CHAPTER 181

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 79

AS AMENDED BY

SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 3

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 9 AND 22 RELATING TO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS.

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

Section 1. Amend Chapter 26, Title 9 of the Delaware Code, by inserting within Subchapter I thereof a new § 2616 to read as follows:

Ҥ 2616. Emergency Communication Systems.

(a) ‘Emergency communications equipment’ includes, but is not limited to: repeater systems, two-way radio communications, signal boosters, bi-directional amplifiers, radiating cable systems or internal antenna, or any combination of the foregoing.

(b) ‘Emergency public safety personnel’ includes firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, and other personnel routinely called upon to provide emergency assistance to members of the public in a wide variety of emergency situations, including but not limited to, fires, medical emergencies, crimes and terrorist attacks.

(c) ‘Newly constructed buildings’ are defined as any structure of 25,000 square feet or more for which a building permit is issued commencing one-hundred and eighty-one (181) days after the enactment of this Section. New construction shall not be construed as a renovation or modification of a building, or an expansion or addition to a building which is contiguous to an existing building for which a permanent certificate of occupancy was in effect within one-hundred and eighty (180) days after the enactment of this Section. A structure shall be considered new construction even if it is physically connected to an existing structure exempt from the provisions of this Section if it is not contiguous to the structure. ‘Contiguous structures’ shall mean at least two structures that share a common wall or floor.

(d) The zoning ordinance and regulations adopted pursuant to this Section shall provide that newly constructed buildings of 25,000 square feet of gross floor area or more shall be designed, constructed and/or equipped so that they meet the GAT (Grid Acceptance Test) at 95% compliance for 800 MHz public safety in-building communications coverage. The in-building coverage required under this Section may occur naturally or may require in-building emergency communications equipment as defined in section 2616(a).

(e) No issuing agency shall award a permanent certificate of occupancy unless a building affected under this Section meets the GAT 95% coverage requirement. An issuing agency may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a period of three (3) months if a reasonable effort has been made to meet the requirements under this Section prior to the issuance of the temporary certificate of occupancy.

(f) The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), or its designee, shall develop and promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of the provisions in this Section. The Secretary of DSHS shall form an advisory committee consisting of representatives of state agencies and private commercial and industrial building interests to develop the rules and regulations specified in this section. The advisory committee shall be comprised of no more than sixteen (16) members which shall consist at least of the following members:

1. The Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security or his or her designee;

2. A representative of the Office of Facilities Management to be appointed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

3. A representative of the Delaware Volunteer Fire Association;

4. A representative from Emergency Medical Service;

5. A representative from the Delaware State Police to be appointed by the Colonel of the State Police;

6. A representative of the Police Chiefs Council to be appointed by the President of the Police Chiefs Council;

7. A representative from the Delaware Department of Transportation to be appointed by the Secretary of the DelDOT;

8. A representative of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information to be appointed by the Chief Information Officer of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information;

9. A representative from the Delaware Healthcare Association;

10. A member of the Commercial Industrial Realty Council;

11. Two (2) members at-large to be appointed by the Governor of the State of Delaware.

The remaining members shall be appointed by the Governor and shall represent owners and developers of buildings greater than 100,000 square feet. The Advisory Committee shall expire upon completion and adoption of the rules and regulations under this Section, but no later than 18 months after enactment of this Section.

(a) The rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security shall not require any building to be certified for 95% in-building coverage until all 800 MHz communications towers within a county, under the Next Generation 800 MHz Project in effect at the time this Section is enacted, are fully operational. If a building otherwise subject to the provisions of this Section is temporarily exempt from certification under this Section due to unfinished towers in a county, the design and construction of a building shall incorporate the means to later install any equipment necessary to meet the 95% GAT in-building coverage requirement. A building temporarily exempted under this subsection shall be certified within 6 months after all Next Generation 800 MHz communication towers are fully operational within a county. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security shall publish, and update, on its website, a map of the State showing those counties in which buildings subject to this Chapter must comply with the requirements under this Section.

(b) If a building, subject to the provisions of this Section, has been certified as meeting the GAT 95% in-building coverage requirement, then persons and/or entities involved in the design, construction, ownership, and maintenance of the building shall not be liable for any injury, death or damage that solely and directly results from the acts or omissions in its operation of the State of Delaware 800 MHz Emergency Communications system.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, the following shall be an exception to the provisions of this Section:

1. areas of a building, otherwise subject to the provisions of this Section, where electromagnetic interference (EMI’s) will interfere with the efficient operation of equipment sensitive to EMI’s; and,

2. any agricultural building not intended and not used for human occupancy, including but not limited to, commercial poultry houses, animal barns, etc.

(j) Buildings that would otherwise be subject to the provisions of this Section shall be permanently exempt if a building permit is issued within 180 days from the date this Section is enacted.

(k) When all towers associated or related to the Next Generation 800 MHz Project have been erected and are operational, §2616(g) of this Chapter shall no longer be applicable and shall expire unless otherwise provided by a subsequent Act of the General Assembly.

(l) The 95% GAT 800 MHz Emergency Communications in-building coverage standard shall be the standard applicable to the 800 MHz Emergency Communications System and any minor upgrades to the 800 MHz Emergency Communications System.”

Section 2. Amend Chapter 49, Title 9 of the Delaware Code, by inserting within Subchapter I thereof a new § 4927 to read as follows:

Ҥ 4927. Emergency Communication Systems.

The zoning ordinance and regulations adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall provide that newly constructed buildings of 25,000 square feet of gross floor area or more, shall be designed, constructed and/or equipped in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 2616 of Chapter 26, Title 9 of the Delaware Code.”

Section 3. Amend Chapter 69, Title 9 of the Delaware Code, by inserting within Subchapter I thereof a new § 6927 to read as follows:

Ҥ 6927. Emergency Communication Systems.

The zoning ordinance and regulations adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall provide that newly constructed buildings of 25,000 square feet of gross floor area or more, shall be designed, constructed and/or equipped in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 2616 of Chapter 26, Title 9 of the Delaware Code.”

Section 4. Amend Chapter 3, Title 22 of the Delaware Code, by inserting within Subchapter I thereof a new § 311 to read as follows:

Ҥ 311 Emergency Communication Systems.

The zoning ordinance and regulations adopted pursuant to this Chapter shall provide that newly constructed buildings of 25,000 square feet of gross floor area or more, shall be designed, constructed and/or equipped in accordance with the provisions set forth in § 2616 of Chapter 26, Title 9 of the Delaware Code.”

Section 5. This Act shall become effective one hundred eighty (180) days following its enactment into law; provided however, that nothing in this Act shall prevent any county or municipality from adopting zoning ordinances, regulations, and/or standards, in compliance with this Act in advance of its effective date:

Approved August 28, 2007