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County testing hazardous material response

It is only a test.

The Lawrence County Emergency Planning Committee will test the county’s hazardous materials plan during a drill Saturday, June 13, in Coal Grove.

By law, Ohio LEPCs are required to test their emergency plans at least once a year and the drill must involve a simulated hazardous material release from either a facility that stores or uses a hazardous chemical or from a transportation mishap on a highway, railway, waterway or in the air. The idea is to see how prepared Lawrence County emergency responders are should they ever face a large-scale crisis of that nature.

“It’s a practice session in case the real thing happens,” LEPC Planning and Exercise Sub-committee Chairman Charlie Callicoat explained. “It also provides a good training opportunity for response agencies to work together in a no-fault environment. An exercise like this gives us a chance to identify strengths and weaknesses in planning and response in a controlled setting.”

A number of emergency and government agencies are expected to take part, as well as amateur “ham” radio volunteers and the American Red Cross. The exercise will be 9 a.m.-1 p.m.