State, Federal Program Begins Wildfire Debris Removal Process
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), along with FEMA and county officials, will begin Phase I of a two-phase debris removal process for the areas affected by the Camp and Woolsey fires today. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and CalRecycle are leading the survey, collection and disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) at approximately 18,000 properties affected by the Camp Fire in the Town of Paradise and surrounding Butte County, as well as approximately 1,500 properties affected by the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. This phase of the clean-up process is at no cost to the property owners.
Household hazardous waste includes everyday products like paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides, which may pose a threat to human health, animals and the environment. Pressurized fuel cylinders can also pose a threat and will be removed. Following a fire, these products require special handling and disposal, especially if their containers are compromised. There will also be a slightly different process to identify and remove empty containers and tanks. Phase I will also include removal of easily identifiable materials suspected to contain asbestos.
An Executive Order issued November 14th by the Governor Edmund G. Brown provides EPA and DTSC the authority to access properties to protect public health, animals and the environment from these threats. This work will clear the way for proper removal of ash and debris, allowing the rebuilding process to begin. EPA and DTSC will ONLY remove household hazardous waste. If firearms or suspected remains are found, EPA and DTSC will immediately stop work and contact the County Sheriff. No other items will be removed. Phase I is being conducted at no cost to property owners. Officials plan to complete the process by the end of February in affected Southern California areas, and by the end of June for those in Northern California.
To learn more about the Butte County debris removal process please click here Phase I factsheet.
For more information from relevant agencies, visit: