Hazardous materials information essential

By Bob Baker, vice chairman of the Clovis-Curry County LEPC

I’m not sure the businesses and facilities within Curry County are fully aware of the reasons for submitting Tier II information, which is information related to hazardous chemicals and substances.
The Curry County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and the local fire departments use this information to prepare first responders in advance of a disaster (fire, tornado, traffic accident, etc.) that may involve hazardous materials.
Tier II reports tell all of us exactly what types of hazardous chemicals and substances we have within the county, where it is located, and approximately how much is there.
Knowing this, first responders can train their personnel accordingly and — with the assistance of computer software programs — be adequately prepared and informed when responding to an emergency call at these locations.
Tier II reports are due not later than March 1 as dictated by federal law. This year, your LEPC sent out over 60 requests in January to those we believe may need to file Tier II reports. About half have failed to respond.
The LEPC requested either a Tier II report, or the return of a form provided with the request letter stating no report would be filed and stating the reason.
This information is also to be sent to the State of New Mexico Office of Emergency Manage-ment.
State statutes provide for up to $15,000 in penalties for failing to file any notice, form or report related to hazardous chemicals.
I would encourage all facilities who received letters to contact the Clovis-Curry County Office of Emergency Management at 763-9485 if they have not replied.
Anyone who handles, resells or stores hazardous chemicals or substances — pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc. — and did not receive a letter may still be required by federal law to file a report.
For any questions, please contact the Clovis-Curry County Office of Emergency Management or visit the LEPC Web site at:
www.3lefties.com/lepc

Bob Baker is vice chairman of the Clovis-Curry County LEPC. Contact him at 762-9365 or by e-mail:
scubaguy@plateautel.net