On Jan. 15, Lincoln County’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met. The main focus of the quarterly meeting was to review yearly required information and to report on some of the events that had transpired during the last few months.

The first item on the docket was the election of new officials, including the president and the vice president. The board expressed satisfaction with the current officials, and no changes were made. Similarly, no major changes were made after reviewing the annually required forms and bylaws.

The board then moved on to reviewing the Level of Response questionnaire given to emergency responders. The objective of this questionnaire was to review how many emergency responders the county has. There were no changes made outside of some additional hazmat training received by five of the county’s responders. Before this, the number of people with the proper training was 46.

The board next turned to the county’s hazmat plan. Since the hazmat plan for Lincoln is included in a large set of trainings for just about every possible emergency situation, the board was concerned that it might need a separate plan specifically for hazmat situations. The current situation calls for such plans to be reviewed and passed by at least two members of the board and can only be changed by two members. The board agreed to approve the current plan as long as a date was set to create a new hazmat-specific plan soon.

The board reviewed a report on the October 2018 hazmat exercise, which involved every emergency response organization in the county. The exercise was a tabletop experience, reviewing the emergency plans for an earthquake followed by a chemical spill in Caliente. The exercise went well, with many organizations walking away having learned something new.

Next was the state emergency response team (SERT) compliance review. The first matter of business brought up was a question: does the county really need a Letter of Promulgation? No one needs to review the letter, yet the federal agencies require Lincoln County to create one. The LEPC is not reimbursed for posting the letter. As such, the board decided to post the letter on its own website, where anyone can access it, for free.

After this, the board agreed to a tentative schedule for the next year, and then voted to adjourn for three more months.