The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) was enacted by Congress into law on October 17, 1986. Title III of the Act establishes requirements that federal, state, and local governments and industry must implement regarding Emergency Planning and Community Right-to Know reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Illinois SERC (State Emergency Response Committee) has designated Stephenson County a local emergency planning district and has appointed a local emergency planning committee for Stephenson County; composed of elected officials, police, fire, first aid, ESDA, public health and environmental professionals, hospital and transportation officials, as well as representatives of facilities subject to the emergency planning requirements, community groups and the media. This committee has been named the Stephenson County Local Emergency Planning Committee (referred to as the Committee").
The Illinois SERC has determined the function of the County's LEPC is to develop plans for Tier II facilities and communities to cope with dangerous chemical spills, releases or fires that may occur during the manufacture, storage, use of, or transportation of hazardous substances (HS or extremely hazardous substances (EHS).
Illinois requires the Stephenson County Local Emergency Planning Committee to establish rules, give public notice of its activities, establish procedures for handling public requests for information and develop an emergency response plan following the authorized State Plan Development and Review Guide (PDR).
This plan must:
- Identify facilities containing and transportation routes for extremely hazardous substances;
- Include emergency response procedures
- Designate a community coordinator to implement the plan and register company appointed representative(s) to participate in the planning process;
- Establish emergency notification procedures;
- Develop methods for determining the occurrence of a release and the probable affected area and population;
- Describe community industry, emergency equipment and facilities and identify the person(s) responsible for them;
- Include evacuation plans;
- Describe and schedule a training program for emergency response personnel; and;
- Provide methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans.
The Stephenson County LEPC was reactivated May of 2002 following a period of inactivity. The Committee continues to meet once a month and is supported by the County's Emergency Management Agency. The Committee continues to address the mission outlined by the State's SERC and focusing on the manufacture, storage, use of, or transportation of hazardous substances (HS or extremely hazardous substances (EHS).