Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

GCDES1

Keeping Geauga County Safer
Through Preparedness




GCDES - 12518 Merritt RD

12518 Merritt Road
Chardon, Ohio 44024-9049

(440) 285-2222, 564-7131, 834-1856, Extension 2170
Direct Line:  (440) 279-2170
Administrative Fax:  (440) 286-1023
Operations Fax:  (440) 285-7016

National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) check current status

The Geauga County LEPC meets on the third Tuesday of each month at the Department of Emergency Services, 12518 Merritt Road, Chardon, Ohio from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The public may attend.  For further information on the Geauga County LEPC call (440) 279-2170.

How To Report a Release

Citizens who become aware of an unreported release of a hazardous substance into the environment may report it to the local fire or law enforcement officials or the Geauga County LEPC.

Emergency Planning for Chemical Spills Community's Role in Right-To-Know Law

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, called EPCRA, is also known as SARA Title III, but is commonly referred to as the Community Right-To-Know law or simply as EPCRA. EPCRA is designed to inform communities about chemicals and chemical hazards present and transported in the community, involve the community in developing emergency planning and response, in helping identify facilities that might be subject to the law, and assuring implementation of the EPCRA law.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), law provided an infrastructure at the state and local levels to plan for chemical emergencies. Facilities that have spilled hazardous substances, or that store, use, or release certain chemicals are subject to various reporting requirements. All of this information is made publicly available so that interested parties may become informed about potentially dangerous chemicals in their community.

Emergency Planners Section

The Geauga County LEPC is an emergency planning body with jurisdiction over the county emergency planning district.

The LEPC is a volunteer group made up of representatives from certain interests charged with emergency planning duties. The EPCRA law requires the LEPC to include, "at a minimum, representatives from each of the following groups or organizations: elected State and local officials; law enforcement, civil defense, firefighting, first aid, health, local environmental, hospital and transportation personnel; broadcast and print media; community groups; and owners and operators of facilities subject to [EPCRA]." (Note the commas and semicolons.)

The thought behind the volunteer committee was that emergency planning and preparedness is a mutual concern, and active public interest and participation in LEPC meetings is encouraged. 

Membership on the Geauga County LEPC

Individuals who are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities are encouraged to send a resume and statement of interest to the attention of the Membership Sub-Committee, the Department of Emergency Services, 12518 Merritt Road, Chardon, Ohio 44024.

Financial Resources

There is often a resource (money and time) problem with LEPCs. Some do not have a paid support staff. Others are underfunded. There are grants available from the EPA and FEMA for emergency planning, but they do not cover the entire cost. Sponsors are needed who will make monetary donations for training and equipment. The Geauga County LEPC is allowed to receive and accept from any public and private source for the purpose of local emergency planning, gifts, grants or contributions of money, services of personnel, and real or personal property for their use.

Requests for EPCRA Information

LEPCs and SERCs are required to do many things. They have a duty of establishing procedures for receiving and processing requests for EPCRA information (Tier Two Reports, written follow-up reports, MSDSs, emergency plans, Form R Reports) from the general public. These procedures have to include the designation of an official to serve as coordinator for information. The public has an absolute Right to this information.

A State or local official acting in an official capacity may have access to Tier Two information by submitting a request to the SERC or LEPC.

If the general public requests a facility's Tier Two Report through the SERC or LEPC, and the Tier Two Report is already on file, the Tier Two Report must be available during normal business hours for review and copying. If the facility's Tier Two Report is not on file with the SERC or LEPC, AND the facility had reportable quantities of a chemical, the person requesting the Tier Two Report must include the general need for the information. The SERC or LEPC may request this information, but this is discretionary, and when it is received, make it available to the requesting person during normal business hours for review and copying. A SERC or LEPC must respond to a request for Tier Two information with 45 days. Written follow-up reports, MSDSs, emergency plans, and the regional emergency plan, however, must be available for public review during normal business hours. Requests for information should be made to the Information Coordinator at (440) 285-9200.

Perry Nuclear Power Plant

The official ALLTEL (telephone) directory for Geauga County contains Emergency Preparedness Information on pages 41 through 44 for parts of Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake Counties.