Who We Are
In 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in response to a devastating chemical release in Bhopal, India that claimed thousands of lives. In 1988, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) created the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for Hazardous Materials in prompting the creation of the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) within the ten Regional Planning Councils Statewide. The Treasure Coast Local Emergency Planning Committee (TCLEPC) is housed within the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and serves the counties of Indian River, Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties. The TCLEPC was established by Congress as required by EPCRA in an effort to assist local governments with protecting public health, safety, and the environment from chemical hazards and releases.
TCLEPC membership includes representatives from first responder agencies throughout the region and include: law enforcement, emergency management, firefighting, first aid, health & hospitals, safety, environmental, elected state officials, transportation, owners and operators of facilities, interested citizens, and non-elected and elected local officials. This group includes primary and alternate members and meets quarterly throughout the year.
When to Shelter-in-Place
Sheltering in place is generally undertaken when local officials issue the order to do so. This may be the county or municipal emergency management office, local fire rescue, police or sheriff’s offices or an appointed Public Information Officer (PIO). This message may be broadcast on public loud speaker or siren, television, radio, or social media outlets.
If the order is given, immediately follow the order and Do Not emerge without notice from local officials. The order to shelter-in-place may be issued due to a transportation accident where hazardous materials, petroleum or gasoline have been released or spilled or if these same substances are on fire; if there is a train derailment with cars carrying hazardous materials, or an accidental release from a fixed facility or business causes a vapor cloud to form in your vicinity. Any of these incidents could force local officials to call order to shelter-in-place.
Five Easy Steps to immediate safety from a chemical release:
- Go inside immediately and close all windows and doors;
- Turn off all ventilation systems – Central Air (A/C and Heating);
- Tune into a radio or TV, or social media ( Facebook, Twitter, local alerts) for emergency information;
- Go to a room with no windows and seal the door; and
- Wait for further instructions from officials.
Basic Supplies in backpack can be stored in your vehicle trunk, in a safe room, or in an easy grab-n-go location. Pack the following at a minimum:
- Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
- Duct tape and scissors
- Plastic sheeting (if the safe room has windows)
- Bottled drinking water
- Working flashlight with extra batteries
- Cell phone and/or cordless phone
- Snacks and reading materials/games
For more information on Shelter-In-Place Planning please visit the following links:
Shelter-in-Place: A Citizens Planning Guide for Hazardous Materials Incidents
State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) Annual Tier II Reporting
The Treasure Coast Local Emergency Committee (TCLEPC) is the regional repository for Tier II chemical reporting by facilities that are required to report facility chemical inventory found to be above the chemical Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) by March 1st each year. Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) chemical inventory reports are submitted annually to the State of Florida State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) by facilities that use, manufacture, transport, and/or store EHS chemicals on site for the period of one (1) day up to three hundred sixty-five (365) days each year. The State of Florida Tier II report can be submitted electronically through E-Plan software with access provided through the State Division of Emergency Management. If facilities are unable to file electronically, the hard copy forms are provided by the State hazardous materials section. Facilities may also meet this requirement by using the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Tier II Submit software.
The SERC strongly encourages electronic reporting of the Tier II through the software E-Plan. E-Plan may be used by all facilities and may be notified by the SERC with a password to begin reporting. However, if your facility has not been notified of required reporting and your inventory includes any chemical listed in the EPA’s List of Lists at or above the threshold planning quantity then your facility MUST notify the SERC and file a Tier II report by March 1st to the State of Florida SERC and annually thereafter. Filing the Tier II report satisfies the Emergency Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requirement to inform the local, regional, and State responder communities and the public populations of the presence of EHSs within their communities. This allows first responders and emergency planning entities to enhance mitigation and preparedness plans, and also prepare operations procedures to respond to accidental or intentional spills, releases and other related chemical disasters. The Tier II report requests facility information on chemical identity and characteristics, location, storage methods and conditions, inventory at maximum and average daily amounts, and hazards and health affects if contact is made by the operator.
The TCLEPC maintains a record of facility Tier II E-Plan reports as public records showing the types and amounts of EHSs stored at facilities throughout the Treasure Coast region. These records are maintained in compliance with EPCRA also known as SARA Title III Superfund Amendment and will provide/release information in fulfillment and compliance with the provisions of EPCRA upon public record request. In addition to the Tier II facility information, the TCLEPC renders a hazards and vulnerability risk assessment using the information recorded on the Tier II for facilities as technical assistance.
EPCRA-SARA III – PUBLIC INFORMATION
Pursuant to Section 324 of the Emergency Preparedness Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), SARA Title III, the following information is available upon request:
- TCLEPC Regional Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan
- Hazardous Materials How-to-Comply Handbook
- Hazardous Materials Chemical Inventory (Tier 2) Report Forms
SARA Title III requires that any public or private facility or business using Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) or certain chemicals over the established Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) register with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)/State of Florida Division of Emergency Management, the jurisdictional fire department, and the TCLEPC.
Penalties for failure to comply are severe and rendered by the State of Florida. For compliance requirements or other related information, contact Kathryn E. Boer, TCLEPC Coordinator.
NOTICE: “Pursuant to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), the South Florida Local Emergency Planning Committee (SFLEPC) announces the availability of the following information: Hazardous Chemical Inventory (Tier 2) Forms, Hazards analyses for facilities with Extremely Hazardous Substances, TCLEPC Regional Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Plan, How-to-Comply Compliance Manual for Hazardous Materials Users and other public education materials.
For more information, contact:
Kathryn E. Boer, MPA
Emergency Programs Director; Treasure Coast LEPC Coordinator
Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council
421 SW Camden Avenue. Stuart, Florida 34994