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Local Emergency Planning Committees

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Each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties is designated as a Local Emergency Planning District and each is required to have a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

LEPC responsibilities are those established by SARA Title III, with additional specific requirements under Act 165. In Pennsylvania, an offsite emergency response plan is required for each SARA planning facility and is reviewed and approved by the LEPC and PEMA. This plan becomes a supplement to the county emergency operations plan.

More than 3,700 SARA planning facilities have been identified in Pennsylvania and more than 97 percent of the required plans have been reviewed by PEMA on behalf of the PEMC and have been found to provide adequately for the health and safety of the public.

LEPC members are appointed by the PEMA director from a list of nominees submitted by the governing body of the county.

LEPC Membership

The LEPC membership must include (at a minimum):

  • Elected state and local officials
  • Police, fire, civil defense, and public health professionals
  • Environment, transportation, and hospital officials
  • Facility representatives
  • Representatives from community groups and the media

LEPC Roles and Responsibilities

EPCRA created Local Emergency Planning Committees and State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) to coordinate LEPC activity.

EPCRA charged LEPCs and SERCs with four primary responsibilities: 

  • Prepare emergency plans to protect the public from chemical accidents.
  • Establish warning and evacuation procedures for the public.
  • Collect information used in the preparation of annual reports about the release of toxic chemicals.
  • Provide local governments and the public with information about hazardous chemicals and accidental releases in their communities.

What are LEPCs Responsible For? 

EPCRA establishes the LEPC as a local forum to discuss hazmat and chemical safety and emergency planning. LEPCs also provide local governments and the public with information about chemical hazards in their communities.