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The Local Emergency Planning Committee

Local Emergency Planning Committees, or LEPC's, are crucial to the success of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-know Act (EPCRA). Appointed by the State Emergency Response Commission, the LEPC consists of representatives from the following groups and organizations:

  • Elected State and Local Officials Logo for Local Emergency Planning 
  • Law Enforcement
  • Emergency Management
  • Fire Departments
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Department
  • Local Environmental and Transportation agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Broadcast and Print Media
  • Community Groups
  • Facilities subject to EPCRA

One of the primary duties of the LEPC is to create and maintain the Whatcom County HAZMAT Contingency Plan. This includes an ongoing rewriting and exercising process to ensure that the plan is both complete and up-to-date.

Another duty of the LEPC is to receive, catalog, and make available hazardous chemical information from reporting agencies. This information is used for emergency planning and is available to the public.

The LEPC meets once a quarter, and the meetings are open to the public. Meeting times and locations are printed in The Bellingham Herald or you may contact the D.E.M. at (360) 676-6681.

EPCRA and Your Right to Know

Under EPCRA you have a right to know about chemical hazards in your community. You have a right to know what chemicals are being used and in what quantities, and you have a right to know what chemicals are being released into the environment. In Whatcom County, you can exercise your right to know by contacting the Division of Emergency Management. As part of the EPCRA requirements, the Division maintains a database of several hundred chemicals used by over 85 facilities in the county. This information is available to the public, free of charge, upon request.

You can also learn how to protect yourself and your family in the event of a hazardous materials incident.

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