The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week began to assess and remove household hazardous waste from fire-damaged properties as part of the interagency response to the Woolsey and Hill fires in Southern California.
DTSC’s Emergency Response team dispatched crews to clean up properties in Los Angeles County where a greater number of structures were damaged or destroyed. EPA has dispatched hazmat crews to Ventura County and will eventually join DTSC to complete the cleanup in Los Angeles County.
The teams will handle the removal of household hazardous waste (HHW), including compressed gas cylinders, pool chemicals, bulk pesticides, and batteries. These activities protect the public and environment and allow other agencies to begin the process of removing solid waste, debris and ash from the properties.
DTSC is authorized to conduct the cleanup under a direction from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) pursuant to the Governor’s Disaster Declaration. EPA’s work is authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In the past year, DTSC has been called on to remove HHW from properties damaged by fires throughout the state. The Department led efforts to remove HHW after the Thomas Fire in Ventura County in the Fall 2017 (HHW removed from 1,001 properties), the Carr Fire in Shasta County in July 2018 (1,171 properties), the Pawnee Fire in Lake County in July 2018 (21 properties) and the Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County in July 2018 (60 properties). In 2017, EPA was called in to remove HHW from over 6,500 properties in Napa and Sonoma counties.
To learn more, please visit DTSC’s Wildfire Household Hazardous Waste Removal: https://dtsc.ca.gov/SiteCleanup/ERP/wildfire-waste-removal.cfm
For more information on past wildfire recovery efforts led by Cal OES, please visit: http://wildfirerecovery.org/