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Here you can find just about everything you want to know about your Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Just follow the links near the bottom of the page to find the minutes of meetings, who’s on the committee, when and where the next meeting is, and a whole lot more.

What is the LEPC?

Local Emergency Planning Committees, or LEPCs, are mandated by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986.

EPCRA was originally created to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances. The Act establishes requirements for federal, state and local governments, Indian tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.

There are four major provisions of EPCRA:

• Emergency Planning (Sections 301 – 303)

• Emergency Release Notification (Section 304)

• Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting (Sections 311 – 312)

• Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (Section 313)

EPCRA local emergency planning requirements (Sections 301 to 303) stipulate that every community in the United States must be part of a comprehensive emergency response plan. Facilities are required to participate in the planning process.

• State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) oversee the implementation of EPCRA requirements in each state.

• Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) work to understand chemical hazards in the community, develop emergency plans in case of an accidental release, and look for ways to prevent chemical accidents. LEPCs are made up of emergency management agencies, responders, industry and the public.

The Governor of each State has designated a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to implement EPCRA statewide. The SERCs, in turn, have appointed about 3,500 local emergency planning districts and appointed an LEPC for each district.

The SERC supervises and coordinates the activities of the LEPC and reviews the local emergency response plans. LEPC-developed emergency response plans are local emergency operations plans.

Incorporation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) into ALL Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) within the State is a specific requirement for States to be NIMS compliant. Therefore, LEPC emergency response plans must be NIMS compliant. For more information on plan development and NIMS Integration, click click here.

Since the attacks of 9/11, the responsibilities of the LEPCs have expanded to include preparation for, and mitigation and management of, “All Hazards” threats whether they come from natural causes (like severe weather and earthquakes), man-made causes (transportation accidents, chemical or radiation accidents, criminal or terrorist activity), or infections diseases (like flu epidemics or biological agent attacks).

Wood County’s LEPC was formed in its current form in December of 1997, and consists of representatives from:

• all levels of county and city government

• emergency responders (law enforcement, fire, and Emergency Medical Services)

• area businesses and industry, and

• the community at large.

A “Whole Community” Approach

In keeping with the 2011 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Whole Community Approach to Disaster Preparedness directives, membership in the Wood/Wirt County LEPC is as inclusive as possible, engaging and involving all interested parties within our communities. All of the LEPC meetings are open to the public, and members of area business, industry, and the community at large are encouraged to become active in the meetings and other activities of the Committee.

A brief review of our Member List will provide you with an understanding of the various agencies and businesses represented on the Committee.

Our Mission

The mission of the Combined Wood and Wirt County Local Emergency Planning Committee is to bring together elected and appointed city and county officials, emergency responders, and other concerned parties to develop, test, maintain, and publish plans for the prevention and mitigation of, and timely response to, “All Hazards” emergencies for the safety and security of the citizens of our counties.

What Does the LEPC Do?

A brief explanation of the process that is known as the “Emergency Management Cycle” is in order. The Emergency Management Cycle consists of four phases:

• Mitigation/Prevention: Activities which are designed to either prevent the occurrence of an emergency or minimize the potentially adverse effects of an emergency, including zoning/building code ordinances and enforcement of land use regulations.

• Planning/Preparedness: Activities, programs, and systems which exist prior to an emergency and are used to support and enhance response to an emergency or disaster. Public education, planning, training, and exercising are among the activities conducted under this phase.

• Response: Activities and programs designed to address the immediate effects of the onset of an emergency or disaster and help to reduce casualties and damage, and to speed recovery. Coordination, Warning, Evacuation, and Mass Care are examples of Response.

• Recovery: Activities involving restoring systems to normal. Recovery actions are taken to assess damage and return vital life support systems to minimum operating standards; long term recovery may continue for many years.

The LEPC is primarily engaged in the planning/preparedness phase of the cycle, and our goal is to anticipate, plan and train for, prevent where possible, and minimize the effects of “all hazards” emergency events whether they come from natural causes (like severe weather and earthquakes), man-made causes (transportation accidents, chemical or radiation accidents, criminal or terrorist activity), or infections diseases (like flu epidemics). The committee also prepares plans for the remaining three phases of the Emergency Management Cycle.

Beginning mid-year 2011, the Federal government through FEMA requires each county to plan and execute a minimum of four disaster training exercises each year. The LEPC develops those exercise plans, monitors the exercises, and then evaluates the results of those exercises and makes recommendations to all agencies based upon those results. In short, the exercises help all of your local government agencies test their contingency and response plans, tell us where our strengths and weaknesses lie, and help us improve the overall safety, security, and preparedness of our community.

LEPC meetings are held bi-monthly in the Parkersburg City Building and are open to the public.


Committee  Info Meeting  Info

West Virginia LEPC Newsletters
 

Most of our forms and documents will require you to have a pdf reader, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, installed. If you don't already have it, you can download it free by clicking here or on the Adobe logo.

Last updated Wednesday January 11, 2012 03:08 PM

 
 

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