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Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) are crucial to the success of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
Appointed by State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), local planning committees must consist of representatives of all of the following groups and organizations: elected state and local officials; law enforcement, civil defense, firefighting, first aid, health, local environmental, and transportation agencies; hospitals; broadcast and print media; community groups; and representatives of facilities subject to the emergency planning and community right-to-know requirements. In Missouri, the SERC is known as the Missouri Emergency Response Commission (MERC).
The LEPC's initial task was to develop an emergency plan to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies. EPA's list of extremely hazardous substances can provide the focus for setting priorities. Because the LEPC's members represent the community, they are be familiar with factors that affect public safety, the environment, and the economy of the community.
An emergency plan must include the identity and location of hazardous materials, procedures for immediate response to chemical accidents, ways to notify the public about actions they must take, names of company contacts, and schedules and plans for testing the plan. The MERC reviews the plan and the LEPC must test the plan through emergency exercises and update it at least annually.
The LEPC has other responsibilities besides developing an emergency response plan. It receives emergency release and hazardous chemical inventory information submitted by local facilities, and must make this information available to the public upon request. To obtain facility information from the Franklin County LEPC, interested persons must write the committee at 401 East Springfield Ave, Union, MO 63084, stating the nature of their request. The LEPC charges a nominal fee for this service.
LEPCs have the authority to request additional information from facilities for their own planning purposes or on behalf of others. LEPCs can visit facilities in the community to find out what they are doing to reduce hazards, prepare for accidents, and reduce hazardous inventories and releases. LEPCs can take civil actions against facilities if they fail to provide the information required under the act.
In addition to its formal responsibilities, the LEPC serves as a focal point in the community for information and discussions about hazardous substances, emergency planning, and health and environmental risks due to hazardous substances. Citizens can expect the LEPC to reply to questions about chemical hazards and risk management actions.
An LEPC can most effectively carry out its responsibilities as a community forum by taking steps to educate the public about chemical risks, and working with facilities to minimize those risks. However, an LEPC's ability to improve the safety and health of its community is only as effective as the support it receives from an informed and active citizenry.
Report A Spill
Reporting a spill must be done quickly. To report a spill you must contact each of the following:
Information on the Right-to-Know Act
Information on the Reporting Requirements
Information on some of the Hazards in the Area
|Franklin County Offices 400 E Locust, Union, MO. 63084 hours: M-F 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM|