CHAPTER 207

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 263

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 3 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 20 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CD DEFENSE AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 20 of the Delaware Code by deleting Chapters 31 and 35 thereof in their entirety and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"CHAPTER 31. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

SUBCHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

3101. Declaration of policy and purpose.

3102. Definitions.

SUBCHAPTER II. DELAWARE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

3105. Creation.

3106. Organization. 3107. Powers and duties.

3108. Radiological emergency management program.

SUBCHAPTER III. THE GOVERNOR AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

3115. General authority of Governor.

3116. Powers.

3117. Activation of emergency or disaster response.

SUBCHAPTER IV. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

3121. Orders, rules and regulations.

3122. Enforcement.

3123. Authority to accept services, gifts, grants and loans.

3124. Political activity.

3125. Penalties.

3126. Laws suspended during emergencies or disasters.

3127. Conflict with other laws.

3128. Destruction of property, looting or injury of persons during State of Emergency, penal liability for conduct of another.

3129. Immunity from civil liability.

3130. Construction of chapter.

SUBCHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS.

§ 3101. Declaration of policy and purpose.

Because of the existing possibility of the occurrence of emergencies or disasters, the purpose of this chapter is to:

(a) Ensure that this State will be adequately prepared to respond and recover from such emergencies or disasters;

() Provide for the common defense and to protect the public peace, health, and safety;

(a) Protect the lives and property of the people of this State and reduce their vulnerability to harm in emergency and disaster situations;

(b) Authorize and provide for coordination of activities relating to emergency management;

(c) Confer upon the Governor, upon state agencies, and authorized representatives of this State, the broad emergency powers provided in this chapter;

(d) Provide for the rendering of mutual aid among the political subdivisions of this State and with other states and with the federal government with respect to emergency management.

§ 3102. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(a) 'Disaster' means a catastrophic condition caused by a man-made event (including, but not limited to, industrial, nuclear or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, act of domestic terrorism, natural resource shortage or other condition, resulting from man-made causes, such as hazardous materials spills and other injurious environmental contamination), natural event (including, but not limited to, any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion) or war-caused event (following an attack upon the United States caused by use of bombs, missiles, shellfire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means, or other weapons or overt paramilitary actions, or other conditions such as sabotage) which results in substantial damage to property, the environment, and/or hardship, suffering, injury or possible loss of life.

() 'Emergency' means any situation which requires efforts and capabilities to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster in Delaware.

(a) 'Emergency management' means the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery functions necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health, and safety or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster in any part of the State, other than functions for which military forces or other federal agencies are primarily responsible. These functions include, without limitation, fire-fighting services, police services, medical and health services, rescue, engineering, warning services, communications, radiological response, chemical response or other technological response, evacuation of persons from hazardous areas, emergency welfare services, emergency transportation, protection, temporary restoration of public utility services, national security and other functions related to infrastructure, together with all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of the foregoing functions. In so defining emergency management, full recognition shall be given to Public Law 93-288, as amended, 'The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act'; Public Law 100-408, as amended, 'The Price Anderson Act'; § 4 Public Law 875 -- 81st Congress, as amended.

(b) 'Political subdivision' means any town, city or county within the State.

(e) 'State of Emergency' means an emergency proclaimed pursuant to an Emergency Order by the Governor. All Emergency Orders issued under this chapter shall indicate the nature of the emergency or disaster, the area or areas threatened, and the conditions which have brought it about and may limit the Order to a geographic area or specific resources. Such an Emergency Order may be issued in writing subsequent to its effect so long as a written log recording the dates and times of such Order is maintained by DEMA. Emergency Orders shall be filed with the Secretary of State.

() 'Mitigation' means any action before or after a response event taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and/or property from natural hazards or any cost effective measure which is intended to reduce the potential for damage to a facility from a disaster event.

(g) 'Response' means any action taken to reduce or eliminate the immediate or short-term risk to human life and/or property from any hazard.

Notwithstanding the substitution of the phrase 'emergency management' for the phrase 'civil defense,' by 58 Del. Laws, c. 558, § 4, the powers of DEMA shall not in any way be restricted by reason of its new designation and the term 'civil defense' may be used interchangeably with the term 'emergency management' wherever it may appear in the Delaware Code.

SUBCHAPTER II. DELAWARE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY.

§ 3105. Creation.

To assure the prompt, proper, and effective discharge of basic state responsibilities relating to emergency management, there is hereby formally created the Delaware Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Public Safety (hereinafter also referred to as `DEMA').

§ 3106. Organization.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Public Safety, within the executive branch of the state government, shall consist of and be organized substantially as follows:

(a) Director and Deputy Principal Assistant. The Director and the Deputy Principal Assistant (`Deputy') shall be appointed by the Secretary of Public Safety with the written approval of the Governor. The Director and the Deputy shall be exempt from the merit system as set forth in Chapter 59 of Title 29. The Director, as head of the agency, shall supervise, on a full-time basis, all fiscal, planning, administrative, operational, and other functions of DEMA as assigned by law or the Secretary. The Director and Deputy shall not hold any other state office and may be removed from office by the Secretary, with or without cause, with the written approval of the Governor. The Director, subject to the direction and control of the Governor, shall be the executive head of DEMA and shall be responsible to the Secretary of Public Safety for carrying out the program for emergency management of this State. During an emergency or disaster, the Governor may delegate such powers as he or she may see fit to the Secretary of Public Safety or the Director to coordinate the activities of the State that serve to prevent or alleviate the ill effects of an imminent or actual emergency or disaster and maintain liaison with emergency support agencies and organizations of other states and of the federal government and shall have such additional authority, duties, and responsibilities authorized by this chapter.

(b) Staff. The Director, with the approval of the Secretary of Public Safety, may employ such personnel, within limitations of appropriations for that purpose, as may be deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(c) Facilities and equipment. The Director and other personnel of DEMA shall be provided with appropriate office space in a facility and area identified with low vulnerability to natural and technological hazards, furniture, equipment, supplies, stationery, and services in the same manner as provided for personnel of other state agencies.

§ 3107. Powers and duties.

DEMA is authorized and directed to:

(a) Prepare and maintain a comprehensive plan and program for the emergency management of the State, such plan to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans of the federal government and of other states and political subdivisions of this State to the fullest possible extent

(b) Establish, equip, and staffs State Emergency Operations Center;

(c) Carry out all obligations and duties associated with state emergency or disaster response and recovery plans and execute all duties and responsibilities to secure the maximum state and federal emergency management assistance and emergency or disaster recovery assistance;

(d) Apply for, accept, and expend federal, public, or private funds, grants, gifts, or other forms of financial assistance in order to defray the costs of DEMA directly associated with implementing and maintaining emergency management capabilities including, but not limited to, expenses connected with retaining personnel and with acquiring and maintaining equipment, supplies, and other material to carry out DEMA's obligations and responsibilities under the plan. All grants or payments of money by the federal government, or by any other public or private source, pursuant to any contract, agreement or otherwise, to the Department of Public Safety for emergency management by DEMA shall be appropriated to DEMA for the designated purpose for which the money was paid and received, and no other. All such money shall be payable to the State Treasurer. The Treasurer shall credit the deposit to the individual appropriation accounts for the designated use;

(e) Enter into and perform contracts or agreements with any public or private source; procure by contract or agent such consulting, research, technical, and other services as are necessary for DEMA to carry out its responsibilities under the plan; and to accept and expend funds paid by private or public sources in consideration for the performance of obligations under such contracts or agreements;

() Provide technical advice and assistance to state agencies, political subdivisions, and other organizations in the preparation of emergency management plans or components thereof and to periodically review such plans and suggest or require revisions;

(a) Establish and implement or assist state agencies, political subdivisions or organizations in the development of emergency management training and of public information programs in advance of actual emergencies or disasters to ensure adequately trained personnel and an informed public in times of need;

() Supply appropriate state and local agencies, officials, and the general public with precautionary notices, watches and warnings relating to actual or potential emergencies or disasters and provide a flow of official information and instructions of the general public before, during and after an emergency or disaster;

() Provide direction and control of state emergency or disaster operations;

(a) Determine the need for, maintain information regarding, and procure materials, supplies, equipment, facilities, and services necessary for, emergency management;

(k) Make or request copies of studies, surveys, or reports of the industries, resources, and facilities within this State as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

(l) Prepare, for issuance by the Governor, orders, proclamations and regulations as necessary or appropriate in responding to emergencies or disasters, and maintain a memorialized log thereof;

(m) Cooperate with the federal government and any public or private agency or entity in achieving any purpose of this chapter and in implementing programs for emergency management;

() Administer grant programs for eligible applicants for emergency management;

(o) Accept and coordinate assistance provided by federal agencies in major disasters in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq.), or any amendment or re-enactment thereof;

() Respond to emergencies or disasters relating to atomic energy operations or radioactive objects or materials;

(a) Provide, from its own stockpiles or other sources, emergency or disaster operational equipment, materials, and supplies required and available for essential supplementation of those owned, acquired, and used by state, county and local departments and agencies for emergency and disaster operations;

() For the period during which a State of Emergency is declared by the Governor, to incur or authorize other state agencies or local governments to incur obligations to purchase or to purchase immediately such materials and supplies as may be necessary to protect the health and safety of persons and property and provide emergency or disaster assistance to victims of a disaster. Such obligations and purchases shall be exempt from bidding provisions required by Chapter 69 of Title 29; and

§ 3108. Radiological emergency management program.

(a) In addition to the powers and duties of DEMA set forth in § 3107 of this chapter, DEMA shall develop, establish, and maintain a radiological emergency management program in accordance with relevant regulations and guidelines promulgated by federal agencies. The purpose of the program is to comply with applicable federal regulations and to implement all necessary and appropriate protective or remedial measures on behalf of the State with respect to a radiological incident, or threatened radiological incident, resulting from the operation of commercial nuclear generating facilities, acts of terrorism, or transport of nuclear by-products. DEMA shall serve as the single point of contact for interaction between the affected facilities and other state agencies and departments, counties, municipalities, and the federal government.

(b) All grants or payments of money by the federal government, or by any other public or private source, pursuant to any contract, agreement or otherwise, to the Department of Public Safety for radiological emergency management shall be appropriated to DEMA for the designated purpose, and no other, for which the money was paid and received. All such money shall be payable to the State Treasurer. The Treasurer shall credit the deposit to a special fund to be known and designated as the 'Delaware Radiological Emergency Management Program Account, and any money received for the use of DEMA in connection with its duties under the Delaware Radiological Emergency Management Program shall be paid out of the special account by the State Treasurer upon warrants executed by the Secretary, Department of Public Safety, for the designated use, without any further authority from the General Assembly;

(c) On behalf of DEMA, the Secretary of the Department of Public shall cause to be prepared, and shall submit to the Budget Director and the Joint Finance Committee, in accordance with Chapters 63 and 65 of Title 29, a detailed budgetary plan which:

(1) Depicts all anticipated expenses for the ensuing fiscal year associated with the duties of the State, political subdivisions and other organizations in the Delaware Radiological Emergency Management Program or under any contract or agreement in connection therewith;

(2) Provides an accurate statement of all funds, grants, gifts, or other forms of financial assistance to be paid or furnished to DEMA for the ensuing fiscal year by the federal government or any other public or private source; and

(3) Describes the designated use of any funds, grants, gifts, or other forms of financial assistance received by the State as well as any other relevant restrictions regarding the expenditure of such moneys.

SUBCHAPTER III. THE GOVERNOR AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

§ 3115. General authority of the Governor.

(a) The Governor shall be responsible for addressing the dangers to life, health, environment, property, or public peace within the State presented by emergencies or disasters, and to this end shall have general direction and control of DEMA and shall be responsible for carrying out this chapter. In the event of an emergency or disaster beyond local control, the Governor may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within the State.

() In performing the duties of the Governor under this chapter, the Governor may issue, amend and rescind all necessary executive orders, emergency orders, proclamations and regulations, which shall have the force and effect of law.

(c) In addition to the powers conferred upon the Governor by this chapter, a State of Emergency may be proclaimed by emergency order of the Governor upon a finding that an emergency or disaster has occurred or that such occurrence or threat of that occurrence is imminent. The State of Emergency shall continue until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has passed or the emergency or disaster has been dealt with to the extent that conditions necessitating a State of Emergency no longer exist and terminates the State of Emergency by subsequent order. All orders issued under this chapter shall indicate the nature of the emergency or disaster, the geographical area or areas threatened, and the conditions which have brought the emergency or disaster about or which make possible termination of the State of Emergency. An order terminating a state of emergency shall describe the reasons for termination, and shall be disseminated as promptly as is practicable by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the emergency or disaster prevent or impede, shall be promptly logged with DEMA. Emergency action ordered by the Governor in accordance with his or her constitutional and statutory authority shall not be invalidated because of any failure to comply with the technical requirements for the logging or filing of emergency orders.

§ 3116. Powers.

(a) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may:

(1) Delegate to the Secretary of Public Safety, the Director of DEMA, or such other person any authority vested under this chapter and provide for the subdelegation of any suet authority;

(0) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency or disaster;

(1) Utilize all available resources of the state government as reasonably necessary t cope with the emergency or disaster;

(2) Transfer the personnel, functions, and/or responsibilities of state agencies or units for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services;

(5) Request voluntary restrictions or conservation of water use by public or private users of water in the State. Mandatory restrictions may be imposed by the Governor by emergency order after declaration of a State of Emergency. Unless the Governor issues emergency order finding that it is essential that mandatory conservation measures 1 implemented without delay, before any mandatory water conservation measure shall be enforceable without a State of Emergency, the Governor shall hold a public hearing on the issue of said mandatory measure. If conservation measures are ordered without a State Emergency, a hearing shall be held within 14 days upon 7 days notice. Notice of the hearing on the issue shall be published at least 7 days before the hearing in no less than 2 Delaware newspapers general circulation. A hearing officer, who shall be appointed by the Governor, shall preside over any hearings required by this subsection, and shall make a written report a recommendation about the evidence presented at the hearing to the Governor;

(6) Request federal assistance as deemed necessary;

(7) On behalf of this State, enter into reciprocal aid agreements or compacts with other states and the federal government, either on a statewide basis or local political subdivision basis or with a neighboring state or province or a foreign county, as deemed necessary;

(8) Cooperate with the President, heads of armed forces, federal agencies regarding emergency management issues, particularly in matters pertaining to national security;

(0) Take such action and give such directions to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with this chapter;

(1) Employ such measures and make such recommendations to state or local health agencies, authorities, or boards as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with this chapter or with the findings or recommendations of such health entities by reason of conditions arising from emergencies or disasters.

(0) With or without emergency orders, require the Delaware National Guard to provide services which may protect life and property from any effects from an actual or threatened emergency or disaster.

(b) During an Emergency or Disaster, the Governor may:

(1) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation, utilize any private, public, or quasi-public property if necessary to cope with the emergency or disaster;

(2) Assign and make available for duty the employees, property, or equipment of the subdivision relating to fire fighting, engineering, rescue, health, medical and related services, police, similar items or services for emergency purposes and within or outside of the physical limits;

(3) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the State if this action is necessary for the preservation of life;

(4) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations throughout the State of Delaware in connection with evacuation;

(5) Control ingress, and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;

(0) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, combustibles, and hazardous materials;

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, through the use of state agencies or instrumentalities thereof, to clear or remove from publicly or privately owned land or water, debris and wreckage which may threaten public health or safety, the environment, or public or private property;

(2) Establish curfews;

(3) Take appropriate measures as described in the Energy Emergency Contingency Plan in the event of an energy crisis such as an actual or impending acute shortage in useable energy resources, whether resulting from natural disasters, disruptions in fuel supplies, national defense circumstances, international trade obstructions, or other causes;

(4) Request federal emergency or disaster declarations;

(11) Upon a declaration of a major disaster or during an emergency, designate in a FEMA/State Agreement the Governor's Authorized Representative ("GAR"), who shall administer federal disaster assistance programs on behalf of the State and local governments and other grant or loan recipients, and a State Coordinating Officer ("SCO"), who shall coordinate state and local assistance efforts with those of the federal government;

(12) Take such other actions as she/he reasonably believes necessary to help maintain life, health, property, or public peace.

§3117. Activation of emergency or disaster response

The response and recovery aspects of the state emergency or disaster plans shall be initiated by an emergency order or memorialized in the DEMA log of such proclamation of a State of Emergency by the Governor, or at the discretion of the DEMA Director in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety.

SUBCHAPTER IV. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS. § 3121. Orders, rules and regulations.

(a) Other state agencies designated or appointed by the Governor may make, amend, and rescind orders, rules, and regulations necessary for emergency management purposes and for supplementing the carrying out of this chapter, but not inconsistent with any orders, rules or regulations promulgated by the Governor or by any state agency exercising a power delegated by the Governor.

() All orders, rules, and regulations promulgated by the Governor or other agency authorized by this chapter to make orders, rules, and regulations shall have the full force and effect of law, when issued by the Governor or any state agency or when logged and memorialized by the DEMA director in accordance with this chapter. All existing laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations inconsistent with this chapter shall be suspended during the period of time of the emergency or disaster and to the extent that such conflict exists.

(c) In order to attain uniformity so far as practicable throughout the nation in measures taken to aid emergency management, all action taken under this chapter and all orders, rules, and regulations made pursuant thereto shall be taken or made with due consideration to the orders, rules, regulations, actions, recommendations, and requests of federal authorities relevant thereto and, to the extent permitted by law or practical, shall be consistent with such orders, rules, regulations, actions, recommendations, and requests.

§ 3122. Enforcement.

The law enforcement authorities of this State and of the political subdivisions of this State shall enforce the orders, rules, and regulations issued pursuant to this chapter.

§ 3123. Authority to accept services, gifts, grants and loans.

(a) Whenever the federal government, and agency or any person shall offer to this State, or through this State to any political subdivision of this State, services, equipment, supplies, materials, or funds by way of gift, grant or loan for purposes of emergency management, this State, acting through the Governor, or such political subdivision, acting with the consent of the Governor and through such political subdivision's executive officer or governing body, may authorize any officer of this State or of the political subdivision, as the case may be, to receive such services, equipment, supplies, materials, or funds on behalf of this State or such political subdivision and subject to the terms of the offer and the rules and regulations, if any, of the agency making the offer.

§ 3124. Political activity.

No emergency management organization established under the authority of this chapter shall participate in any form of political activity nor shall it be employed directly or indirectly for political purposes.

§ 3125. Penalties.

Except wherein specified penalties are prescribed in this chapter, whoever violates this chapter or an emergency order issued pursuant to this chapter may be fined of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or imprisoned up to six months for each violation.

§ 3126. Laws suspended during emergencies or disasters.

In the case of a declaration of a State of Emergency by the Governor, state agencies may implement their emergency or disaster assignments without regard to procedures required by other laws (except mandatory constitutional requirements) pertaining to the performance of public work, entering into contracts, incurring of obligations, employment of temporary workers, rental of equipment, purchase of supplies, and materials and expenditures of public funds.

§ 3127. Conflict with other laws.

(a) Whenever the restrictions of any other statute, local ordinance, or regulations are consistent with but more restrictive than the restrictions imposed pursuant to this chapter, such statute, local ordinance, or regulations shall govern.

(b) During a State of Emergency, whenever the restrictions imposed pursuant to this chapter are inconsistent and in conflict with those required by any other statute, local ordinance or regulations, the provisions of the Emergency Order imposed pursuant to this chapter shall govern.

(c) Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to infringe in any way upon the powers of the fire officers-in-charge as defined in 16 Del.C. §6701A, or any successor statute.

§ 3128. Destruction of property, looting, or injury of persons during State of Emergency; penalty; liability for conduct of another.

(a) During a State of Emergency, whoever maliciously destroys or damages any real or personal property or maliciously injuries another shall be guilty of a felony.

(b) Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a class C felony.

(c) Any person over 16 years old who violates this section shall be prosecuted as an adult.

(d) A person is guilty of an offense under this section committed by another person when:

(1) Acting with the state of mind that is sufficient for commission of the offense, such person causes an innocent or irresponsible person to engage in conduct constituting the offense; or

(2) Intending to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense she/he:

a. Solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to commit it; or

b. Aids, counsels, agrees or attempts to aid the other person in planning or committing it; or

c. Having a legal duty to prevent the commission of the offense, fails to make a proper effort to do so.

(e) In any prosecution for an offense under this section in which the criminal liability of the accused is based upon the conduct of another person pursuant to this section, it is no defense that:

(1) The other person is not guilty of the offense in question because of irresponsibility or other legal incapacity or exemption or because of unawareness of the criminal nature of the conduct in question or of the accused's criminal purpose or because of other factors precluding the mental state required for the commission of the offense; or

(2) The other person has not been prosecuted for or convicted of any offense based on the conduct in question or has previously been acquitted thereof or has been convicted of a different offense or in a different degree or has legal immunity from prosecution for the conduct in question.

§ 3129. Immunity from civil liability.

Neither the State, nor any county in the State, nor any municipal corporation of the State, nor any other political subdivision of the State, nor any agency of any of them, nor the agents, employees, or representatives of any of them, engaged in emergency or disaster relief operations and activities in connection with any emergency or disaster pursuant to this chapter, nor any person, firm, corporation, or other entity performing work and/or furnishing material pursuant to a contract (oral or written) with the State or with any county in the State, or with any municipal corporation of the State, or with any other political subdivision of the State or with any agency of any of them, entered into as a result of the declaration by the Governor of an Emergency Order or entered into as a part of efforts to comply with this chapter, shall be liable for the death of or any injury to persons, or damage to property, as a result of such relief operations and activities and/or the performance of or attempts to perform such contract, unless such death, injury, or damage was intentional on the part of, or was caused by the willful or wanton disregard of the rights of others, by the State, or by the county, or by the municipal corporation, or by the other political subdivision, as the case may be, or by any agency of any of them, or by the agents, employees, or representatives of any of them or by such person, firm, corporation, or other entity engaged in such emergency or disaster relief operations and activities and/or the performance and attempted performance of such contract, as the case may be. These provisions shall not affect the right of any person to receive statutory benefits to which he/she would otherwise be entitled in the absence of this section or under the Workmen's Compensation Act (Chapter 23 of Title 19) or under any pension law, or the right of any such person to receive any benefits or compensation under any act of Congress.

§ 3130. Construction of chapter.

This chapter is intended to protect the health, property, environment, and safety of the people of Delaware and shall be liberally construed to validate any emergency or disaster action undertaken by the State in good faith for that purpose. Without limiting the general intent of this section, any emergency order shall be interpreted as to provide the State with the maximum opportunity to obtain federal emergency or disaster relief assistance for the State."

Section 2. This Act is intended to simplify and make more uniform and effective the State's ability to take preventive and remedial action to alleviate the harm to the public from threatened or actual emergencies or disasters. To that end, the Act's repeal of sections of the Code which specifically identify types of emergency orders the Governor may issue to protect the public shall not be construed as eliminating such authority. Rather, the Act is intended to provide relevant state authorities the power to issue such emergency orders, without limitation, as are necessary to address the particular circumstances facing the State at the time of any threatened or actual emergency or disaster.

Approved July 17, 1997