What is your LEPC?
The Hidalgo County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is made up of city and county officials, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel, representatives of area industries, the media, and volunteer organizations.
In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed a law called the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), requiring every county in the nation to form and maintain an LEPC. This group supports emergency planning for chemical hazards and provides local government and the public with information about possible chemical hazards.
In short, LEPC members are your co-workers, friends, and neighbors, who prepare for emergencies, which might pose health and safety hazards to Hidalgo County residents. Such emergencies include releases of hazardous chemicals from any of the plants within the county or from any of the thousands of trucks and railroad cars which carry them through the county each year. They also include natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as spills of everyday chemicals like gasoline or agricultural chemicals and pesticides.
Year round, members of the LEPC meet to discuss response plans and means of better informing the public – that’s YOU – about what to do when an emergency occurs. The participate in drills at industrial plants, they help find ways to improve safety and aid the various involved organizations – police, sheriff’s, fire and EMS departments, school districts and other governmental agencies, hospitals, civic and volunteer groups – work smoothly together in the event of an actual emergency.
1. To carry out within Hidalgo County those responsibilities required of the LEPC pursuant to
Public Law 99-499, Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Title
III, and related regulations including, but not limited to:
- Development, annual review, and testing of a hazardous substances emergency response plan within Hidalgo County.
- Development of procedures for regulated facilities to provide required reports and immediate notification of release of hazardous substances to the LEPC in accordance with SARA, Title III.
- Development of procedures for receiving and processing requests from the public under the community right to know provisions of SARA, Title III.
- Provision for public notification of committee activities, meetings, and emergency plans.
2. Development, review and testing of a natural disaster emergency response plan.
3. To implement such other and further related activities as may hereafter be legally required by the Federal Government, the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), or the County Judge.
- EXECUTIVE COUNCIL: The Council shall consist of no less than three, nor more than nine members as determined by simple majority vote of the Board of Directors.
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The Board shall consist of those members submitted by the County Judge and approved by the SERC for membership in this body, and be known as Directors. Those persons shall, at a minimum, represent the various professional and community groups as designated by SARA, Title III.
- OFFICERS: Officers shall be elected to conduct meetings, appoint committees, keep minutes of meetings, and to otherwise accomplish the work of the committee. Those officers include a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Emergency Management Coordinator, and a Public Information Officer. The term of office will last for one year (January meeting to January meeting) or until a successor is elected.
- SPECIFICS: The specific duties and powers of each office are stated in the bylaws, and may be viewed by request to the Public Information Officer.
- CURRENT MEMBERSHIP: The current membership list may be viewed HERE.
Public Notification and General Participation
- NEXT MEETING: Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 9 am at the Knapp Conference Center, located at 1401 8th Street, Weslaco, TX. The meeting is open to the public. Please click the link below or scan the QR code to register : https://forms.microsoft.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=wUb58oCGEEurD5J001HOEW7pcUMW9T9OklFP3tuHaGRUN1lWSkgyTERMQkNLUk4yQTFPUUNOMUZWSS4u