The Montgomery County, MD Local Emergency Planning Council (LEPC) was established in 1987 in accordance with the EPA Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. The LEPC also has responsibilities under the state of Maryland in the Community Right to Know Regulation COMAR 26.26.01 and the Emergency Preparedness and Community Right to Know Act of 1986.
In 1991, the LEPC recommended the establishment of a local permitting regulation and ER 30-91AM (1991) revised in 1993 was drafted and approved by council to regulate the possession, transport, and storage of hazardous materials within the County.
The LEPC operates under bylaws adopted by the Montgomery County Council. Under the provisions of EPCRA, the LEPC shall develop a hazardous materials emergency response and preparedness plan for the planning district of Montgomery County, Maryland; establish procedures for conducting its public information and education responsibilities; receive and process requests for information from the public; notify the public and regulated businesses on all LEPC activities and meetings; make the Hazardous Materials Plan publicly available; receive reports and information as specified in EPCRA and in accordance with state and local hazardous materials reporting laws.
With the information and reports received from facilities operating within the planning district, the LEPC will perform a hazard analysis, establish and maintain a database of hazardous materials locations and quantities in the planning district together with emergency planning and notification information, and establish and maintain a computer system for data management. Information on all facilities with reportable quantities as well as Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) will be included in the emergency plan. All LEPC meetings, except those specified by the Chairman and announced in advance, are open to the public.
The Objectives of the LEPC are:
a) To prepare and maintain a comprehensive and coordinated hazardous materials plan for Montgomery County.
b) To receive and process public information requests in accordance with EPCRA and SERC requirements.
c) To implement the LEPC rules and requirements as outlined in EPCRA.
d) To carry out the powers and duties set forth by the SERC.
e) To appoint appropriate sub-Committees, other ad hoc committees, and advisory groups to assist the LEPC in its duties and responsibilities.
f) The LEPC will participate in the preparation and maintenance of Annex AA –Hazardous Materials, of the County’s Emergency Operations Plan.
g) Conduct an annual review and testing of the hazardous materials plan.
h) Support the Office of Emergency Management in providing appropriate hazardous materials training and education, compliance and enforcement.
i) Operate under the duties set forth by the Montgomery County Codes and Regulations, and the Montgomery County Executive.
j) Operate as an advisory council to the Homeland Security Director, Fire Chief, County Executive , and County Council in matters relating to the management and use of hazardous materials in the County.
k) Annually review the capabilities and responses of the Montgomery County Hazardous Incident Response Team (HIRT) and other response resources within the County.
All LEPC meetings are open to the public and held once a quarter, always on the third Thursday of the month. The schedule is currently to hold meetings in January, April, July, and October.
Anyone interested in attending a meeting is asked to call 3-1-1 (or 240-777-0311 outside of Montgomery County) for time, directions, and information.