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Local Emergency Planning Committees Designed to Increase Community Protection
05/13/2011
Rich Hoover
Public Information Officer
Oregon State Fire Marshal
(503) 934-8217

Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) work to educate the public, help them understand the types of hazardous substances in their communities' and how to protect their family in the event of a hazardous chemical release.
 
For the past several years, the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has been assisting communities throughout the state in developing local emergency planning committees (LEPC) designed to understand local chemical hazards, prevent chemical accidents, evaluate emergency plans in case of an accidental release of hazardous chemicals, and educate the public on how to protect themselves during a release.
 
LEPCs are a partnership between emergency responders, private industry, emergency medical service agencies, local government, and the public, designed to develop planning, training, education, and outreach to their communities to address risks from hazardous chemical releases from fixed sites or in transit.
 
Development of LEPCs is mandated by the federal government's Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, created to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances such as the recent chemical release at Precision Castparts in Milwaukie, Oregon.
 
The OSFM's role is to provide the tools and resources to assist communities in organizing an LEPC and continue supporting them with administrative, training, and grant assistance, community capability assessments, facility hazmat reporting information, and more.
 
Citizens can find out if their community has an LEPC by visiting the OSFM website at:
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Local_Emergency_Planning_Committees.shtml.  You can also download a shelter-in-place brochure (English or Spanish) by visiting:
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/Local_Emergency_Planning_Committees.shtml#Studies_Surveys_and_Publications.
 
For more information on Oregon's LEPC program visit the OSFM website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/.