1.1 Purpose of Study
Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Title III of the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA), in 1986, which provides for the collection and availability of information regarding the use, storage, production, and release of hazardous chemicals to the public and emergency responders in local communities. Community right-to-know provisions provide education, information, and public access regarding chemical uses and releases into the environment respective to individual facilities. By doing so, states and communities, working with facilities, can improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.
In December 1990, Pennsylvania promulgated Act 1990-165 (The Hazardous Material Emergency Planning and Response Act) to implement the planning and preparedness requirements of EPCRA in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council (PEMC) serves as the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), as required by SARA Title III. The SERC works cooperatively with the local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) serving the counties of Pennsylvania. The EPCRA is indicative of the fact that Congress realizes the risk to communities posed by the use, storage, and transportation of hazardous materials. Pennsylvania’s implementation of the EPCRA indicates the state’s realization of this risk as well.
As part of the implementation of the EPCRA, LEPCs should develop and implement comprehensive emergency response plans. Those LEPCs conduct various hazard analyses and risk assessments in support of the plans, of which this commodity flow study is an example. Utilizing funding from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Venango County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) coordinated the completion of this flow study. The LEPC hired a contractor, JH Consulting, LLC (JHC) of Buckhannon, West Virginia to facilitate data collection and analysis. Beginning in the spring of 2023, Venango County and JHC began collecting data. Following the collection of data, JHC completed the final analysis and assimilated the results into a report. (NOTE: The sections below provide detailed methodologies by analysis.) This study intends to provide emergency managers and responders in Venango County with information to more fully advise efforts to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazardous material incidents. These efforts may significantly minimize damage or harm to equipment, facilities, personnel, and to the community at large.