Análisis crítico sobre el funcionamiento de la comisión estatal y los comités locales para la planificación de respuesta a emergencias ambientales en Puerto Rico
In the United Sates and Puerto Rico, as well as in other countries, environmental emergencies occur where public health, properties and the environment are at risk. The government has established various laws related to environmental emergencies, such as the Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act or EPCRA. One of EPCRA's provisions is the creation of a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) in each state to understand chemical hazards in the community, develop emergency plans in case of an accidental release, and look for ways to prevent chemical accidents. The purpose of this research is to determine if the emergency planning in Puerto Rico is effective, as required by federal law. The methodology used is divided in three parts: State Emergency Response Commission and Local Emergency Planning Committees documentation revision, evaluation instruments answered by personnel related to the SERC and LEPC's and interviews. Governmental, internal and external factors where found to have an affect on the effectiveness of the SERC and LPEC's. Changes in elected governments, lack of community support, no risk assessment performed, poor member participation, lack of planning resources and lack of funding are factors that prevent SERC and LEPC's from fulfilling the law requirements. Changes in the State Commission Presidency, establish education and experience requirements to the State Commission and local Committees members, and impose a charge to the submission of the EPCRA annual reports are some of the recommendations presented that can be implemented by the SERC and LEPC's to complete their assigned tasks and accomplish the requirements stated by law.
0768: Environmental science