LEPC - Local Emergency Planning Committees

What is an LEPC?

A Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a gathering of representatives in your community that have an interest in hazardous materials safety. As a group you will be tasked with identifying potential risks that your community faces, such as chemicals stored in and/or transported throughout your community. The LEPC should seek ways to help minimize the risk, prevent accidents and assist in the development of plans to deal with a chemical emergency. Education and community outreach is another core component of an LEPC. Through the LEPC, the public will be able to seek out information about chemicals in their communities and learn how to safely shelter in place.


Why do I need an LEPC?

The citizens of your community need to know they are safe and that there are plans in place to assist with a chemical release. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) it was mandated that LEPCs form as a means of allowing communities to assess their risks from hazardous chemicals and a way to exercise its right to know. Nebraska adopted EPCRA under the Nebraska Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (NEPCRA) - see link for complete details on NEPCRA. The NEPCRA law, administered by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), is overseen by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). 


Who should be represented in my LEPC?

Each LEPC should include representation from each of the following groups or organizations:

  • State and local officials
  • Local elected officials
  • Law enforcement
  • Emergency management
  • Fire fighting
  • First aid
  • Health professionals
  • Local environmental agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Transportation personnel
  • Broadcast and print media
  • Community groups
  • Owners and operators of facilities subject to the requirements of EPCRA

To best accommodate various work schedules, LEPCs may want to consider meeting at times and places convenient for most members or provide Skype/call-in numbers. 


What are the minimum requirements for my LEPC?

According to NEPCRA, the following requirements must be adhered to:

  • Establish rules and procedures, 81-15, 217(1) a & b.
  • Review and update Hazardous Materials Plan once a year, 81-15, 217 (c).
  • Designate public library to receive the plan, 81-15, 217 (e).
  • Provide plan to governing body for review, 81-15, 221.
  • Provide annual notice to public in local newspaper. The Hazardous Materials Plan, SDS, and chemical inventory forms (Tier IIs) will be available for public review, 81-15 229.
  • Annually elect a chairperson, 81-15, 216 and designate a Coordinator of Information 81-15, 217 (1)(b).
  • Meet at least annually and provide public notice of meeting 81-15, 216.
  • Provide annual report of all expenditures to the SERC, 81-15, 217 (2). 


Where do I get help?

If you need assistance in developing your LEPC or need ideas for your LEPC, begin by contacting the SERC at SERC@nebraska.gov. Members of the SERC will also be happy to meet with you and attend your meetings.