Local Emergency Planning Committee
The Berkeley County LEPC is an organization made up of, and supported by, various public service and emergency response organizations and industrial facilities within Berkeley County. Participating organizations work together to ensure the safety of Berkeley County's communities and to protect the environment from chemical mishaps or contamination.
The mission of the Berkeley County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is to meet the regulatory requirements established for LEPC's by federal and state law. These requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Developing and maintaining Local Emergency Response Plans
- Providing Community Right-To-Know procedures
- Collecting and storing the data required to implement these tasks
The Committee will perform its mission in such a way as to meet both the letter and the spirit of these requirements. Accordingly, the LEPC will perform outreach functions to increase awareness and encourage a partnership between county residents, emergency responders, business and industry through an exchange of information and mutual planning.
LEPC meetings are held the second Tuesday of every other month beginning in January. Meetings will begin at 10 a.m., and will be held at the Berkeley County Emergency Operations Center unless otherwise noted. For information on the next LEPC meeting please contact 843-719-4166.
Community Right-to-Know and the Berkeley County LEPC
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA or SARA Title III) was passed by Congress in 1986. SARA Title III has two main purposes: it establishes authorities for emergency planning and preparedness at the community and state level; and provides local governments and the public with information about hazardous chemicals in their community through reporting measures. Most importantly, SARA Title III has established new relationships among levels of government, industry, institutions, environmental groups, the press and citizens.
A key portion of SARA Title III requires the following of facilities that handle Extremely Hazardous Substances:
- Develop plans to respond to accidental releases
- Immediate notification of public officials when releases occur
- Making chemical hazard and inventory data available to the public
- Making toxic chemical release information available to the public
EPCRA establishes Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) which implement or oversee compliance with the first three requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implements and oversees compliance with the last requirement.