The Pima County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was established in 1987 after the Federal Government enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).The act or law was implemented in response to a growing concern about the effect(s) of a chemical release on a community. Several major events occurring around the world increased this concern. Bhopal India, Chernobyl Russia, and Love Canal New York are a few locations where the release of chemicals which caused injuries, heightened the concern to create this act.
EPCRA requires the establishment of planning committees at the state and local levels to identify andmonitor the types and amounts of hazardous materials. EPCRA also requires the planning for releases of those same hazardous materials to include the locations where these hazardous materials are used or stored as well as the means these chemicals move. Other areas of required planning includes release notification requirements, reporting requirements, identifying response capabilities, and identifying the routes that hazardous materials travel through a state and their communities. This law empowers the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to oversee and enforce the contents of this law.
This same law requires businesses and industries to provide to the public information about its chemical process, chemical storage and emissions and safety procedures and measures that are in place. The LEPC is the conduit between the businesses and industries that this law pertains to and the citizens of each community. These businesses and industries do this by submitting annual reports and plans to the state, the local government and the local fire department.
In Pima County, these reports and plans go the Arizona Department of Emergency Management, the Pima County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and the local fire department where the business or industry is located. Pima County has appointed a planner within the Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security to work with the LEPC, to receive and maintain the annual reports, and to be a point of contact for industry, first responders, and the public.
The Pima County LEPC is comprised of people from several different community agencies and/or organizations. These members represent elected officials, government leaders, environmental, law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, hospitals, health care, educational, industries reporting chemicals, volunteer organizations and the public.
The role and responsibility of the LEPC is to ensure a safe environment for the citizens of Pima County from a hazardous materials release, specifically for those areas near the use of or the transportation of harmful chemicals. This is managed by developing procedures for submitting reports, developing a county-wide plan to report and respond to a release, conducting and review of surveys, ensuring response capabilities are in place, and providing chemical release information to the citizens of Pima County. The LEPC meets on a quarterly schedule to manage the roles and responsibilities indicated and to address new chemical issues affecting the communities in Pima County. The LEPC meetings are open to the public. Agencies concerned for emergency planning are encouraged to attend. Our mission is to serve all of Pima County and to facilitate all hazardous emergency preparedness issues including SARA Title III, Hazardous Materials and related public safety matters as determined appropriate by the LEPC membership.
This training program was developed by EPA to educate LEPC Members and the commuity on the elements of EPCRA. This is EPA Course provides a good overview on EPCRA and CERCLA components appropriate for LEPC Members and the hazardous materials community/industry. Pima County LEPC Members are encouraged to complete the training to become better educated with EPCRA and to better understand thier role as an LEPC Member.
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District Emergency Coordinator
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