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New Legislation Would Amend Homeland Security Act to Create Preparedness Standards

New York, Oct 03, 2003

Introduced into the House of Representatives on October 2, 2003, the National Preparedness Standards Act (H.R. 3227) aims to assist the Secretary of Homeland Security in establishing clearly defined standards and guidelines for federal, state, and local government emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The proposed legislation comes on the heels of the 2003 ANSI Annual Conference, “Homeland Security: Collaboration, Innovation, and Standardization,” which examined the role that standards play in protecting U.S. citizens and enhancing our national security infrastructure.

H.R. 3227 is bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). It would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by adding Section 510, “Emergency Preparedness and Response Standards,” which sets forth a requirement that the Secretary, “in consultation with other Federal agencies, State and local emergency responder agencies and officials, and standard-setting bodies from the emergency responder community, shall establish clearly defined standards and guidelines for Federal, State, and local government emergency preparedness and response capability, including for training, interoperable communication systems, and response equipment.”

The American National Standards Institute, along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), is named as one of the consulting organizations in the Act.

“This bill recognizes both the critical nature of consensus standards in achieving homeland security, and highlights ANSI’s role as the neutral third-party coordinator of the voluntary standards system in the United States,” said David Karmol, ANSI vice president of public policy and government affairs. “We look forward to working with Chairman Shays as this bill proceeds, and continuing our work with the Department of Homeland Security as this and other pending legislation is considered by Congress.”

To read H.R. 3227, click here.

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