U.S. EPA Initiates Work to Remove Asbestos-Contaminated Debris at Fire-Damaged Properties

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — As part of the multi-agency response to the recent fires in Northern California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started work to remove asbestos-contaminated debris at fire-damaged properties in Lake and Mendocino counties. This work follows the completion of household hazardous waste (HHW) collection and disposal conducted by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently requested EPA conduct this work. EPA teams have started work in the area this week, developing a plan for removal operations and beginning bulk asbestos debris collection. Asbestos removal can take anywhere from several hours to a few days depending on the size of the property.

Following a natural disaster, homeowners may need to quickly conduct emergency renovations or demolition of their homes. Many homes, particularly older ones, may contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. Asbestos that has been disturbed may pose a health hazard to homeowners and to workers aiding with disaster recovery.

EPA is also continuing asbestos removal at fire-impacted parcels Napa and Sonoma counties, where household hazardous waste collection is nearly complete.

For additional information on EPA’s response activities, please visit: www.epa.gov/norcalfireresponse

 

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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