Local Emergency Planning Committees
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens. Plans are developed by LEPCs with stakeholder participation. There is one LEPC for each of the more than 3,000 designated local emergency planning districts. The LEPC membership must include (at a minimum):
Elected state and local officials
Police, fire, civil defense, and public health professionals
Environment, transportation, and hospital officials
Representatives from community groups and the media
In November 1986, the United States Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act ("EPCRA" or "the Act") to help America's communities "deal safely and effectively with the many hazardous substances that are used throughout our society." The purpose of the Act is two-fold: (1) to encourage and support emergency planning for responding to chemical accidents; and (2) to provide local governments and the public with information about possible chemical hazards in their communities. To facilitate cooperation between industry, interested citizens, environmental and other public-interest organizations, and government at all levels, the Act establishes an ongoing "forum" at the local level called the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). LEPCs are governed by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) in each state.
EPCRA does not place limits on which chemicals can be stored, used, released, disposed, or transferred at a facility. It only requires a facility to document, notify, and report information. Each section of the law, however, applies different requirements, has different deadlines and covers a different group of chemicals.
The purpose of these requirements is to increase community awareness of chemical hazards and to facilitate emergency planning. This section applies to any facility that is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under its Hazard Communication Standard to prepare or have available a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for a hazardous chemical (See II above for definition) or that has on-site, for any one day in a calendar year, an amount of a hazardous chemical equal to or greater than the threshold limits established by the EPA.
Inventory reporting is designed to provide information on the amounts, location and storage conditions of hazardous chemicals and mixtures containing hazardous chemicals present at facilities. The Tier Two form contains detailed information, including the specific names of each chemical.
Sandoval County By-Laws
Information about LEPC meetings can be found here.