E-Plan Response Tool Losing Funding

E-Plan Response Tool Losing Funding

Many of you may know, some may not, but we are about to lose a significant response tool in South Carolina. Several years ago S.C. DHEC began utilizing the E-Plan database to manage facility Tier II chemical information. E-Plan was a project created by the University of Dallas at Texas and fully funded by DHS in 2008. Prior to the implementation of this resource in S.C., state and local government responders had to intake and manage thousands of pages of facility information that typically never made into the hands of first responders. Utilizing E-Plan, facilities were able to submit their required information electronically into a secure web-based program that gave local responders immediate access to time critical information in the field. Information available from the program included facility site data, contact information, chemical hazards, storage quantities, weather and mapping tools. Users also had the ability to quickly export this information to integrate into third party software such as CAMEO, WISER and PEAC.  I hope you understand how critical this information is to every first responder. This program’s funding was recently cut by DHS, which means it will not be available after August 1, 2013.

Responders in S.C. need this capability. I spoke with mangers of E-Plan, and they state there is no avenue for permanent funding on their end and they don’t anticipate the program “being saved.” Representatives from DHEC are beginning to research other databases that are capable of managing the information and support the needs of first responders. They hope to have an answer by January 1. We have asked to be included in the research of new products. The big issue is that there is no funding to implement a new database if one is found. There are several options for funding that others have implemented to make the programs self-sustaining.

I encourage all users (and those who are not) to log into E-Plan and download as much of your local information as possible prior to August 1. This will give you the ability to use the excel downloads as you see fit locally. We will continue to work closely with DHEC to find a solution to ensure responders have access to time critical chemical information in their area.  Have a safe weekend. CVK


Charles King

HazMat Response Committee Chair

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