Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
The Jackson County Local Emergency Personnel Committee (LEPC) exists to ensure the safety of the citizens of Jackson County by promoting hazardous materials safety throughout our community. The LEPC promotes the safety of all residents of Jackson County with respect to their potential exposure to hazardous materials which could be released into the environment.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), enacted as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), charged MEMA with establishing Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) throughout the state, thus, the Jackson County LEPC was created. The LEPC was originally designed to provide a forum for emergency management agencies, responders, industry, and the public to work together to evaluate, understand, and communicate chemical hazards in the community and develop appropriate emergency plans in case of accidental release of these chemicals. However, in recent years, the LEPC’s planning efforts have often been refocused to include planning for a variety of disasters that may affect our community; even taking an all-hazards approach to planning and no longer solely focusing on chemical emergency preparedness.
- Develop and maintain up-to-date plan for hazardous material and chemical emergency accidents. This plan can be expanded to include all hazards if agreed upon by LEPC members.
- Review the plan annually and make any needed updates or changes.
- Collect and store information from regulated facilities regarding hazardous materials stored, manufactured or used.
- Identify people and equipment resources for responding to hazardous materials accidents.
- Make the above information available to the public on request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- Provide the public education on emergency preparedness for hazardous materials accidents.
- Conduct an emergency response exercise annually and incorporate any lessons learned into the plan update.
- Support training for emergency preparedness and emergency responders as able.
Any person or firm engaged in business and who subscribes to the principles and purposes of the LEPC is eligible for membership. If a corporation or other entity holds membership, the entity shall be considered one member. Each member shall be eligible for benefits if they support the purpose of the LEPC and maintain active participation in LEPC functions and activities. A minimum of 70% meeting attendance by agency representative or designee for all general LEPC meeting is required to retain active core membership. The Secretary will keep track of attendance at meetings and periodically submit a report of attendance to the members. Further information on membership including required entities can be found in the LEPC Bylaws.
Chairman: Earl Etheridge, Jackson County OES Director
Information Coordinator: Chad Brownlow, Jackson County OES Coordinator
The role of the LEPC is to form partnerships with local industries and governments as a resource for enhancing hazardous materials preparedness. Local governments are responsible for the integration of planning and response. There are many steps in this process:
- Ensuring a local hazards analysis is accomplished and includes hazmat incidents as well as potential off site effects of facility releases
- Including hazardous materials incident planning with local emergency plans
- Ensuring hazardous materials response capability assessments are accomplished and shortfalls identified
- Enhancing response capabilities through responder training
- Developing mutual aid agreements with surrounding jurisdictions
- Exercising hazmat response with realistic field exercises and tabletops.
It is essential for industry to play a part in this process to ensure facility response plans and capabilities dovetail with local government emergency plans. Misconceptions between industry and local response forces can have a catastrophic impact on not only the facility, but on the citizens, we are pledged to serve. According to EPCRA, every facility subject to regulation is required to identify and provide the name of a facility “Emergency Coordinator,” report types/quantities of regulated chemicals on the site, providing SDSs, and permitting local fire departments to inspect their facilities.
The LEPC is crucial to maintaining the effectiveness of local hazmat planning and the community right to know provisions of EPCRA. The members come from the planning district and should be familiar with local economy/business, environmental issues, and public safety considerations. This broad-based expertise is required to adequately assist the drafters of the emergency plans, so that the plan adequately addresses local needs/requirements. Also, the LEPC can serve as a focal point for outreach activities concerning citizen response to hazardous materials incidents, health and environmental planning, and environmental risks.
Members of the LEPC represent a large number of government and private organizations, industries, and occupations in order to provide the expertise to advise on plan development and to offer a “total package” of planning and outreach capability. By law, the LEPC membership must represent a cross section of the jurisdiction in which it resides. Therefore, LEPC members should come from:
- Elected Officials: County Council, City Council, State Senators/Representatives
- Public Health/Safety: Law Enforcement, Emergency Preparedness/Management
- Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Hospitals, Local
- Environmental Organizations, Transportation
- Media: Print and Broadcast
- Community groups and service organizations
- Facility owners and operators
Each member must understand that he/she represents their agency/organization and as such are responsible for coordinating information between the LEPC and their organization and providing feed-back. The LEPC has many responsibilities, and it will take a concerted effort by all members to fulfill these tasks and expand their outreach into many other activities.
Tier II Reporting Requirements
Section 312 of Title III requires that the owner or operator of a facility submit their Tier II form if requested by a State emergency response commission, a local emergency planning committee, or a fire department with jurisdiction over the facility.
This request may apply to the owner or operator of any facility that is required, under regulations implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, to prepare or have available a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for a hazardous chemical present at the facility. MSDS requirements are specified in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard, found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations at x1910.1200.
This form does not have to be submitted if all of the chemicals located at your facility are excluded under Section 311(e) of Title III.
In an effort to streamline the yearly Tier II reporting process, the State Emergency Response Commission now requires the use of the web-based program E-Plan for all Tier 2 submittals. As of March 2, 2012, hard copy of Tier 2 Submit files are no longer accepted.
All reports are due by March 1st of each year.
http://training.fema.gov/EMICourses/ - FEMA Emergency Management Institute
http://www.csert.com/ - Center for Safety and Emergency Response Training
http://www.msds.com/ - SDS solutions safety data sheets
http://www.msema.org/index.html - MEMA
http://www.cdc.gov/ - CDC
http://www.fema.gov/ - FEMA
http://www.fbi.gov/ - FBI
http://www.homelanddefense.org/ - Homeland Security
http://www.nlc.org/ - National League of Cities
http://www.ed.gov/emergencyplan/ - Department of Education
http://www.hhs.gov/smallpox/index.html - Department of Health/Human Services
http://www.usps.com/ - US Postal Service
http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/ - White House
EPCRA Frequent Questions
EPCRA Reporting Requirements
EPCRA TRI Reporting Requirements
Facility Emergency Response Plan Rule
Facility Rick Management Plan Rule
Facility Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Rule
http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting - EPA Tier I/II Reporting Website
http://www.msema.org/library-forms/tier-two-instructions/ - MEMA Tier 2 Instructions
http://eplannews.utdallas.edu/Training.htm - EPlan tutorials
http://www.msema.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/E-PlanInstructions2012MS.pdf - Eplan Instructions
http://www.msema.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/E-PlanImplementationGuideforAuthorizingAuthorityv2.0.pdf - EPlan implementation guide
http://yosemite.epa.gov/oswer/lol.nsf/homepage - List of Lists Database
http://www.nrc.uscg.mil/ - National Response Center
http://cameochemicals.noaa.gov/ - CAMEO chemicals
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/general.html - OSHA
http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/3/erg-gmu/erg/ergmenu.aspx - ERG 2012
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/ - CDC NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards