Lancaster County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

What is an LEPC?

A Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a public safety planning committee, tasked with overseeing hazardous materials safety. Committees are tasked with identifying potential risks within the communities, such as chemicals stored in and/or transported throughout your community. The LEPC should seek ways to help minimize the risk, prevent accidents and assist in the development of plans to address a chemical emergency. Education and community outreach is a core component of an LEPC. Through the LEPC, the public will be able to seek out information about chemicals in their communities and learn how to safely shelter in place.

The citizens of your community need to know they are safe and that there are plans in place to assist with a chemical release. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), it was mandated that LEPCs form as a means of allowing communities to assess their risks from hazardous chemicals and a way to exercise its right-to-know. Nebraska adopted EPCRA under the Nebraska Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (NEPCRA). The NEPCRA law, administered by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), is supervised by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). 

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens. Plans are developed by LEPCs with stakeholder participation.  

What is the SERC?

One of the key resources for LEPCs is the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). The purpose of the State Emergency Response Commission is to coordinate hazardous chemicals planning and carry out the mandate of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). The SERC is responsible for establishing state hazardous chemical emergency preparedness, response, and community right-to-know programs as required by EPCRA. Specific responsibilities of the commission include: 

  • Designate and oversee emergency planning districts known as LEPCs.
  • Receive and record initial appointment of and revisions of LEPC membership.
  • Receive and approve LEPC reports and plans.
  • Implement the EPCRA program in the State of Nebraska.
  • Establish procedures for the receipt of, management, and access to all notifications, reports, plans, and all other information required by   EPCRA. 
  • Coordinate with the State and Federal Environmental Protection Agency on EPCRA implementation. 

Who should be on the LEPC?

LEPC members should be recruited from the community. Required members include representatives from:

  • State and Local Elected Officials
  • Public Health
  • Local Emergency Management
  • Hospitals
  • Firefighters
  • Local Environmental Protection
  • Law Enforcement
  • Transportation
  • Broadcast and Print Media
  • Neighborhood/Community Organizations
  • Owners/Operators of Facilities Housing Extremely Hazardous Substances

Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan

Each LEPC shall complete a Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan as required by EPCRA. The required elements of an Emergency Response Plan are listed below:

  • Identify and describe the facilities in the district that possess extremely hazardous substances and the transportation routes along which such substances may move within the district.
  • Description of emergency response procedures, on and off site.
  • Designation of a community coordinator and facility emergency coordinator(s) to implement the plan.
  • Outline of emergency notification procedures.
  • Description of how to determine the probable affected area and population by releases.
  • Description of local emergency equipment and facilities and the persons responsible for them.
  • Outline of evacuation plans.
  • A training program for emergency responders (including schedules).
  • Methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans.

Tier II Reports

Federal legislation requires the owners and operators of regulated facilities to provide information about the nature, quantity, and location of reportable chemicals manufactured, processed, stored, or used at their facility sites. The purpose of the legislation is to increase public knowledge of the presence of hazardous chemicals in communities and to better prepare for potential emergencies. Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms (known as Tier II Forms) must be submitted by businesses to the State Emergency Response Commission and to the LEPC and fire departments(s) with jurisdiction over the facility. This will assist in overall situational awareness, training, scheduling potential facility tours, and pre-planning efforts.

Acronyms

EPCRA- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

LEPC- Local Emergency Planning Committee

NEMA-Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

NDEE- Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

SERC-State Emergency Response Commission

Resources

LEPC Membership Form (Lancaster County)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkXTXjXeyHw&t=167s

https://www.epa.gov/epcra/local-emergency-planning-committees

https://nema.nebraska.gov/tech-hazard/lepc-local-emergency-planning-committees (Guide, Handbook, FAQ's, Starting Documents, Bylaws, Annual Report))

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings and will be posted at least 24 hours before the next meeting. Minutes are available following committee member approval. 

Please click on the link below to view current and past agendas and minutes:

Agendas and Meeting Minutes