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Local Emergency Planning Committee
LEPC Background
In 1986 Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Public Law 99-499, commonly known as EPCRA or SARA Title III. Section 301(a) of the legislation required each governor to appoint a state emergency response commission (SERC) by April of 1987. Section 301(b) charged the SERCs with the responsibility of dividing the states into planning districts and Section 301(c) for appointing local emergency planning committees (LEPCs). In 1987, the Massachusetts State Emergency Response Commission, in compliance with the new legislation, designated each Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency subarea as planning districts and appointed an LEPC for each city and town within them.

LEPC Mission
  • Develop a response plan for hazardous material incidents.
  • Review the annual plan.
  • Train emergency responders (police, fire, emergency medical services, public works, etc.). At a minimum, first responders must be trained to the awareness level.
  • The emergency response plan must be exercised at least once a year.
  • The committee must create a system to collect, store, and respond to public requests

Cooperative Entities
  • Broadcast and print media
  • Civil defense groups
  • Community groups
  • Representatives of facilities subject to the emergency planning and community right-to-know requirements
  • Elected and local officials
  • EMS personnel
  • Firefighting personnel
  • Health care professionals
  • Hospitals
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Local environmental and transportation agencies

Facilities subject to the requirements of the EPCRA must annually submit documentation of their inventory of hazardous materials in the previous calendar year. These reports must be submitted prior to April 1. Among the information in the documents should be the facility name, contact person, name(s) of material, amount of material, storage methods, etc.

It is important to remember that many of these items are used on a daily basis throughout the country in large quantities without incident. However, it is the responsibility of the town to have the emergency responders and the community as a whole prepared for any incident that may occur.

The Lincoln Fire Department has recently joined with four other LEPCs (Weston, Wayland, Concord, and Sudbury), to explore the formation of a regional LEPC to more efficiently service the area.

LEPC Community Emergency Preparedness & Response Guide