November 29, 2012

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at        10:00 a.m. with the following members present: Marvin Grimes, Anderson County Emergency Mgmt; James K. Johnson, Anderson County Commissioner; Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Trent McCown, KDWP; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; Kevin PeKarek, Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS; Christina Rush, Anderson County Hospital; Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; and Jessi Zillner, Anderson County Communication Center.


Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Nate Cunningham, Anderson County EMS/St. Rose School; Josh DeHoux, KDWP; Jeff Hupp, Anderson County Sheriff; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Jim Manning, KDWP;            Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.; Glenn Mudd, Beachner Grain; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Alan Quaintance, USD #365;           Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Doug Sommer, EKAE; Cheryl Strobel, Apple Bus Co.; Pat Tate, Fire Chief; Lester Welsh, Anderson County Road & Bridge and Margo Williams, Anderson County Hospital.



J.D. Mersman, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. 



A motion was made by Robert Robbins, seconded by Chris Rush to approve the minutes of November 1, 2012. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He said there were some questions at the last meeting on the by-laws.



J.D. Mersman reported that Pat Tate has been working on possible storm shelters. Mike Thweatt reported that Westphalia has two storm shelters that are open to the public anytime at the school and the fire department. J.D. Mersman said that Pat Tate had reported to him that there are some questions from property owners that still need to be worked out on some liability concerns. One of the churches requested a template to develop a plan and we provided them a template from the State.



J.D. Mersman said there was some discussion on terms of office and member attendance on the review of the by-laws at the last meeting. Bob Palmer said he had questioned the term of office in Article III, Section 2, which indicates that the term of office for officers shall expire on December 31, 2011, and he wondered whether that date needs to be changed. Trent McCown stated that he felt this was intended to start with the first year and then officers are elected for two year terms thereafter. J.D. Mersman agreed and said that was the information in the template from the State, and the Secretary needs to be aware of when the terms expire. Robert Robbins suggested changing the wording to say terms expire every odd year. Jessie Zillner said that if someone is replaced before their term expires then the replacements two year term may not be on an odd year. Kristie Kinney stated that if someone replaces an officer mid-term, they would only finish out the term of that position, and not start a new term of office. Robert Robbins agreed. Kristie Kinney stated that having the terms expire in December rather than at the federal fiscal year end, that would help on coordinating the officer elections with the annual by-law reviews that are due at the calendar year end. Marvin Grimes agreed that it would be more compatible to have the by-laws to reflect the fiscal year ending on December 31st to review the by-laws and have the election of officers at the same time. The consensus was to keep the term limits at two years and change the year end to December 31st.


Jessie Zillner stated that Josh DeHoux had some concerns on the SARA Title III at the last meeting. Kristie Kinney reported that she reviewed information that is required on the SARA Title III and she said Marvin Grimes had reported that he had the Tier II manual report. She said we probably have everything in that manual and the LEPC is just not aware of it. She stated that maybe we need to look at that manual to ensure that everything is addressed in the manual, since the requirements state that the work of Title II should be carried out through the LEPC.        Marvin Grimes said emergency management has a copy of the manual, and a copy is given to EMS, Sheriff, and City fire department. Kristie Kinney stated that in going through the requirements, she thought that emergency management has probably already addressed the requirement of having a written plan, by what Marvin Grimes had reported at the last meeting, and she questioned whether there was anything needed on the reporting requirements.


Bob Palmer reported that he does the Tier II reporting for Lybarger Oil. Their tanks must be registered with the State of Kansas and they pay a fee to the State. They have tanks in eight different counties, so he has to send a report to every LEPC in every county so that they know what is stored in every tank. Robert Robbins stated that he understands what Kristie Kinney is saying, in that everything is going to emergency management, but the LEPC is not seeing the information. Kristie Kinney agreed and said that it is stated in the LEPC by-laws as one of our responsibilities, as well as in the SARA Title III requirements, which she said was                  Josh DeHoux’s point at the last meeting. She stated that SARA Title III requires the LEPC to prepare a comprehensive hazardous substances emergency response plan. Marvin Grimes stated that he showed the information to Josh DeHoux after the last meeting, and he said there is a copy in dispatch and in the command vehicle. The plan is also on file in emergency management if anyone wants to see it.  J.D. Mersman stated that as far as the Chemical Emergency Response Plan (CERP), it falls back to the Emergency Operations Plan and there are some areas in there where it discusses response to chemical emergencies.


Kristie Kinney reviewed a section of the requirements that provided for reporting schedules of the local facilities. She read the following requirements: Section 302 is a one-time notification to the CEPR, KDHE and the LEPC. Section 304, reports each time a release of a reportable quantity occurs to the LEPC, CEPR, and KDEM. Section 311, requires a one-time submission update only for new chemicals, and report information to CEPR, KDHE, LEPC, and fire department. Section 312, report annually by March 1st, to CEPR, KDHE, LEPC, and fire department. Section 313, report annually by July 1st to EPA and CEPR. She said if someone came and asked her a question on this, she knows emergency management is handling it, but if she was asked a question about it as an LEPC member, she wouldn’t know any details on the plan. She said the plan should be reviewed by the committee so all LEPC members at least understand the plan. J.D. Mersman said any of those questions could be fielded to               Marvin Grimes as the LEPC Information Coordinator. Kristie Kinney stated that under SARA Title III, compliance under Section 303A requires the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to review the plan once a year or more frequently as circumstances change in the community, or at any facility that may require review of the comprehensive hazardous substance emergency response plan. Marvin Grimes said that would be under their operations plan, to which J.D. Mersman agreed and said there is also a subsection that is part of the mitigation plan. Jessie Zillner stated that she thinks that was Josh DeHoux’s question as well, because that is what the LEPC’s were doing at other places he had worked at.


J.D. Mersman stated that he will send out a link to the website, with a password, that has the plan for hazard mitigation in the Emergency Operations Plan, which has to be reviewed again in January. He said that he is confident we are compliant with the requirements, but said emergency management could probably be more proactive with how it is handled. He said what they have reported to the CEPR and KDHE, as far as the LEPC and the emergency management hazmat plan, there have been no red flags with the plan. Kristie Kinney stated that she believes that emergency management is doing what is required on their plan, she said she just believes the step of reviewing the plan with this LEPC committee needs to be done, since the LEPC committee consists of members of the facilities in the community involved in that reporting, so that LEPC member suggestions can be made on the plan. She said she believes that is what the intent is on the SARA Title III requirement.


Marvin Grimes reported that whenever there is a chemical spill, they have to fill out a Form A and submit it to the State. Robert Robbins questioned if that is something that the LEPC needs to be aware of if something like that happens. It was suggested that emergency management could report at the LEPC meetings whenever they have to complete a Form A. Kristie Kinney stated that she believes that the LEPC is required to be a part of the planning process, but not involved in what they are doing during the emergencies. She said the LEPC role should be more of reviewing the emergency management plan and offering outside suggestions to that plan.      Trent McCown stated that it would make the LEPC more aware of what is happening in the County and that there might be an area that we need to look at in the County that is not on the plan. Kristie Kinney stated that the members on this committee, such as Lybarger Oil and Beachner Grain, needs to understand what their role is on the emergency management plan. Emergency Response also needs to understand the plan and what that role is. She said she believes that is what the whole context of the requirement is. Bob Palmer stated that Beachner Grain and Lybarger Oil have connections that they have to call in an emergency spill, besides emergency management. Kristie Kinney said the intent of requiring the LEPC to review the plan, might be similar to the debriefings that are done after an emergency that is used to determine what procedures were done well, and what procedures might need to be improved upon.


J.D. Mersman stated that Josh DeHoux also questioned staggering the officer’s terms of office so that there was no chance of replacing all officers at the same time. The elected positions are: Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary/Treasurer. The Information Coordinator will be appointed by the LEPC.  It was suggested to have the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson term of office expire on alternating years. Marvin Grimes stated that all members are here all the time and so if someone else is elected in, everyone knows what has been going on with the committee. Kristie Kinney agreed and said the outgoing officers are still members and here to help the incoming officers if needed. The consensus was to not change it at this time.


J.D. Mersman reviewed the by-laws on member attendance and if a member misses three meetings without notification, they will be removed from the LEPC and someone else appointed in their place, if possible. Members have been notifying J.D. Mersman or Kristie Kinney if they will be absent. Kristie Kinney reported that she maintains the email notifications that she receives. J.D. Mersman will communicate notifications he has received with Kristie Kinney, in order to maintain a list of those members who are not participating. Marvin Grimes suggested adding a member from Crest School to the committee. Rural water was another area that we need to have represented. J.D. Mersman will send an email to all inactive members to see if they wish to remain on the committee or prefer to appoint someone else from their facility. There are certain positions of membership that are required by the State, which we need to have active members participating in.


J.D. Mersman reported that there are a couple large emergency exercises coming up in the next year or two that we are going to need to start planning for. In January, we have the Emergency Operations Plan to review. In March there will be a table top exercise. 



Marvin Grimes reported that they had a emergency exercise with the high school students a couple of weeks ago. They set up a command center and had the students work in various positions. The Central Heights School Superintendent and three of their teachers were here and worked positions as well.


Marvin Grimes reported that there will be a Code Red class on December 18, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center.


Marvin Grimes reported that there will be a NIMS 300 class on February 12-13, 2013.  The two instructors are from Topeka. One instructor is with Topeka Emergency Management and the other instructor is with the City of Topeka. You must have completed the NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800 classes prior to taking this class. Class availability will be limited to 25-30 participants. The NIMS 400 class is scheduled for February 27-28, 2013. Anyone needing these courses will need to go online to KS Train to register for the classes.


Bob Palmer reported that he is working on an expansion project further northeast for Lybarger Oil. Currently they are in an eight county area. They plan to set up a bulk plant in Franklin County in the Wellsville area to help with deliveries in that area.


J.D. Mersman reported that Miami and Allen County brought their mobile commands in to see how we would set up if we lost the dispatch center.  Jessie Zillner reported that Centurylink is going to move the lines in the basement to the gray box outside so the mobile commands can pull up and just plug in to the phone lines. J.D. Mersman said that Don Nungesser needs to look at emergency management’s mobile command to determine what it needs in order to be able to plug in to the building phone lines as well. Jessie Zillner reported that in the event of an emergency in dispatch, the phone lines automatically roll over to Linn County if they are not answered here. Anderson County does the same for them. Their contingency plan outlines what they need to do. If dispatch has to leave, they will set up in the old ambulance and plug into the outside phone box on the side of the EMS building so they are close to the command center but not in their way. Mike Thweatt said an emergency line should also be ran inside the building in order to allow for the possibility to plug in inside as a backup in case there is a problem getting the mobile command vehicle to the EMS building.


Don Nungesser reported that he got the disaster plan notification information for churches sent to Pastor Phil Rhodes at the Nazarene Church. He said people need to understand that a sheet must be designated with names for disaster notifications that can be easily updated as needed. Once the church board approves the plan he will bring a copy to emergency management.                     J.D. Mersman will check with John Alford to see which church he was working with.


Don Nungesser reported it has been a busy month as coroner. He thanked the people that helped on several of the recent difficult cases.


Jim Johnson reported that County Commissioner Dudley Feuerborn is retiring the first of the year, after serving for 24 years. Jerry Howarter will be the new County Commissioner.


Mike Thweatt reported that there were no major accidents over Thanksgiving. The highway patrol went online yesterday with DigiTICKET, a new computer based ticket writing system. Warnings and tickets will be issued with this system. He said a warning and a ticket look a lot alike and there is one location on the ticket that indicates whether it is a warning or a ticket. Anything that will go to the County Attorney will still be filled out as a hard copy, like has done previously. Once a ticket is issued, it is submitted from the car to the district court. If a ticket is issued, the county attorney may or may not be aware of the ticket, depending upon whether he will have access to the system.


Trent McCown reported that it is deer season now. There have been many deer hit by vehicles this year.


Chris Rush reported that she followed up with the school health nurse, Mrs. Marcia Peine, and confirmed with her that all of the children were given water bottles at the start of the year and were encouraged to have those in the classrooms. According to Mrs. Peine, the students are allowed to have the water bottles in the classrooms and staff cleans the water fountains three times per day at the schools. Chris Rush said she told her that she had been informed that the students were not allowed to have the water bottles in the classrooms. Mrs. Peine will check with the principal to verify, but said she was under the impression that they were allowed to have the water bottles, filled with only water, in the rooms.


Chris Rush reported that Little People’s Learning Center does frequent cleanings of the water fountains. They encourage the parents to not take their kids to LPLC if they are ill.


Chris Rush reported that there have been several positive cases of flu at the hospital. The flue cases are on people who were not vaccinated this year. There have been five pneumonia cases, and one was 45-years old, so it is in younger people this year. The pertussis (whooping cough) has slacked off after public education and people got vaccinated. Family Care Center (FCC) and the hospital still have plenty of flu vaccine available.


Kristie Kinney reported that the newsletter will be going out in a few weeks and she will have information in the newsletter on the Code Red sign up for texting now being available.


Kristie Kinney reported that at the last meeting it was questioned whether the fire department would be included in the City employee recreation center memberships. She said no decision has been made on that yet. Several businesses are starting to cover their employee’s usage of the recreation center in conjunction with the hospital’s wellness initiative, including the hospital, County, City, and the Thrift Shop. There have been several donations of equipment at the recreation center.


Kristie Kinney reported that at the League of Kansas Municipalities Conference in Topeka, in October, Governor Brownback challenged cities and counties to join him in forming teams for a weight loss challenge to get healthier. She said State employees who participate will be offered prizes and he encouraged all communities to do the same thing.


J.D. Mersman reported that City fire department will be in the 500 block of East Fourth all day Saturday for fire training, using a smoke machine to fill a house with smoke, across the street from St. Rose School. They will begin at 8:00 a.m.


J.D. Mersman reported that the City fire department chili/soup supper was a success and a good community event. The fire department is starting a new recruit class after the first of the year and two or three members will be starting their probationary period. The department still has a couple of spots available. If anyone knows anyone interested in being on the department they should contact the City fire department or City Hall.


J.D. Mersman asked everyone to go on the link he provided and review the Emergency Operations Plan for the committee to review at the next meeting. We’ll talk about our roles and the EOP which will take care of our exercise for the first of the 2013 year.






The next meeting will be January 24, 2012 at the Law Enforcement Center. There being no further business, a motion was made by Mike Thweatt, seconded by Chris Rush to adjourn at 11:44 a.m. Motion passed.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kristina L. Kinney, Secretary