Local Emergency Planning Committee

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A free-standing law, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) is commonly known as SARA Title III. Its purpose is to encourage and support emergency planning efforts at the state and local levels and to provide the public and local governments with information concerning potential chemical hazards present in their communities. To comply with SARA Title III, a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was formed by an Accomack Board of Supervisors resolution in 1988. This committee was made up of local officials, citizens, and industry representatives charged with development and maintenance of emergency response plans for the county. Planning procedures included hazardous materials inventories, plans, hazardous material response training, and assessment of local response capabilities.

In 2003, the committee responsibilities were expanded by taking an all-hazards approach to emergency response and becoming regionalized by merging with Northampton County’s LEPC. This expanded and merged group is the Eastern Shore Disaster Preparedness Coalition (ESDPC). With the Coalition’s scope expanded, so too did its range and number of members. The Coalition is open to any entity – private, government, or volunteer – that has a role in Eastern Shore emergency response. In addition to being an outlet for information exchange among members, the Coalition oversee preparedness information dissemination to the public, promote required emergency response training for its members, and collaborate on emergency response exercises.