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Hazardous Materials

Some chemicals are hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work or play.

Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects and damage to buildings, homes and other property. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. These products are also shipped daily on the nation's highways, railroads, waterways and pipelines.

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in plants.

Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

The City of Worcester Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is a team of appointed representatives established for the purpose of hazardous materials planning and chemical risk assessment.

The LEPC consists of representatives from government, industry, police, fire, emergency medical services, hospitals, the media, environmental and community groups and citizens.

What Does the LEPC Do?

  • Develops plans for responding to hazardous materials incidents in Worcester.
  • Works in partnership with government, industry, citizens, environmental and public interest groups.
  • Collects information from local facilities that use, store or manufacture chemicals.
  • Reviews and analyzes information from chemical facilities to assess potential risks to the community from accidental releases.
  • Provides information to municipalities, Fire and Police Departments and citizens about chemicals in the community.
  • Conducts drills and exercises to test the effectiveness of the Hazardous Materials Response Plan.
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