The California State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) established Six Emergency Planning Districts having the same boundaries as the six Mutual Aid Regions. The SERC appointed a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for each planning district and supervises and coordinates their activities.
Within their region, the LEPCs carry out community right-to-know requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). They provide a forum for emergency management agencies, responders, industry and the public to work together to evaluate, understand, train about, coordinate and communicate chemical hazards in the community and develop hazmat emergency plans, which provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens, government agencies and emergency responders. Plans are developed with stakeholder participation.
The LEPC membership must include (at a minimum):
- Elected state and local officials
- Police, fire, civil defense, and public health professionals
- Environment, transportation, and hospital officials
- Facility representatives
- Representatives from community groups and the media
- Cal OES Regional staff are assigned to assist LEPCs as liaisons
To facilitate EPCRA decision-making at the most practical Administering level the SERC has delegated some EPCRA requirements based on the long-standing structure of California’s hazardous material program consolidated within the Unified Program. Thus, emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms, and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are submitted to the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) instead of the SERC/LEPCs. It is the CUPAs, therefore, that respond to public inquiries regarding business inventories. Immediate notice and follow-up reports (Section 304) regarding hazardous material releases are submitted to both the CUPAs and Cal OES, and are available upon request. For more information regarding a Public Records Act (PRA) request, visit the Cal OES Public Records Request webpage.
CUPAs prepare local Area Plans for hazmat emergencies based on the inventories and SDS information. CUPAs are represented on the SERC and on the LEPCs.
You can make a difference in attending an LEPC meeting or by joining your LEPC.
The federal equivalent to the Business Plan program is the EPCRA 311/312 reporting requirements. Owners and operators are required to prepare and have available Safety Data Sheets (SDS) under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard and must submit an inventory of their hazardous chemicals to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Preparedness Committee (LEPC), and the local fire department annually on March 1st. This requirement is achieved through compliance with the Business Plan program. Contact your local CUPA for compliance and questions.
LEPC Contact Information
Fred Mehr, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator
Hazardous Materials Section
Phone: (916) 845-8754 / FAX: (916) 845-8734