed into Federal service 
under subsection (f)(1), while acting within the scope of the 
appointment, shall be considered to be an employee of the Federal 
Government under section 1346(b) of title 28, United States Code, and 
chapter 171 of that title, relating to tort claims procedure.
    ``(j) <<NOTE: Applicability.>> Employment and Reemployment Rights.--
With respect to a System member who is not a regular full-time employee 
of a sponsoring agency or participating agency, the following terms and 
conditions apply:
            ``(1) Service.--Service as a System member shall be 
        considered to be `service in the uniformed services' for 
        purposes of chapter 43 of title 38, United States Code, relating 
        to employment and reemployment rights of individuals who have 
        performed service in the uniformed services (regardless of 
        whether the individual receives compensation for such 
        participation). All rights and obligations of such persons and 
        procedures for assistance, enforcement, and investigation shall 
        be as provided for in such chapter.
            ``(2) Preclusion.--Preclusion of giving notice of service by 
        necessity of appointment under this section shall be considered 
        to be preclusion by `military necessity' for purposes of section 
        4312(b) of title 38, United States Code, pertaining to giving 
        notice of absence from a position of 
        employment. <<NOTE: Determination.>> A determination of such 
        necessity shall be made by the Administrator and shall not be 
        subject to judicial review.

    ``(k) Licenses and Permits.--If a System member holds a valid 
license, certificate, or other permit issued by any State or other 
governmental jurisdiction evidencing the member's qualifications in any 
professional, mechanical, or other skill or type of assistance required 
by the System, the System member is deemed to be performing a Federal 
activity when rendering aid involving such skill or assistance during a 
period of appointment into Federal service under subsection (f)(1).
    ``(l) Preparedness Cooperative Agreements.--Subject to the 
availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Administrator shall 
enter into an annual preparedness cooperative agreement

[[Page 130 STAT. 1972]]

with each sponsoring agency. Amounts made available to a sponsoring 
agency under such a preparedness cooperative agreement shall be for the 
following purposes:
            ``(1) Training and exercises, including training and 
        exercises with other Federal, State, and local government 
        response entities.
            ``(2) Acquisition and maintenance of equipment, including 
        interoperable communications and personal protective equipment.
            ``(3) Medical monitoring required for responder safety and 
        health in anticipation of and following a major disaster, 
        emergency, or other hazard, as determined by the Administrator.

    ``(m) Response Cooperative Agreements.--The Administrator shall 
enter into a response cooperative agreement with each sponsoring agency, 
as appropriate, under which the Administrator agrees to reimburse the 
sponsoring agency for costs incurred by the sponsoring agency in 
responding to a major disaster or emergency.
    ``(n) Obligations.--The Administrator may incur all necessary 
obligations consistent with this section in order to ensure the 
effectiveness of the System.
    ``(o) <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports. Implementation plan.>> Equipment 
Maintenance and Replacement.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this section, the Administrator shall submit to the 
appropriate congressional committees (as defined in section 2 of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101)) a report on the 
development of a plan, including implementation steps and timeframes, to 
finance, maintain, and replace System equipment.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) Applicability of title 5, united states code.--Section 
        8101(1) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
                    (A) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                    (B) by transferring subparagraph (F) to between 
                subparagraph (E) and the matter following subparagraph 
                (E);
                    (C) in subparagraph (F)--
                          (i) by striking ``United States Code,''; and
                          (ii) by adding ``and'' at the end; and
                    (D) by inserting after subparagraph (F) the 
                following:
                    ``(G) an individual who is a System member of the 
                National Urban Search and Rescue Response System during 
                a period of appointment into Federal service pursuant to 
                section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
                and Emergency Assistance Act;''.
            (2) Inclusion as part of uniformed services for purposes of 
        userra.--Section 4303 of title 38, United States Code, is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (13), by inserting ``, a period for 
                which a System member of the National Urban Search and 
                Rescue Response System is absent from a position of 
                employment due to an appointment into Federal service 
                under section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster 
                Relief and Emergency Assistance Act'' before ``, and a 
                period''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (16), by inserting ``System members 
                of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System 
                during a period of appointment into Federal service 
                under

[[Page 130 STAT. 1973]]

                section 327 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
                and Emergency Assistance Act,'' after ``Public Health 
                Service,''.

    (c) Technical Amendment.--Section 1086(d) of the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 <<NOTE: 42 USC 3791 note.>>  is 
amended as follows (which amendments shall take effect as if enacted on 
January 2, 2013)--
            (1) in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) by striking ``paragraph (1)'' and inserting 
                ``paragraph (2)''; and
                    (B) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``filed or'' and 
                inserting ``filed (consistent with pre-existing 
                effective dates) or''; and
            (2) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``amendments made by 
        this Act'' and inserting ``amendments made to section 1204 of 
        the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 
        U.S.C. 3796b) by this Act''.

    Approved December 16, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2971:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 114-307 (Comm. on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 162 (2016):
            Nov. 30, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 7, considered and passed House, amended.
            Dec. 9, Senate concurred in House amendment.

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