Public Access to Information
- In accordance with Section 324 of the Act, all information obtained from an owner or operator pursuant to Title III and any Tier II form or MSDS otherwise in possession of the Committee shall be made available to the person submitting the request under this section. The owner or operator may request that the location of specific chemicals identified in the Tier II form be withheld from disclosure by the Committee.
- All information requested to be photocopied, by any member of the public, shall be provided at the sole expense of the person. The cost of such photocopying shall be set from time to time by the Public Information Officer, with the approval of the Executive Council, at a level which will enable the LEPC to recover all reasonable expenses associated with the processing request. This will also include requests for copies of the LEPC bylaws, rules, or proposed rules.
- Requests for MSDS and other non-confidential information-
- Any person may obtain a MSDS with respect to a specific facility by submitting a written request to the Emergency Management Coordinator.
- Any person may obtain any other non-confidential information in the possession of the Committee by submitting a written request to the Emergency Management Coordinator.
- If the Committee does not have in it’s possession the MSDS or other information requested, it shall request a submission of the MSDS from the owner or operator of the facility that is the subject of the request. The Committee will only make requests to specific facilities for information that it is required to maintain or collect pursuant to applicable law(s).
- Requests for Tier II information-
- Any person may request Tier II information with respect to a specific facility by submitting a written request to the
- Emergency Management Coordinator.
- If the Committee does not have in its possession the Tier II information requested, it shall request a submission of the Tier II form from the owner or operator of the facility that is the subject of the request, provided:
- the request is from a State or local official acting in their official capacity, or
- the request is limited to hazardous chemicals stored at the facility in an amount in excess of threshold planning quantities.
- the facility is a reporting entity under SARA.
- The request must include a general statement of need.
- Only requests made on completed and notarized HLEPC Form 2(4)(2000) will be accepted.
Except as provided below, all information submitted to the LEPC by facilities pursuant to Title III shall be public information. Other than a claim designated in this section, the LEPC will not honor any business confidentiality or trade secret claims. Pursuant to Section 312 and Section 324(a) of the Act, the location of specific chemicals requested to be submitted with Tier II information shall be maintained as confidential by the LEPC provided that a claim of confidentiality is submitted with the information and satisfies all applicable requirements for such claims under Title III and any regulations promulgated pursuant to same.
Such information shall be exempt from disclosure by the LEPC permanently or until such time as:
- an authorized governmental agency, and if applicable, a court of competent jurisdiction makes a final determination following any appeals, that such information is not subject to a valid claim of business confidentiality or trade secret
- AND the LEPC receives a written notice of such determination.
Emergency Hazardous Substance Release Notification
The LEPC has, and continues to develop procedures for facility owners and operators to immediately report the release of hazardous substances by radio, phone, or in person to the community Emergency Management Coordinator of the appropriate fire departments affected by the release. A follow-up written notice will be submitted to the LEPC Chairman in compliance with SARA, Title III.
Distribution of the Hazardous Substance Emergency Response Plan
The plan shall be distributed to the following persons or entities:
- State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
- Regional Liaison Officer, Division of Emergency Management
- Emergency Management Coordinators for or in Hidalgo County
- Organizations contributing sections to the plan upon request to the LEPC
- The general public upon request to the LEPC, and at the sole expense of the requestor.
- Others as deemed necessary by the Committee, or the Emergency management Coordinator.
- Updates will be similarly distributed, as they become available.
Requests for Information
Requests for information should be made to:
100 E. Cano, 2nd Floor
Edinburg, TX 78539
P: (956) 318-2615
F: (956) 289-7889