|The LEPC consists of volunteers who are approved by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). Their primary purpose is to develop emergency plans for chemical emergencies and some LEPC’s have expanded to all-hazards. Each year the LEPC reviews TIER II reports from area facilities that store certain types and levels of hazardous chemicals as identified by the EPA. A function of the LEPC is to make this information available to the public under the SARA Title II Emergency Planning, Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). This is usually done at county level meetings held in March/April in conjunction with severe weather awareness. Who are these LEPC volunteer members? An effective committee must have dedicated members who are familiar with the community.
Each LEPC must have at least one representative of:
The LEPC actually is acting in the capacity of a state agency. Local government has no direct authority over the LEPC but still must sanction both the acceptance of the plan and approve the commitment of their employees’ time and resources. Region 5/6 provides administrative support to the LEPC, but other than that, is only one of the participants in the process. The success of the LEPC is based upon the efforts of all the members.
The LEPC serves as a focal point for information and discussions about local hazardous substances and environmental risks. Citizens will expect the LEPC to reply to questions about risk management actions. The LEPC has the authority to request information from facilities for community planning purposes and can take civil actions against facilities that fail to provide the information required under EPCRA.
Those interested in growing the Region 5/6 LEPC to its fullest potential should contact Bill at 727-2785.