The December 1984 toxic gas disaster in Bhopal, India focused worldwide attention on the possibility that accidents at facilities handling hazardous chemicals could harm neighboring communities. In the United States, federal, state, and local governments responded with laws to improve accident prevention and emergency response planning activities by chemical-handling facilities and local governments. These laws also increase public access to information, known as “Right-to-Know”, about the storage and use of hazardous chemicals.
The Vanderburgh County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) us a State entity created pursuant to SARA Title III (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act), known as “Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986” (EPCRA).
The legislative requirement of the Committee is to implement SARA Title III in Indiana, but the broader and more comprehensive purpose is to enhance public health, safety, and environmental protection in Vanderburgh County.
MISSION OF THE VANDERBURGH COUNTY LEPC
The mission of the Vanderburgh County LEPC is to:
Develop and maintain an up-to-date comprehensive emergency plan for
our community. To be effective, planning must be an ongoing activity;
Receive and record information about chemical releases;
Collect, manage, and provide public access to information on hazardous chemicals:
Educate the public about the risks from accidental and routine releases of chemicals:
Work with facilities to minimize the risks.
WHY BE CONCERNED?
Many aspects of modern technology involve the use of chemicals with hazardous properties. In fact, more than 500,000 such substances are known, and this number is expected to increase. While many of these materials provide great benefits, their use involves risk. The fire and police departments, along with many other agencies, need the information LEPCs compile in order to plan for and respond to the chemical emergencies we may face.
The Vanderburgh County LEPC meets on the fourth Tuesday every other month, beginning in January, at 8:30 a.m. 2016 meeting dates are: January 27th, March 24th, May 26th, July 28th, September 22nd, and November 24th. The meetings take place at the American Red Cross Building at 29 South Stockwell Road.
All meetings are open to the public. For more information contact the VLEPC at (812) 421-6258
VANDERBURGH LEPC MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
The Vanderburgh County LEPC is composed of community representatives working to build a safer environment. Representatives on the LEPC involves people from:
Emergency Medical Services
WHAT TO DO IN A CHEMICAL EMERGENCY:
TRUCK, TRAIN, PLANT, PIPELINE, ETC.
Go indoors and listen to local radio or TV for instructions. Stay inside unless you are told you can leave.
If you are in a vehicle, close windows and air systems.
To Shelter In Place
Close all windows and doors.
Turn off heating, cooling or ventilation systems. Close fireplace damper.
If eyes, nose or throat become irritated, protect your breathing by covering your mouth with a damp cloth, take frequent shallow breaths and stay calm.
If Evacuation Is Ordered By Authorities
Gather what you and your family will need. Take such essential items as medicine, baby supplies, driver's license, checkbook.
Don't forget about your pets.
Keep car windows and air vents closed.
Police officers along route will direct you.