In 1986 the federal government passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Sara Title III. The new law required communities across the country to set up Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) to develop plans for responding to chemical emergencies. The law also requires certain manufacturing plants and other facilities to submit information about the chemicals they use, store and emit into the environment. Under EPCRA, you are guaranteed the right to information on chemicals in your area. That is where the LEPC comes into the picture and plays one of its most important roles.
EPCRA is based on the idea of working partnerships. All parts of the community join forces to ensure a Right-To-Know. Each LEPC must include, at a minimum the following representatives of facilities subject to the emergency planning requirements, community groups and the media:
- Fire emergency preparedness
- Hospital and transportation officials
- Public health professionals
- State and local officials
The LEPC must establish rules, give public notice of its activities and establish procedures for handling public requests for information. Additionally, the LEPC must designate an emergency coordinator to receive emergency release notifications. LEPC's primary responsibility is to develop an emergency response plan. In developing this plan, available resources are evaluated for preparing for and responding to a potential chemical accident.
The public LEPC meeting is held on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month at 11 a.m., at the following location:
Port Allen Fire Station 1
700 N Alexander Avenue
Port Allen, LA 70767