Disaster Preparedness and Response Archives
2003 Southern California Wildfires
As the Southern California wildfires emergency moved into the recovery phase, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, now called California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and local enforcement agencies (LEA) intensified preparations to assist local governments with debris management and disposal, household hazardous waste collection and storage, and ash cleanup and disposal.
- Debris Management. Including information on emergency waivers, facilities, and recyclers.
- Waste Tracking. Information for local jurisdictions about deducting disaster waste tonnage from annual reports to the CalRecycle.
- Guidance Documents. Useful documents from the CalRecycle, other CalEPA agencies, the County of San Diego, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Contacts (CalRecycle and local)
- Information for Individuals. How to get assistance through FEMA, as well as debris management information.
- CalEPA Wildfire Recovery Site. Links to additional information on other environmental issues.
Proclamations of Emergency were issued by local, state and federal governments in the following counties:
- Los Angeles
- San Bernardino
- San Diego
Guidance on disaster debris management, including selecting and securing temporary storage sites, is available in Local Enforcement Agency Advisory #43--Disaster Assistance, as well as in the Disaster Plan. LEA Advisory #43 also contains guidance on financial and technical assistance, as well as information to collect for the CalRecycle.
Emergency Waiver of Standards. LEAs in the above and surrounding counties have already issued emergency waivers of standards for solid waste handling and disposal, and more waiver requests are pending. The processing of waiver requests appears to be running smoothly; however, should it be needed, guidance on the issuance of emergency waivers is available in LEA Advisory #41--Emergency Waiver of Standards.
Solid Waste Facilities. The following documents list names, locations, and contact information for facilities and operations in California. If the LEA has issued a permit waiver, or a waiver is pending, they are identified (shaded cells). Note: Updated Dec. 17, 2003
- Landfills, Southern California: Excel, 43 KB | PDF, 20 KB
- Transfer Stations, Southern California: Excel, 75 KB | PDF, 34 KB
Household Hazardous Waste Facilities. This document lists all the active permanent and temporary HHW collection programs and their contacts. They take most HHW waste with some restrictions. It also includes "Recycle Only Waste" drop off location and contacts (batteries, oil, oil filters, latex paint, antifreeze, and other universal waste).
- Household Hazardous Waste Facilities: PDF, 248 KB
Auto Dismantling and Recycling
- Auto Scrap Recyclers (SIC Code 5093): Excel, 245 KB
- Auto Parts Recyclers (SIC Code 5015): Excel, 427 KB
Jurisdictions may deduct disaster waste tonnage in their annual reports to the Board, so that it will not negatively impact their solid waste diversion rates. In order for jurisdictions to be able to claim this disposal reduction, it is very important that disaster waste be tracked at disposal facilities.
Disaster waste needs to be tracked separately. For each disaster waste load received, facilities need to record the tons by jurisdiction. Applicable jurisdictions will need to be able to obtain an accounting that shows how much disaster waste originated from their jurisdiction. If this data is not tracked in this manner, it is very difficult for jurisdictions to substantiate a disposal reduction and thus, negatively impacts their ability to achieve their mandated diversion goals.
Local government and emergency personnel have the most specific knowledge of areas that burned and facilities that are�or soon will be�receiving disaster waste. We ask that you assist us in notifying all applicable facilities regarding these record-keeping needs.
Please contact Charlotte Sabeh, Disposal Reporting Coordinator at (916) 341-6214 if you have questions on tracking disaster waste.
- Local Enforcement Agency Advisory #43--Disaster Assistance. Guidance on disaster debris management, including selecting and securing temporary storage sites.
- Local Enforcement Agency Advisory #41--Emergency Waiver of Standards. Guidance on the issuance of emergency waivers.
- Integrated Waste Management
Disaster Plan. The Board's 1997 plan contains information and case studies that can assist
local governments in recovery efforts.
--The Executive Summary includes checklists that direct you to the information on pertinent topics.
--Chapter 4 includes information on temporary storage and waivers.
--Chapter 5 contains information on and examples of debris management contracts.
--Chapter 17 includes case studies of the 1991 Oakland Fire and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake debris management programs and examples of ordinances and contracts used to manage the debris.
- County of San Diego Debris Removal and Recycling Programs for the 2003 Cedar and Paradise Fires: Final Report (PDF, 733 KB) | Appendices to final report (PDF, 240 KB)
Note: FEMA reimbursement requirements may have changed since the CalRecycle's Disaster Plan was adopted. Please go to the FEMA Web site for up-to-date information on reimbursement requirements.
- Asbestos-Containing Ash and Disaster Debris. Solid waste landfills accepting ash or other disaster debris that contains greater than 1 percent friable asbestos by weight that are not already permitted to accept such waste must obtain an emergency waiver specific to this waste type pursuant to the procedure set forth in California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Division 7, Chapter 3, Article 3. Where the Enforcement Agency has issued a waiver, the ash or debris containing greater than 1 percent friable asbestos should be handled in accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 17897.18 "Design and Operating Requirements" for solid waste facilities that dispose of asbestos-containing waste.
Other CalEPA Boards, Departments, and Offices
- Handling Ash, Debris and other Hazardous Materials from Burned Structures (PDF, 43 KB). Emergency Guidance Document #1, Department of Toxic Substances Control, November 3, 2003
- Interim Recommendations for Disposal of Animal Carcasses Associated with Fires (DF, 165 KB). State Water Resources Control Board, November 1, 2003
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Affected local governments in the five designated counties may be eligible to receive up to 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal and emergency protective measures that were undertaken in response to the fires. The emergency declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
FEMA brochures and information on specific disaster debris issues are located at the following sites:
- Debris Removal Information
- Debris Management Brochure
- Fact Sheet: Debris Operations-Clarification: Emergency Contracting vs. Emergency Work
- Disposing of Debris and Removing Hazardous Waste
- Demolition of Private and Public Facilities
- Debris Removal Starts with Property Owner
- Public Assistance Disaster Guidance: Debris Eligibility (PDF, 11 KB)
- CalRecycle Office of Local Assistance Contacts. The Board's Office of Local Assistance staff can help local governments to locate disaster debris processors and example disaster debris contracts and ordinances.
- Local Enforcement Agency Directory. Find out who the LEA is for your area.
- CalRecycle Permitting and Enforcement Contacts. Staff contacts for local enforcement agency reference.