The Haywood County Board of Commissioners established the Haywood County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to, among other things, meet the requirements of Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, P.L. No. 99-499 et.seq. (EPCRA) in 1986 to help communities plan for chemical emergencies (https://www.epa.gov/epcra/local-emergency-planning-committees).
LEPCs must develop an emergency response plan, review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens (https://www.epa.gov/epcra/local-emergency-planning-committees).
The Haywood County LEPC will:
1. Establish procedures for reviewing and processing requests from the public for information regarding hazardous materials at fixed facilities in Haywood County.
2. Develop a chemical hazard/ risk analysis.
3. Identify private/ public sector resources available to deal with hazardous materials emergencies.
4. Review emergency operations plans (EOPs) submitted by a Haywood County LEPC subcommittee and/or Haywood County Emergency Management. Haywood County LEPC shall make recommendations on revisions of the plans that may be necessary to ensure coordination of such plans with the plans of other agencies. If necessary, the committee will present final drafts of these plans to the Board of Commissioners for implementation into the Haywood County Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).
Per EPCRA, the required elements of EOPs are
a. Identification of facilities and transportation routes of extremely hazardous substances
b. Description of emergency response procedures, on- and off-site
c. Designation of a community coordinator and facility emergency coordinator(s) to implement plan
d. Outline of emergency notification procedures
e. Description of how to determine probably affected area and population by releases
f. Description of local emergency equipment and facilities and the persons responsible for them
g. Outline evacuation plans
h. A training program for emergency responders (including schedules)
i. Methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans
5. Exercise emergency operations plans and update them accordingly.
6. Other Emergency Operations planning as deemed necessary by the LEPC and/or Haywood County Emergency Management.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION (Tab located under the LEPC Tab)
In accordance with Section 324 of EPCRA, all information obtained from an owner or operator pursuant with EPCRA and any requested Tier Two forms or the MSDS otherwise in possession of the Committee shall be made available to any person submitting a request under this Section.
In accordance with United States Code Title 42, Chapter 116, each emergency response plan, material safety data sheet, list described in section 11021(a)(2) of this title, inventory form, toxic chemical release form, and follow-up emergency notice shall be made available to the general public, consistent with section 11042 of this title. Upon request by an owner or operator of a facility subject to the requirements of section 11022 of this title, the State emergency response commission and the appropriate local emergency planning committee shall withhold from disclosure under this section the location of any specific chemical required by section 11022(d)(2) of this title to be contained in an inventory form as tier II information.
Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act Amendments requires EPA to publish regulations and guidance for chemical accident prevention at facilities that use certain hazardous substances. These regulations and guidance are contained in the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule. The RMP rule requires facilities that use extremely hazardous substances to develop a Risk Management Plan which:
· identifies the potential effects of a chemical accident,
· identifies steps the facility is taking to prevent an accident, and
· Spells out emergency response procedures should an accident occur.
These plans provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in their community. Making RMPs available to the public also fosters communication and awareness to improve accident prevention and emergency response practices at the local level.
The RMP rule was built upon existing industry codes and standards. It requires facilities that use listed regulated Toxic or Flammable Substances for Accidental Release Prevention to develop an RMP and submit that plan to EPA.
Notice of Public Availability
Each emergency response plan, material safety data sheet, list described in section 11021(a)(2) of this title, inventory form, toxic chemical release form, and follow up emergency notice shall be made available to the general public, consistent with section 11042 of this title, during normal working hours at the location or locations designated by the Administrator, Governor, State emergency response commission, or local emergency planning committee, as appropriate. Upon request by an owner or operator of a facility subject to the requirements of section 11022 of this title, the State emergency response commission and the appropriate local emergency planning committee shall withhold from disclosure under this section the location of any specific chemical required by section 11022(d)(2) of this title to be contained in an inventory form as tier II information.
Haywood County local emergency planning committee shall annually publish a notice on the ReadyHaywood.com website that the emergency response plan, material safety data sheets, and inventory forms have been submitted under this section. The notice shall state that follow up emergency notices may subsequently be issued. Such notice shall announce that members of the public who wish to review any such plan, sheet, form, or follow up notice may do so by the guidelines established below in the Requests for Information section.
Requests for Information
Any person may obtain a RMP, Tier Two Report, and/or MSDS/SDS with respect to a specific facility by submitting a written request to the facility in which the information is requested of. If any of the information is considered confidential by a facility it must be viewed in a Federal Reading Room.
Federal Reading Rooms provide members of the public with “read-only” access to paper copies of Risk Management Plans (RMPs), including Off-Site Consequences Analysis (OCA) information submitted by chemical facilities, pursuant to the Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act (Pub. L. No. 106-40). Although all Federal Reading Rooms provide the same information, some
reading rooms are operated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and others are the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
All DOJ Reading Rooms are operated on an “appointment-only” basis. Contact the Department’s toll-free appointment line, 1-888-442-9267, at least 7 days prior to the date you wish to review information. You will be asked to provide your full name; a daytime telephone number; the reading room location you wish to visit; and the names of the facilities whose information you wish to view. In addition, you must provide a home or work address in order to receive access to those RMPs that could be provided by your Local Emergency Planning Committee.
A Reading Room Representative will contact you by telephone prior to the requested appointment date. This Representative will confirm the date and time of the reading room visit and will provide the address of the reading room site. Please immediately notify the Reading Room Appointment Center if you are unable to visit the reading room at the scheduled time.
Some RMP information is available through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request process. Please make your FOIA request through FOIAonline.
On October 1, 2012, EPA along with several other federal agencies launched FOIAonline which allows the public to:
· electronically submit FOIA requests,
· modify requests,
· communicate with the EPA about the status of a request,
· search previously submitted requests,
· view responsive documents that are cleared for release,
· access a dashboard with information about the status of a request, and
file an appeal.