Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC)
Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) work to understand the hazards in the community, develop emergency plans in case of an accidental release or natural disaster, and look for ways to prevent accidents. The role of LEPCs is to form a partnership between local governments and industries to enhance all-hazards preparedness. The local government is responsible for hazmat planning and response within their jurisdiction.
- ensuring the local hazard analysis adequately addresses hazmat incidents;
- incorporating planning for hazmat incidents into the local emergency management plan and annexes;
- assessing capabilities and developing hazmat response capability using local resources, mutual aid and contractors;
- training responders; and
- exercising the plan.
Industry must be a part of this planning process to ensure facility plans are compatible with local emergency plans LEPCs are crucial to local hazardous materials planning and community right-to-know programs. Members of the LEPC are citizens form the community and represent the various organizations, agencies, departments, facilities, and/or other groups within the district. The members should be familiar with factors that affect public safety, the environment, and the local economy. In addition to its formal duties, the LEPC serves as a focal point in the community for information and discussions about hazardous substance emergency planning, and health and environmental risks.
The major legal responsibilities of LEPCs in Kansas are listed below. The citations are from the EPCRA, Public Law 99-499. Each LEPC:
- Shall review local emergency management plans once a year, or more frequently as circumstances change.
- Shall receive copies of mandatory Tier II reports and an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form.
- May request an MSDS/ SDS, Tier II report, chemical inventory, etc. from a facility even if materials at the facility are not covered under PL 99-499/ EPCRA.
- Shall establish procedures for receiving and processing requests for Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)/ Safety Data Sheet (SDS), TIER II Report, inventory form, and follow-up emergency notice to the general public, during normal working hours at a location designated by the LEPC.
- Shall respond to a request for information no later than 45 days after the date of receipt of the request.
- Shall receive, from covered facilities, the name of a representative who will participate in the emergency planning process as a facility emergency coordinator.
- Shall receive information from the Community Emergency Coordinator when hazardous chemical releases are reported by facilities or first responders.
- Shall be given written follow-up emergency information as soon as practical after a release that requires the owner/operator to submit a written notice.
- May commence a civil action against an owner or operator of a facility for failure to provide information, or for failure to submit Tier II in-formation.
- The LEPC shall appoint a Chairperson, an In-formation Coordinator, and establish bylaws under which the committee shall function (EPCRA, Section 301(c)).
- The LEPC shall notify the Commission on Emergency Planning and response (CEPR) of nominations for changes in the makeup of the committee. The LEPC members shall be nominated by County Commissioners and will be approved by the CEPR. A current membership list should be sent to the CEPR on an annual basis to be considered “active”.
- The LEPC shall evaluate the need for resources necessary to develop, implement, and exercise the jurisdiction’s emergency management plan.
- The LEPC shall annually publish a notice in local newspapers that the emergency management operations plan, MSDS, and inventory forms have been submitted under this section (Section 324(b)) and are available for review upon request. This notice should include contact information
- The LEPC shall submit the LEPC Compliance Certification Form annually by December 31st.