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Local Emergency Planning Committee

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The state is divided into four local emergency planning districts. Within each planning district, a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) exists which includes local government, emergency response officials, environmental and citizens groups, industry, and other interested parties. Each county in the state has an LEPC.

LEPCs serve as focal points in communities for information about hazardous substances, emergency planning measures, and health and environmental risks due to hazardous substances.

Local LEPCs consist of local representatives familiar with factors that affect public safety, the environment, and the economy of a community.

Plans developed by LEPCs must include the identity and location of hazardous materials, procedures for immediate response to chemical accidents, ways to notify the public about actions they must take, names of coordinators at plants, and schedules and plans for testing the plan.

In addition to developing response plans, LEPCs also receive emergency release and hazardous chemical inventory information submitted by local facilities, and makes this information available to the public upon request. LEPCs may charge a nominal fee for this informational service. Furthermore, LEPCs have the authority to request information from facilities for their own planning purposes or on behalf of others. LEPCs can visit facilities in a community to learn what is being done to reduce hazards, prepare for accidents, and reduce hazardous inventories and releases. LEPCs can take civil actions against facilities if they fail to provide information required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Hawaii established a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to provide hazardous materials planning, funding, training and education, and oversight of Local Emergency Planning Committees.

Our Role

The role of the Hawaii LEPC is to form partnerships with: local governments, communities, academia and industries as a resource for enhancing hazardous materials preparedness. Local governments are responsible for the integration of HAZMAT planning and response within their jurisdiction. This includes ensuring the local hazard analysis adequately addresses hazmat incidents; incorporating planning for hazmat incidents into the local emergency management plan and annexes; assessing capabilities and developing hazmat response capability using local resources, mutual aid and contractors; training responders; and exercising the plan.

EPCRA’s emergency planning provisions are designed to promote the discovery and mitigation of risks associated with chemical use. To reduce risks, prevention, preparedness, and quick response to chemical emergencies are best. If properly executed, these three measures can make the difference between disaster and slight inconvenience.

Prevention involves identifying the causes of, and reducing the potential for, chemical accidents to occur. Proper safety measures, sound management practices, and preventive maintenance all reduce the potential for chemical accidents. No chemical safety management program can be guaranteed 100 percent effective.

Preparedness involves anticipating accidents that may occur despite prevention measures, and developing contingency, or emergency response, plans. Emergency response plans help facilities and local and state governments respond to accidents quickly and efficiently. These plans outline the procedures a facility and the community should follow in responding to a release. When accidents occur, it is imperative that the various players in the response process know their roles and use their resources wisely.

The emergency planning process has a greater impact than the plan itself, encouraging awareness, communication, and coordination of efforts.

Member Listing

Member Role Phone Email
Kosaki, Gerald LEPC Co-Chair 808-936-8181
Enriques, Jarrett BEI Hawaii 933-7800
DeKemper, Jason Big Island Biodiesel 808-769-2934
Inouye, Newton Civilian Representative 808-895-0404
Cummings, David Hamakua Energy Partners 808-895-7322
Magno, Talmadge Hawaii County Civil Defense 935-0031
Haa, Chenoa HELCO
Burian, Andrew Hawai‘i County Police 961-2262
"VACANT" Hawai‘i DOH-HEER Office 933-9921  
Okinaka, Darwin Hawai‘i Fire Dept. -Emergency Ops 932-2906

Honda, Eric Hawai‘i State DOH 933-0917
Bowen, John Hazmat consultant 935-2785
Westergard, Cal Dept. of Agriculture 974-4142
Aruga, Tracy Hilo Medical Center 932-3538
Hara, Jordan Puna Geothermal Venture 808-896-8551
Leonard, Chris New West Broadcasting Group 808-935-5461
Napeahi, Terri Keaukaha Action Network 808-315-9996