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Factors Influencing the Activity and Perceived Effectiveness of Virginia Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
Unformatted Document Text:  Main themes appeared in the comments from members that felt the LEPC was ineffective. The two most commonly listed were: the purpose/scope of the LEPC and the meetings. For purpose, many felt uncertain of the mission of the LEPC. Several respondents also addressed the scope stating that it was too limited, and some felt it should include all-hazards. One respondent stated the LEPC was “too focused on SARA Title 3,” and another commented that they “need to expand the LEPC to be all hazards.” A few felt the main goal was limited to compliance. As one person explained, it “seems to have been put together to check off something—probably to get a grant or meet some law. It’s not proactive.” When discussing the meetings, several respondents mentioned a lack of information sharing and coordination during these. Other internal and external limitations occurred frequently. Lack of member participation was cited. External limitations included a lack of resources (staff and funding) as well as a lack of support. Several felt the LEPC was a low priority. The remaining explanations occurred occasionally: lack of a threat, another organization plans, lack of leadership/expertise, and need for training/drills. Finally, we gathered qualitative data in our Inactive Survey asking respondents to explain why their LEPC was inactive. The two most frequently listed reasons were: a lack of resources (staff) and a lack of interest or support, particularly within the local government. Again, the LEPC was not a priority. The remaining explanations ranged from a lack of leadership and unclear expectations to a lack of facilities. Some responded that another group largely fills this role or that they participated in another LEPC. A couple respondents stated that there was simply no history of one; the LEPC was never created. 21

Authors: Templeton, Jill. and Kirk, Gary.
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Main themes appeared in the comments from members that felt the LEPC was
ineffective. The two most commonly listed were: the purpose/scope of the LEPC and the
meetings. For purpose, many felt uncertain of the mission of the LEPC. Several
respondents also addressed the scope stating that it was too limited, and some felt it
should include all-hazards. One respondent stated the LEPC was “too focused on SARA
Title 3,” and another commented that they “need to expand the LEPC to be all hazards.”
A few felt the main goal was limited to compliance. As one person explained, it “seems
to have been put together to check off something—probably to get a grant or meet some
law. It’s not proactive.” When discussing the meetings, several respondents mentioned a
lack of information sharing and coordination during these.
Other internal and external limitations occurred frequently. Lack of member
participation was cited. External limitations included a lack of resources (staff and
funding) as well as a lack of support. Several felt the LEPC was a low priority. The
remaining explanations occurred occasionally: lack of a threat, another organization
plans, lack of leadership/expertise, and need for training/drills.
Finally, we gathered qualitative data in our Inactive Survey asking respondents to
explain why their LEPC was inactive. The two most frequently listed reasons were: a
lack of resources (staff) and a lack of interest or support, particularly within the local
government. Again, the LEPC was not a priority. The remaining explanations ranged
from a lack of leadership and unclear expectations to a lack of facilities. Some responded
that another group largely fills this role or that they participated in another LEPC. A
couple respondents stated that there was simply no history of one; the LEPC was never
created.
21


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