Peggy Kiefer/Grove Sun

City and county officials and members of the community met at Grove EMS Thursday to establish a new Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), committee bi-laws and officers. The Oklahoma Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Planning and Notification Act requires the LEPC to prepare a HAZMAT Emergency Response Plan and review the plan once a year.

LEPC is a community committee organized for the citizens of Delaware County. “The goal is to bring the community together to make sure we are safe, including training and getting information to the public. Funds and decisions are independent of city and county offices,” said Robert Real, Director of Emergency Management.

LEPC will discuss issues such as transporting hazardous materials through the city of Grove.

LEPC is designed to assist local government in developing hazardous materials plans, be the link between local citizens, industry and government, and the LEPC is the point of contact for the public to obtain information on locations, types and hazards associated with chemicals in their community. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), counties in Oklahoma have a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

Membership includes representatives from elected state and local officials, emergency management, law enforcement, fire service, local health, emergency medical service, local media personnel, community groups and industry.

Local LEPC members have reviewed the bi-laws which have been sent to the state for viewing and updating. Members elected to office on Thursday were, Chairman, Dave Roberts from GRDA; Vice Chair, Holly Marsh from Simmons in Jay; Secretary/ Treasurer, Lisa Friden, Grove Area Chamber of Commerce President; and Information Coordinator, Peggy Kiefer, The Grove Sun.

Other business discussed at the meeting was Operation Raindrop coordinated by Brandi Larmen. Operation Raindrop will run throughout the community this week, testing warehousing and distribution of medicines during and emergency. The results will be sent to the state.