SARA TITLE III (RIGHT-TO-KNOW) PROGRAM
History and Background
The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, or EPCRA, was passed as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) on October 17, 1986. This was almost two years after a chemical accident in Bhopal, India killed thousands, injured thousands more and received world-wide attention. Less catastrophic incidents in Institute, West Virginia and elsewhere reinforced that chemical disasters could happen in the United States.
EPCRA provides for comprehensive chemical emergency preparedness and response. This involves the coordinated efforts of industry, the local fire departments, Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC or Committee) and the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC or Commission). In many instances similar local or state organizations already existed. Some of these have evolved into current LEPCs or SERCs. Congress placed USEPA in an oversight role of the EPCRA Program under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. USEPA has built upon the SERC and LEPC relationship in other areas including the
Chemical Emergency Preparedness Program (CEPP) aimed at helping industry and communities to meet their responsibilities related to potential chemical emergencies.
Legal Authority & Rules in Ohio
Emergency Planning was created as Chapter 3750 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) in December 1988. The federal regulations under EPCRA are listed in 40 CFR, Part 355. Ohio’s implementing regulations can be found as Chapter 3750 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC).
EPCRA outlines four basic types of reporting responsibilities of SERC and LEPC, which are: (1) EHS (Extremely Hazardous Substance) notification and emergency reporting, (2) Emergency spill / release notification, (3) Chemical list and annual reporting, (4) Toxic chemical release reporting. A major focus of the LEPC is on developing and maintaining a hazardous materials response plan. The plan must be updated and exercised annually. The LEPC is also responsible for receiving and processing information regarding hazardous material releases, including the reporting responsibilities in accordance with the Community Right To Know Act.
The Putnam County LEPC meets quarterly. Generally the meetings will occur in January, April, July and October. The meetings are open to the public. For More Information Please feel free to call us any time if you would like more information regarding the Putnam County Local Emergency Planning Committee. (419) 538-7315.
The Putnam County LEPC is comprised of vested community members whom include:
Robert Heidenescher, Mayor of Dupont- Chairperson
John Love, Putnam County Commissioner – Vice Chairperson and Elected Official
Vincent T. Schroeder, Putnam County Commissioner – Elected Official
Michael Lammers, Putnam County Commissioner – Elected Official
David Niese, Palmer Township Trustee – Elected Official
Sheriff Brian Siefker, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office – Law Enforcement
Brad Brubaker, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office – 911
Michael Klear, Putnam County Office of Public Safety – EMA and Emergency Coordinator
Nancy Erhart, Putnam County Office of Public Safety – First Aid
Stephanie Moore, Putnam County Office of Public Safety – Information Coordinator
Deb Kaufamn, Putnam County Office of Public Safety – Secretary
Tom Bacome, Blanchard Valley Farmers Cooperative- Industry
Karen Vorst, St. Rita’s Putnam County Ambulatory Care Center- Hospital
Ruth Gerding, Putnam County Health Department- Health and Environment
Rick Rupert, ProTec Coating Company – Community Group
Michelle Williams, Putnam County Chapter of American Red Cross – Community Group
Dan Rieman, Ottawa Fire Department – Fire and Transportation
Dr. Jan Osborn, Superintendent of County Schools – Schools
W.D. Miller, Lima Radio Hospital – Communications
Nancy Kline, Putnam County Sentinel – Media