The Cuyahoga County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a local organization mandated by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 as well as Section 3750.03 of the Ohio Revised Code. The LEPC consists of 22 members representing diverse sectors such as Community Emergency Management, local Fire Departments, Department of Transportation, Greater Cleveland Red Cross, hospitals, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and local industries.

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John O’Donnell, HazMat Coordinator for the Cuyahoga County LEPC, spoke to the NEOCHMM members about some of the committee’s functions in his presentation.

  • The LEPC tracks information from annual Tier 2 chemical inventory reporting submitted by over 800 sites within Cuyahoga County with more than 70 of those being Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) sites. John pointed out the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) chemical hazard information requirements that went into effect on January 1, 2018. The LEPC encourages facilities to utilize the free Tier 2 Submit software when submitting their annual inventory reports.
  • The LEPC records and tracks reportable releases – Since January 1, 2018, 30 spills were reported to the LEPC and 16 of those involved reportable quantities. John reminded the group of the 30 minute notification in the event of a reportable spill and written follow-up notice within 30 days that provides additional information about the incident.
  • The LEPC conducts proactive site visits at Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) facilities. This program was started in 2017 and site visits were conducted at 6 facilities in 4 cities. These visits gather additional site information and foster communication between the sites and the LEPC as well as providing items for consideration and best practices to the site.
  • The LEPC is available to participate in Facility Exercises that engage local responders in the emergency procedures at affected sites. Exercise materials and ready-to-use templates are in development and will be available for use by hazmat sites.

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NEOCHMM thanks John O’Donnell for an interesting and informative presentation.