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Factors Influencing the Activity and Perceived Effectiveness of Virginia Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
Unformatted Document Text:  Virginia LEPCs In this paper, we look more closely at LEPC activity and effectiveness in addition to factors that influence this by exploring the results from a survey of Virginia LEPCs. We begin by looking at how LEPCs in Virginia compare to others across the country. Next, we explore how the perceived effectiveness of members compares to the outcomes of the compliance-proactivity index developed by Adams et al. (1994) and Starik et al. (2000). Finally, we examine the effects of the following factors on the effectiveness of Virginia LEPCs: population, hazardous material threat, and LEPC type. Virginia designated LEPCs based on the type of local government. There are three types of LEPCs —city, county, and joint which encompasses more than one local government. Methods We developed three on-line surveys—Administrative, Member, and Inactive— for members of local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) in Virginia. For relatively active LEPCs, this consisted of an Administrative Survey for one person to complete and a shorter Member Survey distributed to the other members of the LEPC. The Administrative Survey included a section to gather more detailed information about the LEPC such as the number of facilities, number of members, and an estimate of the annual budget. We also developed a shorter Inactive Survey for LEPCs that reported in conversations with us that they do not meet regularly or have not met in the past two years. These conversations occurred when we attempted to contact a representative of each LEPC in Virginia by phone. We conducted a pre-test of the survey instruments by contacting nine LEPCs in surrounding states: three LEPCs from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. All 10

Authors: Templeton, Jill. and Kirk, Gary.
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Virginia LEPCs
In this paper, we look more closely at LEPC activity and effectiveness in addition
to factors that influence this by exploring the results from a survey of Virginia LEPCs.
We begin by looking at how LEPCs in Virginia compare to others across the country.
Next, we explore how the perceived effectiveness of members compares to the outcomes
of the compliance-proactivity index developed by Adams et al. (1994) and Starik et al.
(2000). Finally, we examine the effects of the following factors on the effectiveness of
Virginia LEPCs: population, hazardous material threat, and LEPC type. Virginia
designated LEPCs based on the type of local government. There are three types of LEPCs
—city, county, and joint which encompasses more than one local government.
Methods
We developed three on-line surveys—Administrative, Member, and Inactive—
for members of local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) in Virginia. For relatively
active LEPCs, this consisted of an Administrative Survey for one person to complete and
a shorter Member Survey distributed to the other members of the LEPC. The
Administrative Survey included a section to gather more detailed information about the
LEPC such as the number of facilities, number of members, and an estimate of the annual
budget. We also developed a shorter Inactive Survey for LEPCs that reported in
conversations with us that they do not meet regularly or have not met in the past two
years. These conversations occurred when we attempted to contact a representative of
each LEPC in Virginia by phone.
We conducted a pre-test of the survey instruments by contacting nine LEPCs in
surrounding states: three LEPCs from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. All
10


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