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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Congressman Kind's RESPONSE Act passes House of Representatives

WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s legislation to increase rail safety and provide needed resources for first responders, the RESPONSE Act, passed unanimously out of the House this past week. The bill is now headed to the Senate for final vote and then will be signed by the President.

“With the passage of the RESPONSE Act we are making our Wisconsin communities safer by providing more training for our first responders and holding big railroad companies accountable for their actions,” said Rep. Kind. “Our residents have dealt with the negative impacts of rail traffic long enough and today we took action to solve the problem and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

The RESPONSE Act establishes a subcommittee under FEMA’s National Advisory Council. It brings together federal agencies, technical experts, emergency responders and the private sector to review training methods, resources, best practices, and unmet needs related to railroad incidents we can ensure the safety of Wisconsin residents and local communities.

The subcommittee is tasked with evaluating and providing recommendations on:

·         The quality and application of training for local emergency responders related to rail hazardous materials incidents
·         Modernizing training course content related to rail hazardous material incidents
·         Identifying any overlap in training content and opportunities to develop complementary courses and materials
·         Determining the effectiveness of funding levels for training emergency responders
·         Developing a strategy for integration of commodity flow studies.

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