The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) has recently published a first edition of new guidance for Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) that includes an executive primer, an updated LEPC handbook, and projects examples guide.
The Executive Primer focuses on high level, essential topics that new senior elected officials, emergency managers, or LEPC leaders need to know about local chemical hazards emergency planning. Currently the executive primer starts on page 1 of the single file download, and will be available as a stand-alone document in the future.ok
The LEPC Handbook is intended for LEPC officers, subcommittees, and at-large members who want to dig deeper than “just the basics.” It updates the 2006 Texas LEPC handbook and includes changes over the past decade in chemical transportation and facility safety and security, how LEPCs and emergency management organizations operate, and the legal frameworks and requirements that could affect them. Each of the 12 modules are designed to function independently on topics such as: the National Preparedness System, LEPCs in Texas, regulatory agencies and reporting, emergency planning and preparedness, training and exercises, response, funding, and building a more effective LEPC. Modules start with key takeaways for readers, and end with describing action items that LEPCs at basic, intermediate and advanced levels could be doing, and how they can do it. The handbook also includes a comprehensive overview of state and federal legislation and regulations that could affect LEPCs and chemical hazards emergency planning in Texas, and annotated bylaws with suggestions for how LEPCs might adapt them. Currently the LEPC handbook starts on page 27 of the single file download, and will be available as a stand-alone document in the future.
The Projects Guide outlines 17 projects to help LEPCs plan for chemical transport and facility hazards and engage their members, stakeholders and communities. It covers ideas for projects on hazard analysis, public relations and engagement, emergency planning and response support, emergency response training, and emergency response equipment. Currently the projects guide starts on page 323 of the single file download, and will be available as a stand-alone document in the future.
Dr. David Bierling, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Research Scientist and Texas A&M Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center (HRRC) Associate Director for Transportation and Environmental Hazards was the project supervisor, coauthor, and editor for the guides. The executive primer and handbook were developed based on topic area recommendations by a panel of Texas LEPC experts with significant new content development led by TTI Research Specialist Brad Trefz. The project examples guide also includes planning-focused sections initially developed in collaboration with HRRC Senior Fellow Dr. George Rogers in 2016.
TDEM will be reformatting the single file into its three individual components and publishing a second edition of the suite in the near future.