Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), and the fire departments that conduct emergency planning face a vitally important task that is typically underfunded, and often not fully implemented. Having the best planning will not be particularly helpful if the right information is not available to the responders on the scene. When used, the BOLDER software provides an opportunity to have all of the related facility chemical and emergency planning information available to responders at the scene, along with the specific facility data to maximize the efficiency of the response. This helps protect life and property.
Planning for chemical emergencies is more than just preparing a written plan. Planning is a process, not a product. One of the problems and temptations in emergency planning is the tendency to use other emergency plans as a boilerplate. Copying someone else's homework looks good until you fail the test. Boilerplate emergency plans may look nice and complete, but if they skip the actual planning process, they don't help.
There is a concern nationally that LEPCs and SERCs are not meeting their planning mandate. There has not been the broad-based improvement in planning assumed in SARA Title III. As consolidated reporting becomes a reality, using the One-Stop Guidance and the BOLDER software, some aspects of the planning process, the gathering of facility data, will be streamlined. But actual effective emergency planning will require a more active training management role by the lead agencies at the state level.