The links located on the right of this page can help citizens prepare themselves in the event of an emergency.
Every county in the country is required to organize and support an LEPC in order to be prepared for a hazmat incident. A hazmat emergency, or Hazardous Materials Incident, can be defined as any spill or release into the environment of a hazardous material or chemical substance. However, it can be said that Erie County is more at risk to such an incident than most communities because it houses so many facilities that hold large quantities of hazardous materials and chemicals. Also, our close proximity to the Canadian border and to the Great Lakes means that Erie County has become a natural target for terrorist activity that may focus on our chemical facilities.
Every facility within the county that stores or uses potentially hazardous materials is required to submit a Tier II form to the LEPC which identifies what chemicals they house, the quantity and location of each chemical in the facility, and any hazards associated with the chemicals. The LEPC then catalogues this information and works with the facility to develop a comprehensive response plan. These response plans allow for immediate mitigation of a hazard at the facility.
The Erie County LEPC strongly encourages local Tier II filers to continue using E-Plan’s electronic filing as it benefits the facility with efficient reporting to State Emergency Response Commission, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and to the local fire department as required by Tier 2. This is especially important for quick access to first responders needing chemical data during incidents. Based on events of the explosion in West Texas last year, the President has requested a full review of electronic reporting for environmental, emergency and safety information to be gathered in one strategic place. To date, a specified system has not yet been selected.
The administration of E-Plan at UT-Dallas now requires a charge of $25 per facility due to the elimination of funding from DHS. To use E-Plan and to allow first responders to see your data, payment must be received by UT Dallas before completing the final submission within E-Plan.
UT Dallas will take payment by credit card through PayPal or by a check or money order. Please note - checks or money orders must be postmarked by February 17, 2014 in order to guaranty March 1 submission deadline.
For facilities that do not wish to pay for the use of E-Plan, there are two additional options to file:
1. EPA has an online Tier 2 Submit Program that facilities can download and create an electronic file. The software must be downloaded to your computer and then completed. Go to http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting/tier2-submit-software. The SERC, LEPC and your local fire department must then receive a copy of the filing. It is highly preferred that the LEPC receive the report electronically via email or CD so that the data can then be uploaded into E-Plan.
2. Hardcopies of facility reports can be sent to each the SERC, LEPC and to the fire company or companies in the facility’s jurisdiction.
January is National Radon Action Month
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas produced when uranium in soil decays; it can be found all over the United States.
Radon gas moves up through the ground into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation, becoming trapped inside.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about one out of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it can be harmful – it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Winter is a great time to test your home for radon. When windows and doors are sealed tightly, radon levels inside your home can rise. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes.
If you find high levels of radon in your home, the problem can be fixed! Some radon reduction systems can reduce levels in your home by up to 99 percent.
The EPA has “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon” brochure online.