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Factors Influencing the Activity and Perceived Effectiveness of Virginia Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
Unformatted Document Text:  broad requirements to fit individual community needs.” (p. 159) It is worth exploring new concepts of proactive LEPCs. One area not currently addressed involves the expansion of LEPC activities to address terrorist attacks in addition to other natural and human-caused events. Prior to the September 11 th attacks, EPA (2001) warned LEPCs of the potential for “deliberate” releases and urged them to incorporate “counter-terrorism measures” in their planning efforts. The agency established as a goal for 50% of LEPCs to address counter-terrorism risks in their plans by 2005 (Starik et al. 2000). In fact, some LEPCs are beginning to embrace an all-hazards approach broadening their scope to plan for emergencies beyond chemical accidents or attacks. It is unclear to what extent this has occurred. Another possibility is assessing LEPC efforts to prepare for accidents when transporting chemicals. EPA (1993) discussed how to address chemical transportation routes by completing a Commodity Flow Study. Shorten et al. (2002) analyzed reports submitted to a Pennsylvania LEPC over a twelve year period and determined that 46% of releases involved transportation incidents. Organizational Characteristics Since success varies, it is worth considering organizational characteristics and other factors that affect implementation. In the first nationwide survey, Adams et al. (1994) determined that inactive LEPCs were more likely to be from less populated areas (under 20,000) and rural counties. The authors speculated that a lack of community support, lack of funding, or lack of a perceived chemical threat could cause this discrepancy. Kartez (1992) did not find a similar relationship, but Lindell and Perry 8

Authors: Templeton, Jill. and Kirk, Gary.
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broad requirements to fit individual community needs.” (p. 159) It is worth exploring
new concepts of proactive LEPCs. One area not currently addressed involves the
expansion of LEPC activities to address terrorist attacks in addition to other natural and
human-caused events. Prior to the September 11
th
attacks, EPA (2001) warned LEPCs of
the potential for “deliberate” releases and urged them to incorporate “counter-terrorism
measures” in their planning efforts. The agency established as a goal for 50% of LEPCs
to address counter-terrorism risks in their plans by 2005 (Starik et al. 2000). In fact, some
LEPCs are beginning to embrace an all-hazards approach broadening their scope to plan
for emergencies beyond chemical accidents or attacks. It is unclear to what extent this has
occurred.
Another possibility is assessing LEPC efforts to prepare for accidents when
transporting chemicals. EPA (1993) discussed how to address chemical transportation
routes by completing a Commodity Flow Study. Shorten et al. (2002) analyzed reports
submitted to a Pennsylvania LEPC over a twelve year period and determined that 46% of
releases involved transportation incidents.
Organizational Characteristics
Since success varies, it is worth considering organizational characteristics and
other factors that affect implementation. In the first nationwide survey, Adams et al.
(1994) determined that inactive LEPCs were more likely to be from less populated areas
(under 20,000) and rural counties. The authors speculated that a lack of community
support, lack of funding, or lack of a perceived chemical threat could cause this
discrepancy. Kartez (1992) did not find a similar relationship, but Lindell and Perry
8


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