The Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee (NKEPC) is a federally mandated entity comprised of state and local officials, business representatives and members of the press.
The role of the NKEPC is to form a partnership with local governments and industries as a resource for enhancing hazardous materials preparedness. Local governments are responsible for the integration of hazmat planning and response within their jurisdiction. This includes ensuring the local hazard analysis adequately addresses hazmat incidents; incorporating planning for hazmat incidents into the local emergency management plan and annexes; assessing capabilities and developing hazmat response capability using local resources, mutual aid and contractors; training responders; and exercising the plan.
The NKEPC is a product of federal legislation that was passed in the wake of the Bhopal disaster in India, where more than 2,000 people died because of an accident involving accidental release of a hazardous chemical. To prevent similar occurrences in our own communities, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), also known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA Title III), in 1986.
EPCRA helps to increase public knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. Local Eemergency Planning Committees are volunteer organizations that consist of emergency responders, industry, government, education, media, and community groups. Their main functions are to provide for joint emergency planning, training, and public outreach. As a result, communities, working with industry, are better able to protect public health and the environment.
In Kentucky, there are 118 LEPCs, one for every county, with the exception of Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties which created the NKEPC. The Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee is administered through the Boone County Emergency Management Agency.
Funding of the NKEPC operating budget comes from contributions provided by those who use, store, and manufacture chemicals in our counties. This budget goes towards providing educational public outreach regarding personal emergency preparedness, especially as it relates to chemical accidents. In addition, portions of the funding goes towards providing training opportunities for responders and joint (government/industry) planning and exercise events.
Kathy Stephens GISP, an associate GIS specialist at PDS was appointed a member of the Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee (NKEPC) during the group’s January meeting.
In making the appointment, Rodney Bell, Safety Manager for Sanitation District No.1, stated, “It’s great to have a PDS representative on board. It will provide additional capability and credibility for our three-county region.”
Stephens believes that PDS can be of great support to the organization and its goals. LINK-GIS and the mapping services it provides to both Kenton and Campbell Counties is an invaluable resource to those who must respond when emergencies strike the three-county community. Several services provided include: creation of large wall maps of fire hydrant locations, customized hydrant information based on gallons per minute (GPM) data, map books, crime site maps, analyzed data and installed stand-alone mapping programs within the trucks for several local fire departments.
PDS staff also assist Kenton County emergency services manager Steve Hensley with selecting locations for new emergency warning sirens. In the aftermath of the 2012 tornado that struck southern Kenton County, PDS’ GIS team assisted in the recovery process by providing products to aid in surveying the damaged structures for assessment of the storm severity.
In support of that role, senior GIS programmer Christy Powell, GISP, is developing a mobile app that will allow inspectors to capture field data and directly link them to a FEMA document for easier submittal processing.
In 1986 Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act also known as the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA Title III). NKEPC was created from that federal legislation as a federally-mandated entity composed of state and local officials, business representatives, and members of the media.
NKEPC members come from local emergency responders, industry, government, education, media, and community groups. The group’s main function is to provide joint emergency planning, training, and public outreach.
Out of Kentucky’s 120 counties, NKEPC is the only emergency planning group to serve a multi-county area. The other 117 counties in the Commonwealth have individual local emergency planning committees.
The Northern Kentucky Emergency Planning Committee is administered through the Boone County Emergency Management Agency.