LEPC - Frequently Asked Questions
What does LEPC do?
They perform local emergency planning and community right-to-know activities for those facilities and farms that have hazardous chemicals. Committees are appointed in each emergency planning district (county) in the state and are required to have representation from a variety of groups. In Kent County, these representatives meet, as a whole, quarterly at 9:00 AM. See “Meeting Schedule."
The Kent County LEPC develops off-site response plans for all sites that have one or more EHS (Extremely Hazardous Substance) over the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ). An EHS is any chemical that could cause serious human health problems if it were accidentally released into the environment. Examples of EHSs are: Chlorine gas, Anhydrous Ammonia, and Sulfuric Acid.
The Kent County LEPC also maintains chemical data from businesses and industries (Tier II Reports). These facility reports are due annually in March. In Kent County, these representatives meet quarterly. Contact Kent County Emergency Management for the current meeting schedule.
What communities participate in LEPC?
SARA Title III (Federal law) mandates that all “emergency planning districts” (in Michigan, this means counties) establish a LEPC. The Kent County LEPC has been active and growing since 1989.
What is considered a chemical emergency?
Under SARA Title III, a chemical emergency is the accidental release of dangerous chemicals into the air.
Where are chemical emergencies likely to happen?
They can happen just about anywhere (i.e., businesses, farms, on the roads or rails).
How do I report a chemical emergency?
Dial 911. Facilities that store or use hazardous chemicals have a list of organizations that they are required to contact in the event of a chemical emergency.
How will I be contacted in the event of a chemical emergency in my area?
There are a number of methods for contact, including:
- NOAA weather/emergency alert radios will provide warning/information.
- Local cable may flash information across television screens in some communities.
- TV/radio stations may be able to provide information.
- Police/fire personnel may go door-to-door notifying residents.
What should I do in the event of a chemical emergency in my area?
Try to remain calm and find a source of emergency response information (e.g., NOAA weather radio, local cable, and TV or radio station) and follow the instructions provided.
What should I do if I am exposed to fumes?
If you think dangerous fumes may have entered your building, place a wet cloth or towel over your mouth or nose.
What should I do if I am told to stay inside?
Close all doors and windows. If you’re driving, stay in your car. Turn off the heater and air conditioner, and close the vents. At home, turn off all pilot lights, heaters, and air conditioners. Put out fireplace fires and close the damper. Keep the TV or radio on to listen for further instructions.
What should I do if I am told to evacuate?
Do so immediately. A delay could be deadly. Don’t stop to pack. Take only things you really need (medicine, for example). Toothbrushes and toiletries, if necessary, will be provided at the shelter. Lock your doors and windows and head to the nearest shelter. The TV or radio will tell you where to go.
Where are the Kent County shelters located?
The American Red Cross maintains numerous shelters throughout Kent County. Which shelters would be activated in an emergency will depend entirely on where the incident took place and the scope of the incident.
Who should I contact for other types of emergencies?
“911” is always a good place to start.
Information for Families
Ready America - People with Disabilites and Other Access & Functional Needs
Kent County Disaster Mental Health & Human Services Committee
Local agencies and organizations meet regularly to plan for Kent County's citizens who are most vulnerable in community emergencies.