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Audit Audit of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

This audit, which examined the period of July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018, calls on MEMA to do more to ensure cities and towns are prepared to respond to chemical emergencies.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: February 27, 2020

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for the period July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. In this performance audit, we determined whether MEMA met all of its responsibilities under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) (Chapter 116 of Title 42 of the United States Code) and other applicable authoritative guidance.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1a

MEMA did not establish emergency planning committees (EPCs) for all cities and towns with businesses storing hazardous chemicals that are subject to reporting under EPCRA.

Finding 1b

MEMA could not demonstrate that it received and reviewed each local or regional emergency planning committee’s emergency response plan.

Recommendations

  1. MEMA should identify where EPCs should be established and should establish them.
  2. MEMA should establish policies and procedures for reviewing emergency response plans and retaining documentation to substantiate this review.

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