What is a Local Emergency Planning Committee?

April 2019 LEPC meeting

Benton County is served by a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). This committee is responsible for a myriad of activities such as tracking the chemicals and other hazards in or traveling through our county, arranging for training on hazards for local first responders, creating and maintaining an emergency response plan, and MORE!

Per the EPA:

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
  • Facility representatives
  • Representatives from community groups and the media

According to the EPA, some of the parts of an emergency response plan include:

  • Identification of facilities and transportation routes of extremely hazardous substances
  • Description of emergency response procedures, on and off site
  • Designation of a community coordinator and facility emergency coordinator(s) to implement the plan
  • Outline of emergency notification procedures
  • Description of how to determine the probable affected area and population by releases
  • Description of local emergency equipment and facilities and the persons responsible for them
  • Outline of evacuation plans
  • A training program for emergency responders (including schedules)
  • Methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans

More information will be provided as it becomes available, so check back with us often!