The LEPC is a product of federal legislation passed in the wake of the Bhopal disaster in India, where thousands of people died because of an accident involving the release of hazardous chemicals. 

To prevent similar occurrences in our communities, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, also known as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) in 1986.

EPCRA establishes hazardous materials guidelines for business and reporting requirements enabling communities to better plan their emergency response to potential hazardous incidents. Hazardous material locations pose one risk category, transporting hazardous materials on our major roads, such as US 81 and K-18 in Ottawa County, potential major storms, pandemics, and terrorism add to the spectrum of LEPC planning topics.

A LEPC (local emergency planning committee) is a gathering of representatives in your community that have an interest in hazardous materials safety. Members should include; fire department, law enforcement, health care, media, schools, industry, transportation, public health, VOAD and others.

As a group they will identify potential risks that your community faces from hazardous chemicals stored in and/or transported around your community. The LEPC should seek ways to help minimize the risks, prevent accidents, and assist in the development of plans to deal with a chemical emergency.

The LEPC should also participate in the development of training programs, exercises and public awareness outreach. Our LEPC meets quarterly at the Ottawa County Courthouse, 307 North Concord, Minneapolis, Kansas. The meetings are open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.

Ottawa County LEPC Membership:

Chairperson: Keith E. Coleman - Fire

Vice-Chairperson: Marie V. Ballou - Emergency Management


  • Janette Roberg - Ottawa County Health Center - Hospital
  • Sara Hodges - Health - Transportation
  • Michelle Campbell - Local Official 
  • Seth Odette - Local Environmental Group
  • D.D. Malmberg  - Elected Offical
  • Russ Thornton - Law Enforcement - CERT
  • Bryan Cox - Law Enforcement 
  • Karl Leech - Emergency Medical Service 
  • Erica Shamberg - Emergency Medical Service
  • John Perry - Firefighting
  • Chris Smith - Transportation
  • Karen Ballou -  Community Group
  • Open - USD 239 - Education 
  • Pam Irwin- USD 240 - Education
  • Doug Plummer - Community Group - CERT & Lyons Club
  • Cade Rensink - Local Environmental Group
  • Kathy Walmsley - Facility Owners/Operators
  • Mike Smith - Fire - Local Environmental
  • Rick Horn - Community Group - Red Cross




Section 324 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, also known as SARA Title III (Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act of 1986, PL 99-499) requires public notice at least once annually informing the public of the means to access information about extremely hazardous substances that are manufactured, stored, and used within their community. Follow-up emergency notices may subsequently be issued.  Accordingly, information concerning LEPC meetings, SARA Title III hazardous materials planning which is included in our Ottawa County Emergency Operations Response Plan, materials safety data sheets (MSDS), hazardous chemical inventory forms, listing extremely hazardous substances manufactured, stored, or used within Ottawa County can be reviewed during normal business hours by contacting Marie Ballou at the Ottawa County Emergency Management Office, Ottawa County Courthouse Suite 109, Minneapolis, Kansas 67467 or call 785-392-3600