The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will begin to assess and remove household hazardous waste from burned properties in Paradise and Butte County, California, with assistance from the state Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) as part of the interagency response to the Camp Fire.
EPA and DTSC will consolidate and dispose of materials including paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides. Fuel from pressurized cylinders and tanks will be removed, and tanks will be marked for The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to collect. Following a fire, the EPA says these products require special handling and disposal, particularly if their containers are compromised. These efforts will reduce potential threats to public health and safety and allow other agencies to remove solid waste, debris and ash in the affected areas.
EPA’s work is authorized by a Federal Emergency Management Agency-issued federal disaster declaration mission assignment for wildfire operations and recovery. DTSC’s work is authorized by a California Office of Emergency Services-issued mission pursuant to the Governor’s Disaster Declaration.
Specifically, EPA and DTSC’s response activities involve:
- Assessment, survey and collection of household hazardous waste at over 18,000 properties in the Town of Paradise and Butte County.
- Coordinating the safe removal, transport and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous debris with the Town of Paradise, Butte County, FEMA, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and CalRecycle.
For additional information on the recovery efforts in the Town of Paradise and Butte County visit https://buttecountyrecovers.org/.