Emergency planning committee meets, plans for response

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

After about six years of dormancy, the Local Emergency Planning Committee is back on the job.

The LEPC meets Thursday at 6 p.m. in Dallas County Commission chambers. The committee is composed of citizens, emergency responders and representatives of companies which house hazardous chemicals, among others.

According to Dallas County Emergency Management Agency Director Brett Howard, hazardous chemicals play a large role in the committee’s activities. The committee is responsible for keeping records of hazardous chemicals in the county, which include their quantities and locations. It also assists with writing emergency plans.

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On Thursday Richard Green, with Jackson State University, is scheduled to speak to the committee about its operations.

Committee operations include designing an emergency response plan through better coordination and planning.

Howard said it was important the committee met in public because citizens needed to be informed about plans in the county, city and community. &uot;It’s emergency planning,&uot; Howard said. &uot;You deal with everything from tornadoes to man-made disasters. This is a good way for the community to have input.&uot;

Thursday’s meeting will allow residents an opportunity to learn about the LEPC and a chance to get involved.

Dallas County isn’t the only county to have an until recently inactive LEPC. When Howard started his position with the EMA, he found that the LEPC was an area needing work. &uot;It’s important to have an active LEPC,&uot; Howard said. &uot;That’s what I’ve been striving for.&uot;