Local Emergency Planning Committees are a requirement of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, otherwise known as SARA Title III.
SARA Title III and the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3750, set up a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for the state of Ohio and ORC: 3750.03 requires each state to designate Local Emergency Planning Districts (LEPDs). In Ohio, each LEPD is a county and must set up a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Therefore, in Ohio, there are eighty-seven (87) LEPDs/LEPCs.
LEPCs are a group of individuals that are nominated by the County Commissioners and approved by the SERC. LEPC members are volunteers and serve a two-year (2) term of office. They are reappointed during the odd numbered years. The membership of an LEPC must include, without limitation, personnel from each of these groups: elected state and local officials, law enforcement, emergency management, firefighting, first aid, health, local environmental, hospital, transportation, broadcast/print media, community groups, and facilities subject to ORC, Chapter 3750.
LEPCs are the entity in the county responsible for receiving all information and industry reporter pertaining to extremely hazardous substances in the county. The LEPC writes the LEPC’s (County) Chemical Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan, and exercises that plan annually to ensure the county is prepared to respond to and handle a chemical release and protect its citizenry. The LEPC receives all notices and follow-up notices on hazardous substances releases. The LEPC also establishes and carries out a program to monitor regulated facilities in the district and conduct compliance and enforcement’s activities to ensure facilities are complying with ORC 3750.
As LEPCs are nominated by County Commissioners, they are considered to be County Boards and as such are entitled to assistance and representation by the County Prosecutor and Auditor.