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Lynchburg Local Emergency Planning Committee
What are Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)?
In 1986, Congress passed a law that establishes requirements for businesses and for federal, state and local governments regarding emergency planning and community right to know. This followed the Bhopal Disaster in India, where thousands of people died because of an accident involving hazardous materials. LEPCs are links between citizens, industry and the government. The role of an LEPC is to form a partnership with local governments and industries as a resource for enhancing emergency preparedness and in most cases hazardous materials preparedness. Membership comes from the local area, representing various organizations, agencies, departments, facilities and other groups within the area. Virginia has 114 LEPCs which include cities or towns, counties or joint LEPCs (which include a cooperating group of a county and one or more cities or towns).
Role of LEPCs (www.deq.virginia.gov/sara3):
- Appoint LEPC members.
- Prepare and distribute a comprehensive chemical emergency response plan.
- Review this plan at least once a year.
- Evaluate the local resources needed to implement the program. There is no funding from the State. LEPCs may apply for federal grants.
- Provide for public participation in these Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Title III emergency planning and preparedness activities.
- Publish an annual reminder to the public on availability of a local, chemical emergency response plan for review.
- Establish procedures for receiving and processing facility reporting information related to Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Sections 302, 303 (Chemical Emergency Release Contingency Plan), 304, 311, and 312.
- Establish procedures for processing requests from the public for the aforementioned information.
- Note: Many LEPCs have taken the Sect. 312- Tier II reporting and downloaded into the Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) program or the Emergency Information Systems (EIS) used in the field during emergency response
The Lynchburg LEPC
The committee shall be composed of members who are appointed by the Lynchburg Emergency Management Coordinator and shall include, at a minimum, one representative from each of the following disciplines, with each member serving in only one membership category:
- Local/state government
- Law Enforcement
- Emergency Management
- Emergency Medical Services
- Broadcast/Print Media
- Community Groups
- Faith-based Groups
2019 Lynchburg LEPC meetings
The Lynchburg LEPC meets quarterly (January, April, July, October) on the 3rd Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Department of Water Resources, 525 Taylor St., Lynchburg, VA 24501.
The 2019 meeting dates are January 16th, April 17th, July 17th and October 16th. For more information regarding the LEPC meetings, please contact the Director of Emergency Services, Melissa Foster, at (434) 455-4290.