(a) There is hereby created the state emergency response commission.
(b) The state emergency response commission shall consist of eleven members, including the director of the division of environmental protection, the commissioner of the division of public health, the chief of the office of air quality of the division of environmental protection, the director of the office of emergency services, the superintendent of the division of public safety, the commissioner of the division of highways; one designee of the public service commission and one designee of the state fire marshal, all of whom are members ex officio. A representative from the chemical industry, a representative of a municipal or volunteer fire department and a representative of the public who is knowledgeable in the area of emergency response shall be appointed by the governor as public members of the state emergency response commission. The director of the office of emergency services serves as the chair of the commission and may cast a vote only in the event of a tie vote. Members serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties under this article. The initial public members appointed by the governor shall serve for a term ending on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one. A successor to a public member of the commission shall be appointed in the same manner as the original public members and has a term of office expiring two years from the date of the expiration of the term for which his or her predecessor was appointed. In cases of any vacancy among the public members, such vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy on the commission occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his or her predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Members appointed by the governor may be removed by the governor in case of incompetency, neglect of duty, gross immorality or malfeasance in office.
(c) The commission shall elect from its membership a vice chair and appoint a secretary. The secretary need not be a member of the commission. The vice chair shall preside over the meetings and hearings of the commission in the absence of the chair. The commission may appoint and employ such personnel as may be required, whose duties shall be defined by the commission and whose compensation, to be fixed by the commission, shall be paid out of the state treasury, upon the requisition of the commission, from moneys appropriated for such purposes.
(d) The commission may establish procedural rules in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of the code for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of all proceedings before it. All proceedings of the commission shall be entered in a permanently bound record book, properly indexed, and the same shall be carefully preserved and attested by the secretary of the commission. The commission shall meet at such times and places as may be agreed upon by the commissioners, or upon the call of the chairman of the commission or any two members of the commission, all of which meetings shall be general meetings for the consideration of any and all matters which may properly come before the commission. A majority of the commission constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.