The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 9. Emergency powers of Governor
Subject to the provisions of this chapter, in the event of an all-hazards event in or directed upon the United States or Canada that causes or may cause substantial damage or injury to persons or property within the State in any manner, the Governor may proclaim a state of emergency within the entire State or any portion or portions of the State. Thereafter, the Governor shall have and may exercise for as long as the Governor determines the emergency to exist the following additional powers within such area or areas:
(1) To enforce all laws and rules relating to emergency management and to assume direct operational control of all emergency management personnel and helpers in the affected area or areas.
(2) To formulate and execute plans and rules for the control of traffic and to coordinate the activities of the departments or agencies of the State and of the political subdivisions of the State concerned directly or indirectly with public highways and streets, in a manner that will best effectuate the plans.
(3) To prescribe the maximum rates of speed at which motor vehicles may be operated on any road, highway, or street in the State; prescribe the sizes and weights of such motor vehicles; suspend the application of any statute or rule levying or assessing any license, insofar as the statute or rule relates to the entry into or the privilege of operation in this State of any motor vehicle, including busses or house trailers, registered in any other state and with respect to which a valid and unexpired license has been issued by the other state.
(4) To employ such measures and give such directions to the State or local boards of health as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(5) To utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the State and of the cities and towns of the State; and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the Governor as he or she may request.
(6) To use and employ within the State, from time to time, and as he or she may deem expedient, any of the property, services, and resources of the State, for the purposes set forth in this chapter.
(7) To establish agencies and offices and to appoint executive, technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(8) Upon the declaration of an emergency as authorized in federal legislation that includes the State of Vermont, to cooperate with the President of the United States, the U.S. Armed Forces, with other federal departments, agencies, and independent establishments, and other states in matters pertaining to emergency management; and in connection therewith to take such action, not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the State, that he or she may deem proper to carry into effect any request of the President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
(9) To order the evacuation of persons living or working within all or a portion of an area for which a state of emergency has been proclaimed.
(10) As provided in 30 V.S.A. § 248(l), in consultation with the Chair of the Public Utility Commission and the Commissioner of Public Service or their designees, to waive the prohibitions contained in 30 V.S.A. § 248 upon site preparation for or construction of an electric transmission facility or a generating facility necessary to ensure the stability or reliability of the electric system or a natural gas facility. Waivers issued under this subdivision shall be subject to conditions required by the Governor and shall be valid for the duration of the declared emergency plus 180 days, or such lesser overall term as determined by the Governor. Upon the expiration of a waiver under this subdivision, if a certificate of public good has not been issued by the Public Utility Commission under 30 V.S.A. § 248, the Commission shall require the removal, relocation, or alteration of the facilities, subject to the waiver, as the Commission finds will best promote the general good of the State.
(11) In consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources or designee, to authorize the Agency to issue temporary emergency permits, with appropriate conditions to minimize significant adverse environmental impacts, after limited or no opportunity for public comment, allowing site preparation for, construction of, or operation of an electric transmission facility or a generating facility necessary to ensure the stability or reliability of the electric system or a natural gas facility. A permit issued under this subdivision shall be subject to conditions required by the Governor and shall be valid for the duration of the declared emergency plus 180 days, or such lesser overall term as determined by the Governor. Upon the expiration of a temporary emergency permit under this subdivision, if any applicable permits have not been issued by the Secretary or the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, the Secretary may seek enforcement under applicable law. (Amended 1959, No. 23, § 2, eff. March 6, 1959; 1983, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 16, 1984; 1989, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2003, No. 82 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2005, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2021, No. 20, § 116.)