The Local Emergency Planning Committee of Luzerne County was created as a direct result of Congress passing Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986. Congress enacted this law to help local communities protect public health, safety and environment from chemical hazards.
The LEPC oversees the Hazardous Materials Response Account in addition to approving the Off-site Emergency Response Plans.
Act 165 defines LEPC membership in the following manner:
A local committee shall be composed of:
The county emergency management coordinator
One county commissioner
And at least one person selected from each of the following groups:
Broadcast and print media
Civil defense and emergency management personnel
Community groups not affiliated with emergency service groups
Elected officials representing local governments within the county
Law enforcement, first aid, health, local environmental, hospital and transportation personnel
Owners and operators of facilities subject to the requirements of SARA, Title III
Along with Act 165 legislation, Luzerne County passed an ordinance requiring reporting facilities to pay chemical and off-site emergency response planning fees. Currently the annual fees are $75 per chemical and $100 per off-site emergency response plan. The reporting period runs from January 1st to March 1st. For this reason, the Act 165 / Hazardous Materials Response Account was created. By law, this is a segregated account that can only be used for the Hazardous Materials Program.