IEPCRS Application for Initial Application for Reentry Credentials
Pursuant to section 418.108 of the Texas Government Code (the authorization to call for mandatory evacuation by a county judge or mayor) by the Texas Legislature, Harris County recognized the need for industrial essential personnel to have the ability to legally stay in a mandatory evacuation area within Harris County for the purpose of riding-out a major storm when it's safe to do so. It also recognized a need for the legal reentry of industry essential personnel into a mandatory evacuation area when they evacuated because it was not safe to stay due to the intensity of a major storm, or some other event required the evacuation of the area. In this case, early reentry by industry essential personnel is important to assure their facility does not have a situation causing the release of hazardous materials to the ground, water, or air that will have a negative impact on the area and regional recovery process. In response to this need, Harris County, in cooperation with many Offices of Emergency Management, Industry, and Law Enforcement agencies, has developed the Industrial Essential Personnel Credentialing and Reentry System (IEPCRS). Industrial essential personnel are meant to provide an initial response with the intent to secure, assess for environmental hazards, and prevent further damage to a facility or impact area. In the event of an emergency evacuation, those manning roadblocks will be informed that designated industrial essential personnel holding the IEPCRS credential should be allowed freedom of movement for emergency purposes.
Industrial Essential Personnel Criteria
In order to be considered industrial essential personnel, and be eligible for the IEPCRS reentry credential, the following criteria must be met:
- The facility applying for credentials must store or manufacture hazardous materials.
- The credential assignee must have a necessity to respond to the applying industrial facility for the purpose of (all of the following):
- Securing the facility property
- Assessing for potential airborne and waterborne chemical hazards to fence-line neighbors or other neighboring jurisdictions
- Mitigating problems resulting from an event requiring area evacuation.
IEPCRS Guidelines for Industry
The applying industrial facility shall abide by the following system guidelines, which are necessary to maintain the integrity of the system:
- Each facility location shall be considered a separate entity.
- A facility’s industrial essential personnel shall not exceed 10% of their total number of facility employees. Exceptions to the 10% limit require the approval of the IEPCRS Administration Committee.
- Each Office of Emergency Management (OEM) having jurisdiction over a facility shall have the authority to approve or disapprove the IEPCRS credentialing of said facility in addition to Harris County.
- The IEPCRS credential is valid only for the assigned holder. The IEPCRS credential will not allow family members or other parties who may have accompanied the holder during the evacuation to reenter the evacuated area.
- Industrial essential personnel are meant to stay in a facility during a mandatory evacuation or provide an initial response to assess for hazards and prevent further damage to a facility or environmental impact to the area. These personnel shall not utilize the IEPCRS credential to reenter the evacuated area for the purpose of beginning major repairs or restarting the facility.
- The applicant of each facility shall implement and maintain accurate records of all facility personnel who are issued credentials.
- Industrial facilities who reenter an impact area and locate unsafe environments shall immediately communicate the information to responsible agencies within their political jurisdiction
IEPCRS Contact Information
For questions or additional information please contact:
Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management