Questions remain about McLennan County's Local Emergency - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Questions remain about McLennan County's Local Emergency Planning Committee

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

In a special hearing on Wednesday, a state agency testified before the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, and said McLennan County does not have a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

Thursday, county officials met with the media to clarify if the claim was true, but at the end of the meeting it still wasn't clear if one exists.

A law by the federal government requires each county to have a LEPC. The purpose of the committee is to identify all potential hazards throughout the county, and develop a plan by conducting drills.

The question was asked why the West Fertilizer Company never conducted disaster drills knowing the potential hazard.

"I don't know. As many two tier reports as we get, again, you know, I don't look at every single one of them or read every single one of them every single content are passed off on the local responders," said Frank Patterson, Waco-McLennan County Emergency Management Coordinator.

LEPC is part of the Waco-McLennan County Emergency Management team. Patterson confirmed there is an LEPC in a statement he read.

"McLennan County has a comprehensive emergency management plan that meets or exceeds the standards, that includes response protocols for all hazards, and we conduct exercise on this various plans at least three times a year. Each city is required to sign off on this plan," Patterson said. 

Patterson was also asked for proof of the LEPC and if he could name the chairman of the committee.

"I'd have to go and pull out the minutes and find out," Patterson said.

At the end, he was asked if he understood the roles of the LEPC, and he was told by a county commissioner he didn't have to answer that question.

Patterson was asked on Thursday afternoon if he had any evidence a LEPC existed, the evidence he had on him were the minutes from past meetings which are supposedly held once a year. There are still some questions to be answered. 

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