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Factors Influencing the Activity and Perceived Effectiveness of Virginia Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
Unformatted Document Text:  three of these states and Virginia fall within the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region III. We also conducted a pre-test in Virginia that included two county, two city, and two joint LEPCs. We selected LEPCs encompassing local governments with the least and most residents to capture the extremes in our population. To distribute the survey, we attempted to contact someone from the LEPC or the local government it encompassed. Although Virginia previously recognized 114 LEPCs, we identified 110 through our research. Five LEPCs became part of a joint LEPC, and an additional city LEPC is now operating independently. We were unable to contact an appropriate person for seven of the LEPCs. If active, we e-mailed the survey and directions to the person completing the Administrative Survey. We asked this person to forward the Member Survey to members of the LEPC. If inactive, we e-mailed the Inactive Survey to the appropriate contact. We provided paper surveys to six LEPCs that requested these. We sent three e-mails to remind LEPCs completing the survey electronically and two letters to LEPCs that received the paper version. In this paper, we focus primarily on the results from the Administrative and Inactive surveys to address the following question and hypotheses: Question 1 What are the levels of activity and of proactive efforts for LEPCs in Virginia? We examined the breakdown of LEPCs in Virginia based on indices modified by Starik et al. (2000) to determine their level of compliance, activity, and proactivity. We expect that the levels for Virginia LEPCs are comparable to nationwide trends with some 11

Authors: Templeton, Jill. and Kirk, Gary.
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three of these states and Virginia fall within the Environmental Protection Agency’s
Region III. We also conducted a pre-test in Virginia that included two county, two city,
and two joint LEPCs. We selected LEPCs encompassing local governments with the least
and most residents to capture the extremes in our population.
To distribute the survey, we attempted to contact someone from the LEPC or the
local government it encompassed. Although Virginia previously recognized 114 LEPCs,
we identified 110 through our research. Five LEPCs became part of a joint LEPC, and an
additional city LEPC is now operating independently. We were unable to contact an
appropriate person for seven of the LEPCs. If active, we e-mailed the survey and
directions to the person completing the Administrative Survey. We asked this person to
forward the Member Survey to members of the LEPC. If inactive, we e-mailed the
Inactive Survey to the appropriate contact. We provided paper surveys to six LEPCs that
requested these. We sent three e-mails to remind LEPCs completing the survey
electronically and two letters to LEPCs that received the paper version.
In this paper, we focus primarily on the results from the Administrative and
Inactive surveys to address the following question and hypotheses:
Question 1 What are the levels of activity and of proactive efforts for LEPCs in Virginia?
We examined the breakdown of LEPCs in Virginia based on indices modified by
Starik et al. (2000) to determine their level of compliance, activity, and proactivity. We
expect that the levels for Virginia LEPCs are comparable to nationwide trends with some
11


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