To provide an
efficient means of operation, the Monongalia County Local Emergency Planning
Committee (LEPC) has established the following set of By-Laws and Procedures
by which to operate. These By-Laws and Procedures address a variety of issues
and requirements including meeting formats, agendas, public notification of
activities, receiving and responding to public comment, distribution of
emergency plans, and requests for information under the Right-to-Know
Changes to the By-Laws and Procedures
The By-Laws &
Procedures may only be changed by a two-thirds majority vote of the LEPC
following a three-month review of the proposed changes by all members of the
Composition of the Committee
shall be composed of the following representatives and other interested public
as deemed appropriate by the LEPC:
shall be appointed by the LEPC for terms not to exceed three years. Members
may be re-appointed without any limit on the number of terms.
A quorum of
the LEPC shall elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson at a publicly
announced meeting for a term not to exceed two years. Nothing in these
by-laws shall preclude one person from holding more than one office except the
Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, who by the nature of the positions, must be
two separate individuals. There are no limits imposed on the number of terms
for each office; however, the committee shall encourage participation of as
many members as possible to fulfill the functions of the officers.
The Chairperson shall be elected by a majority vote of the
LEPC. The term of the Chairperson will run for a period of two years starting
July 1st and ending June 30th. Elections will be conducted at the second
calendar quarter meeting (i.e. April - June). The role of the Chairperson is
to be the leader of the committee and ensure that all tasks and requirements
are carried out. These duties include setting meeting times and agenda,
appointing standing or AD HOC subcommittees, chairing meetings and other
duties associated with being a chairperson for any type of committee.
The Vice-Chairperson shall be elected by a majority vote of the
LEPC. The term of the Vice-Chairperson will run for a period of two years
starting July 1st and ending June 30th. Elections will be conducted at the
second calendar quarter meeting (i.e. April - June). The role of the
Vice-Chairperson is to be the leader of the committee and ensure that all
tasks and requirements are carried out in the absence of the Chairperson.
These duties include setting meeting times and agenda, appointing standing or
AD HOC subcommittees, chairing meetings and other duties associated with being
a Vice-Chairperson for any type of committee.
A Recorder/Secretary shall be the Administrative Assistant from
Emergency Management/M.E.C.C.A. 9-1-1. If this position is not available to
the LEPC, the Recorder/Secretary shall be appointed by the Chairperson for a
term not to exceed two years to record the actions and affairs of the LEPC.
The responsibilities shall include recording minutes of LEPC meeting, sending
out meeting notifications, preparing the meeting agenda, public notification
of meeting and any other duties as assigned by the Chairperson.
Coordinator of Information
The Coordinator of Information shall be the Emergency
Management Coordinator of the Monongalia County Office of Emergency
Management. If such a position is not available to the LEPC, a Coordinator of
Information shall be appointed by the Chairperson for a term not to exceed two
years. It is the duty of the Coordinator of Information to process public
information requests in a timely manner. The Coordinator must maintain all
records and have access to those records during normal business hours and
shall use the procedures and guidelines contained in Attachment A to fulfill
Notification of LEPC Activities
requirements are set forth for conducting public meetings of the LEPC.
Meetings shall be held at least once per calendar year quarter
and will be conducted using “Robert’s Rules of Order”. The Recorder/Secretary
shall issue a news release at least three business days before each meeting to
all local broadcast media. Attachment B contains a sample of a suggested news
Notification of Public Hearings shall be the same as for
meeting notification, but also shall include a legal advertisement placed in
the local newspapers at least five business days before the public hearing.
Attachment B contains a sample of a suggested legal advertisement.
Major Reports & Plans
Public notification concerning the issuing of Major Reports and
Plans shall be the same as for Public Hearings.
Minutes of Meetings & Hearings
Official minutes of all LEPC meetings and hearings shall be
documented and made available to the public upon request. Requests for
minutes shall be made using the request for information procedures in
Public Comment & Response
the LEPC will be confronted with both positive and negative public comment.
The LEPC shall respond to such comments timely and responsibly with the public
interest in mind. The LEPC may receive comments through letters, news
editorials, telephone calls and formal oral comments at LEPC meetings.
It is very
important that the LEPC respond officially and timely. The LEPC shall request
that all questions and comments be submitted in writing. This will provide
for adequate documentation and will allow the LEPC to respond accordingly.
at public meetings shall be recorded. It should be noted that instantaneous
responses to sensitive questions or comments are not mandatory. A
well-prepared response to sensitive issues, delivered in a reasonable time, is
Identification of Covered Facilities
identification of covered facilities that must meet (1) Emergency Release
Notification and Emergency Planning, (2) Hazardous Chemical Reporting and (3)
Toxic Chemical Release Inventory requirements of SARA Title III (“Emergency
Planning & Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986/Public Law 99-499) is a
monumental task. Many facilities, especially small, independent facilities,
may not know that they are required to report to the LEPC. The LEPC can help
in the identification of covered facilities through:
(1) Chamber of Commerce
(2) Planning Commissions
(3) Phone Book Yellow Pages
(4) State Tax Records, through the County Assessor’s Office
(5) Standard Industrial Code (SIC) Book
Once the LEPC
identifies a potentially covered facility, the LEPC shall formally contact
that facility to request information regarding their status as a covered
facility. Attachment C contains a sample letter that may be used when
contacting these facilities. The LEPC shall attempt to communicate the
requirements of Title III to facilities within their district. Methods of
communicating this information are advertisement, news articles, trade
journals, seminars and other such means.
The LEPC can
expect to encounter many questions from facility owners and operators. The
reporting requirements are complex and the facility owner/operator may not
know if Title III applies to their facility. A covered facility also may need
to be provided information about the substances covered under Title III. The
Federal Register contains lists of these substances including: “List of
Hazardous Chemicals”, “Extremely Hazardous Substances”, and “Toxic
Chemicals”. The facility will be provided with a copy of those lists on
legislation has mandated many new changes and requirements on both government
and private industry. Only through cooperation, good communications and much
hard work, can the requirements of this vital piece of legislation be met.