The Hazardous Materials Preparedness Division (HMPD) is tasked with administering a multi-faceted hazardous material safety program for public and private sector entities in Lancaster County with primary regard for planning, training, outreach and support. Below are overviews of the four basic HMPD areas.
The HMPD oversees and manages applicable chemical reporting and planning elements and sections of the federal Superfund Amendments Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986, specifically Title III which is most commonly referred to as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), as well as Pennsylvania Act-165. The HMPD helps facilities comply with their chemical reporting and planning obligations.
Facility-submitted chemical reports are annually compared against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) list to identify facilities that meet the off-site planning requirements of SARA Title III.
Facilities that maintain an EHS at or above a chemical-specific Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) are subject to the development of an Off-Site Emergency Response Plan (OSERP). Formulating and maintaining the OSERP is the responsibility of the HMPD. The plan addresses off-site consequences and public protective actions in the case of a release.
The HMPD facilitates, supports and coordinates certain hazardous material and related training programs throughout the county. This includes sponsoring chemical-specific programs to aid local responders in better understanding the hazards of unique and high-risk chemical release potential. The HMPD offers a free two-hour program entitled ‘First Due Chemical Intelligence’ which provides and overview of the annual facility chemical reporting requirements, interpretation of facility generated chemical reports and review of off-site emergency response plans. This program is updated annually to incorporate changes in chemical reporting and planning criteria.
The HMPD works closely with the staff at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center to coordinate special training opportunities.
The HMPD is steadfast in providing outreach to business and industry to ensure compliance with chemical reporting and planning. This includes industry-specific surveys and facility consultations. In addition, the HMPD establishes partnerships with local business and industry to enhance local emergency responders in emergency preparedness for chemical specific hazards.
The HMPD supports the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) of Lancaster County. The LEPC is a representative group of numerous public and private sectors including local elected officials, public safety, facility representatives, media and community groups. The LEPC is tasked with reviewing the OSERP’s developed by the HMPD to ensure all public safety issues are accounted for. The LEPC also addresses other public safety issues related to chemical preparedness and community safety.
The HMPD provides administrative support to the contracted county hazardous materials response capability to ensure that contracted obligations are met as well as the response capabilities meet state-certification criteria.
The HMPD web-site section is divided into disciplines and special interests so that interested parties can access applicable sections. Below is a general overview of each section:
The Business & Industry section targets facility managers, coordinators and other staff with responsibility for environmental compliance. This section includes the most Frequently Encountered Topics related to chemical reporting and emergency planning. It provides links and tools regarding reporting requirements and compliance as well as resources to facilitate emergency planning.
The Emergency Services section targets public safety personnel and organizations. It includes the most Frequently Encountered Topics ranging from hazardous materials training to recovering response costs after a hazardous materials incident. It provides links to legislative authorities as well as other tools to improve their hazardous materials preparedness.
The Local Emergency Planning Committee section targets the public. It outlines the basis and activities of this important behind-the-scenes organization. This section lists the meeting schedule which are open to the public and has links to past meeting minutes.
The Public Information / Open Records section is targeted to citizens and consultants. This section describes the proper procedures to follow for public requests of open records. The Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency, Hazardous Materials Preparedness Division, and the Local Emergency Planning Committee each follow the guidelines of the Lancaster County Open Records Office.
The HAZMAT 2 section is an overview of the state-mandated hazardous materials response capability contracted by the County of Lancaster.