Title III of the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA) is a federally mandated program to insure a coordinated planning and response effort between industries and County and local governments in the event of a hazardous substance release into air, land and/or water.
Congress enacted this law to help local communities protect public health, public safety and the environment from chemical hazards. The Act also provides a means for citizens to have access to information on chemicals located in their communities under "Community Right-To-Know."
Oakland County's Local Emergency Planning Committee was established to:
- Develop a local emergency response plan.
- Provide for Community Right-To-Know for public access to hazardous material information.
- Develop emergency response plans for each extremely hazardous substance facility.
- Oversee the collection and storage of data required to implement these tasks.
There are currently over 400 hazardous substance
facilities on file in Oakland County that could have one or more of the approximately 1,500+ regulated hazardous substances at their facility. If these substances were released, they would have an immediate effect upon the community.
Of these, approximately 198 facilities in 2010 were categorized as Extremely Hazardous Substance
(EHS) facilities. In Oakland County, the most common EHSs are: sulfuric acid (majority are batteries), isophorone diisocynate, nitic acid, anhydrous ammonia, and toluelene 2,4-diisocyanate.
The Oakland County LEPC also works to:
- Increase awareness among emergency response professional of the existence and the threat of hazardous substances.
- Reduce the threat posed to the public by hazardous substances and the environment through the provision of knowledge and planning as to the proper handling of hazardous substances.
- Prevention of fires and accidents involving toxic and hazardous substances.
- Plan for the appropriate responses to various threatening situations resulting from hazardous substances in the county.
- Encourage a reduction in the use of hazardous substances.
- Identify and assist facilities subject to SARA Title III requirements.
- Take reports of accidental hazardous substance release/spill notifications when released off site of the facility.
- Develop and provide public education and informational materials.
- Identify transportation routes used for extremely hazardous substances and plan for and respond to transportation incidents.
- Assist pre-hospital responders in planning and training to protect themselves and treat patients, and identify area hospital's hazardous substance capabilities.
In 2007, the LEPC's 20th anniversary, the LEPC voted to memorialize one of its founding members by presenting the Frank Wilke LEPC Excellence Award to members of the community who have supported the efforts of the LEPC. Frank Wilke passed away in 2006. He worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of the first responder, police, fire and emergency medical community; provided guidance in helping to protect the environment and providing community right-to-know information to the citizens of Oakland County.