Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning In Your Community
SARA Title III (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act)
Title III identifies what facilities, the state, and local communities must do in order to protect the public from hazardous chemical accidents. These mandates include:
Requiring that facilities with supplies of certain Extremely Hazardous Substances report what they have to the state, their local fire department and a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).
Establishing the Michigan Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Commission (sometimes known as the State Emergency Response Commission - SERC).
Establishing LEPCs under the direction of the SERC.
The Michigan Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Commission has appointed LEPCs throughout the state. Presently, Michigan has about 90 LEPCs. One of the tasks for the LEPC is to develop response plans for accidental spills or releases of Extremely Hazardous Substances that threaten the community. In addition, the LEPC must keep information on hand about each site that manufactures, uses, or stores certain quantities of Extremely Hazardous Substances. This information must be made available to the public.
LEPCs have an important role in protecting both their communities and emergency responders if a chemical release emergency happens. Members come from a variety of backgrounds in their communities and bring different points of view to the planning table. This improves the completeness of each response plan and involves the community in the planning process.
LEPCs include members from the following groups:
- Elected Officials
- Emergency Management
- Public Health
- Environmental Health
- Regulated Facilities
- Community Groups
Once plans are developed, they provide the community members with basic information about chemical hazards in their area and what will be done about those hazards in the event of an accident.