Lowndes County Local Emergency
515 2nd Avenue North,
Columbus, MS 39701
Chairperson: Mahlon Geer - Baptist Memorial Hospital
Vice-Chairperson: Ken Dyer -
Sherry Honsinger - Mississippi University for Women
Welcome to the Lowndes County
LEPC's home page. The Lowndes County LEPC is a partnership between local
industries, citizens, local governments and the emergency response
agencies. This site has been developed to provide you information about
the local emergency management, individual emergency preparedness for the
hazards we face in Lowndes County, and how we can mitigate their effects.
The LEPC meetings will be held on the second
Wednesday of the odd numbered months at 3 PM. The normal meeting
location is at the Willcutt Block training facility off of Military Road.
Meeting notices are publicly posted at the Columbus Lowndes EMA office at
least seven days prior to any meeting. Meeting locations can be
changed to member's facilities that are hosting or sponsoring a LEPC
MORE ABOUT THE COLUMBUS-LOWNDES
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
|To minimize the effects of hazards and
disasters upon the population and property of the Lowndes County area
through an all-hazards integrated emergency management approach which
includes the four phases of emergency management: mitigation,
preparedness, response, and recovery.
The staff at the Lowndes County Emergency Management
Agency works for you. Our offices are located in the basement of Lowndes
County Courthouse, 515 2nd Ave N, Columbus, Mississippi 39701.
All of our staff members can be reached by calling (662) 329-5110, Monday
through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., excluding City of Columbus holidays.
Our fax number is (662) 329-5111.
- Cindy Lawrence, Director, PIO
- Fire Service Administrator, Sammy Fondren
- Administrative Assistant: Shelley Swails
The Lowndes County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was
created to complying with the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act
of 1986 (SARA Title III. SARA Title III, also known as the Emergency
Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), mandates that any
facility owned or operated by government, business, or industry which
uses, stores, manufactures, or transports one or more of the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) designated Extremely Hazardous Substances in
amounts exceeding the Threshold Planning Quantity established by EPA, must
report specific chemical inventory information to the State of
Mississippi, local emergency planning committee, and the Fire Department
in the facility's jurisdiction. Also, they must submit an emergency plan,
which details the procedures, they are to take in the event that the
chemicals present at their facility is released into the environment. The
Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency is the Focal Point and
repository for all SARA Title III information within Lowndes County.
The objectives of the Lowndes County LEPC are to:
- Identify potential hazards in Lowndes County. Recently, the role of
the has expanded to encompass a more all-hazards approach to emergency
- Compare our present capabilities for response to hazards
that are identified.
- Develop mutual cooperation between industry and
government in pre-planning for response to all potential hazards.
- Coordinate the development, review, revision, and exercising specific
elements of the Lowndes County Emergency Operations Plan.
- Conduct an
on-going review program to establish additional requirements to insure a
safe and adequate response to hazardous material accidents or incidents.
- Improve the public health and safety in the community.
LOWNDES COUNTY LEPC SUBCOMMITTEES
The above objectives are met through established subcommittees, in
accordance with the by-laws of the organization. There are several
subcommittees. Their objectives follow:
Planning and Hazards Analysis Subcommittee Objectives
- Maintain an Emergency Operations Plan to comply with federal and
- Assist in standardizing Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) for all response and support units in Lowndes County.
- Work with Training and Exercise Subcommittee to schedule exercises that
will test the Emergency Operations Plan and the Standard Operating
- Coordinate the development, annual review and revision of
the sections of the Emergency Operations Plan that concern hazardous
materials with the Emergency Management Agency so they can be included in
revisions to the Emergency Operations Plan.
- Review facility
Emergency Response Plans (ERPs).
- Develop a comprehensive inventory of
hazardous materials that are generated, stored, or transported within
Lowndes County by:
- Examining previous hazardous material incident reports.
data in Tier II Reports submitted by facilities.
- Determine if other
facilities have extremely hazardous substances and other hazardous
materials on site and analyze that data.
- Conducting surveys of major
Community Awareness Subcommittee Objectives
- Develop strategies for providing information to the public concerning
awareness of hazardous materials and other hazards in their community and
how the community is prepared to respond in a coordinated manner to
protect lives and property.
- Develop a community outreach program to
inform and educated the public about hazardous materials and other
emergencies. These outreach programs should include establishing speakers
bureaus; developing brochures, pamphlets, and leaflets; providing
information for newspaper articles, radio and TV talk shows, etc.
- Establish a working relationship with all forms of public media to assist
in public awareness.
- Work closely with the local Community Awareness
Committee to develop a public awareness campaign through newsletter,
facility tours, or other means of communication with the community.
- Prepare announcements of all scheduled meetings and provide to news
Training and Exercise Subcommittee Objectives
- Evaluate existing emergency response capabilities for all potential
hazards identified by the "Planning and Hazard Analysis Subcommittee."
- Identify strengths and weaknesses of existing capabilities to respond to
all potential hazards.
- Identify community assets and expertise
available to assist during hazardous material incidents.
- Provide a
review of the capability assessment to the "Planning and Hazard
Subcommittee" for use in revising the all-hazards Emergency Operations
- Identify training requirements for first responders, hazardous
material response team, support personnel, industry, and the public.
- Identify sources of training that will meet requirements.
- Work with
other Agencies/Committees who can assist in the development and
implementation of required training.
- Develop and implement a training
schedule and revise once a year.
- Identify potential funding sources
for required training.
- Sponsor an exercise program to improve the
response and recovery capabilities of emergency responders and to build
working relationships with and among private industry and agencies.
The meetings of the LOWNDES COUNTY LEPC are open to the public. If you
wish to attend any meetings of the LOWNDES COUNTY LEPC, please contact the
Emergency Management office for the location and time. The LOWNDES COUNTY
LEPC Full Committee and Executive Committee meet concurrently six times a
year. Membership of the LOWNDES COUNTY LEPC is comprised of
representatives from local response agencies, medical facilities, health
and human services agencies, the media, and industries. The Executive
Committee of the LOWNDES COUNTY LEPC consists of the Chairman,
Vice-Chairperson, Subcommittee Chairpersons, and emergency response
organization liaisons and local industries.
Businesses or industries that store, manufacture, or transport hazardous
substances and materials fall under the reporting requirements of SARA
Title III (Public Law 99-499), also known as the Emergency Planning and
Community Right To Know Act (EPRCA). The Environmental Protection Agency
is the enforcement arm for this legislation, and as such, has the
authority to inflict fines and penalties upon businesses and industries
for non-compliance. The Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency is the
repository for all SARA Title III information reported by businesses and
industries in the Lowndes County area. According to the legislation, there
are specific documents which businesses and industries must complete.
Following is a brief overview of the legislation, and the information,
which the Lowndes County Emergency Planning Committee requires businesses
and industries to submit:
SUBTITLE A: EMERGENCY PLANNING AND NOTIFICATION
SECTION 302, Paragraph (c):
This provision in the law requires a facility to notify the State
Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the Local Emergency Planning
Committee (LEPC) by letter if it has one or more extremely hazardous
substance (s) above the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ). Each facility,
which meets this specification, must notify the SERC and the LEPC that
their facility is subject to the requirements of Section 302. In Lowndes
County, the LEPC is the Lowndes County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
SECTION 303, Paragraph (c):
The facilities, which are subject to the requirements of Section 302,
Paragraph (c), must submit or have on file at the LEPC a current Emergency
Response Plan (ERP). This ERP must be reviewed annually to ensure the
accuracy of the plan.
SECTION 303, Paragraph (d):
A letter designating a Facility Emergency Coordinator who will
participate in the planning process is required. This information may be
included in the letter required by Section 302, Paragraph (c).
SECTION 304, Paragraph (b):
This provision in the law requires that community officials be
immediately notified if a release of an Extremely Hazardous Substance or a
CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act) hazardous substance occurs outside the site boundary and would
include any material released to the air, soil, or off the property. Sites
need to report only if the released amount is equal to or in excess of the
reportable quantity. The reportable quantity specifications are found in
the EPA's publication: Title III Lists of Lists. If you spill any amount
of an EHS or a CERCLA chemical, please let us know. We are willing to
assist you in any way possible.
SUBTITLE B: REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
Subtitle B applies to any hazardous chemical for which your facility is
required to prepare or have available a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
SECTION 311, Paragraph (a):
The Lowndes County Emergency Planning Committee has opted to require
the submission of a list of Hazardous Chemicals in lieu of Material Safety
Data Sheets. One comprehensive form has been developed for you to list
your facility's Extremely Hazardous Substances as well as your facility's
Other Hazardous Substances. On the form, you are to indicate if the
substance is an EHS or a CERCLA chemical. This information may be found in
the Title III Lists of Lists, published by the EPA. If your facility has
on hand more than the reportable quantity of an Extremely Hazardous
Substance or a CERCLA chemical, please note the reportable quantity on the
form. If there is a release of an Extremely Hazardous Substance or a
CERCLA chemical at your facility, you can then refer to one list which
will assist you in determining when the proper emergency notifications
need to be made.
Some similar materials, which may have multiple Chemical Abstract Service
(CAS) numbers, or none at all, may be consolidated into one entry if the
Health and Physical Hazards are identical. An example of this is paint.
You may have several hundred gallons from different manufacturers in
various size containers. All quantities must be reported in pounds, using
the rule of thumb: 8 pounds = 1 gallon.
SECTION 312, Paragraph (a):
The Tier II Form
The Tier II Form must be used for reporting extremely hazardous
substances and other hazardous substances which meet the following
- Extremely Hazardous Substances: Your facility must report if you have
one or more extremely hazardous substance (s) at or above the threshold
planning quantity or 500 pounds, whichever quantity is the least.
- Other Hazardous Substances: Your facility must report if you have one or
more other hazardous substance(s) equal to or in excess of 10,000 pounds.
- Link to the LEPC Forms for Tier II and the EPA's
List of list
- The Lowndes County LEPC is now accepting electronic
submittal of the Tier II forms using the Tier 2 Submit
program from the EPA's website
SUBMISSION OF TIER II REPORTS AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Businesses and industries which manufacture, store, or transport
Extremely Hazardous Substances identified in the US Environmental
Protection Agency's Title III List of Lists, or
otherwise meets the requirements stipulated under Section 312, Paragraph
(a), are required to submit a Tier II Report by March 1 of each year.
Businesses and industries which exceed the established limits set by EPA
on the manufacturing, storing, or transporting of Extremely Hazardous
Substances are also required to submit a Uniform Emergency Response Plan.
These reports must be submitted to the Lowndes County Emergency Management
Agency, the Fire Department having jurisdiction of your business or
industry, and to the Mississippi Emergency Response Commission.
For more information concerning these requirements, please contact the
Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency at (662) 329-5110.