What is the LEPC?
The LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee) or Mobile County Local Emergency Planning Committee (MCLEPC) is a committee mandated by law. In 1986 Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) also called SARA Title III which required each State to establish an Emergency Response Commission (ERCs). The ERCs were to designate emergency planning districts and the districts were to develop local emergency planning committees. In Alabama, the Alabama Emergency Response Commission (AERC) made each county an emergency planning district and each district developed a local emergency planning committee.
The goals and objective of the Mobile County Local Emergency Planning Committee (MCLEPC) are:
- Reduce the risk to public safety and health in the community.
- Identify potential hazards, and associated risk and vulnerability in Mobile County.
- Analyze present capabilities for response to identified hazards and recommend improvements where deficiencies are found.
- Develop mutual cooperation between industry, governmental entities and emergency response agencies in pre-planning response to all potential emergencies.
- Coordinate the development, review, revision and exercising of the portions of the Mobile County Emergency Operations Plan concerning hazardous materials identification and response.
- Ensure the ongoing safe and adequate response to hazardous material emergencies through a continual review program to identify additional requirements.
- Assist in the development of emergency response plans in municipalities of Mobile County.
Membership on the MCLEPC is in accordance with Public Law 99-499 and Alabama Executive Order No. 4: elected State and local officials, law enforcement, emergency management, firefighters, emergency medical services, health, local environmental, hospital and transportation personnel; news media, community groups; and owners and operators of facilities subject to this sub-title. The membership list must be sumitted to the AERC annually. The MCLEPC has an Executive Board made up of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and the Chairs of the 4 Subcommittees; Hazardous Analysis, Community Awareness, Capability Assessment and Training.
Community Right to Know - SARA Title III Requirements
of the Law requires all industries subject to the law must immediately notify the MCLEPC and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) of any release at or above the designated reporting quantity for that chemical. A written follow-up report shall be provided to MCLEPC that provides additional information such as action taken to respond to and contain the release, any known or anticipated acute health risks associated with the release and what action is being taken to correct the cause of the incident.
of the Law requires industries subject to this law to provide AERC, MCLEPC and the fire department that would respond to release copies of the material safety data sheet (MSDS) or a list of the chemicals. This is to be updated any time there is a change to the chemicals on site at a facility.
of the Law requires industries subject to this law to provide AERC, MCLEPC and the fire department having jurisdiction of the facility an emergency and hazardous chemical form. The inventory form used in Alabama is the Tier II form. It provides information on the company, emergency contact person, name and chemical abstract number for the chemical, whether the chemical is an extremely hazardous substance, form of the chemical, amount stored on site, physical and health hazards of the chemical and location.
of the Law provides for the public availability of plans, data sheets, forms and follow-up reports. The Mobile County Emergency Management Agency (MCEMA) has been designated as the focal point and repository for the MCLEPC. As such the MCEMA stores the chemical list and material safety data sheets, the Tier II chemical inventory forms and release notifications and follow-up reports for the MCLEPC. MCEMA incorporates the hazardous material plan into the Mobile County Emergency Operations Plan. All chemical lists or material safety data sheets, Tier II forms, release notifications and follow-up reports and the hazardous material plan are available to the public during normal MCEMA working hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday). If additional information required by the Law is requested the MCLEPC will obtain it from the company in question. They have 30 days to respond to the MCLEPC. See the Community Right-To-Know Network RTK NET, which was started in 1989 in support of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), which mandated public access to the Toxic Release Inventory.