California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA Advisory #43—August 29, 1997

Disaster Assistance

To All Local Enforcement Agencies:

The purpose of this LEA Advisory is to identify the assistance the California Integrated Waste Management Board (Board) can provide to Local Enforcement Agencies (LEA) before, during, and after a Federal, State, or locally declared state of emergency (or disaster).

Board Disaster-Related Assistance

Board staff can provide assistance before, during, and after declared states of emergency (or disasters) in a variety of ways to enable the LEAs to more effectively respond to disasters.

Disaster Preparedness

Board staff has prepared the Integrated Waste Management Disaster Plan - Guidance for local government on disaster debris management. The plan is designed to provide guidance and assistance to the disaster preparedness planning efforts of local government. Its primary purpose is to assist local jurisdictions in writing disaster debris management plans for their communities and to encourage the establishment of diversion programs for the debris generated after disasters. To this end, the plan provides an overview of the debris management issues that an emergency manager will face after a disaster and highlights those diversion programs that have been proven to be successful.

Of primary importance to LEAs are the sections concerning temporary storage sites and household hazardous waste. The first section discusses the need for temporary storage sites and the criteria to use in selecting such sites. While the plan emphasizes the advantages of securing temporary storage sites prior to a disaster, the emergency waiver of standards can provide some additional options in establishing temporary storage sites. If authorized by a LEA, an emergency waiver of standards can be granted to a solid waste facility operator to establish a locally approved temporary transfer or processing site in the event of a proclamation of a state of emergency. A separate advisory discussing the issuance of emergency waivers of standards has been issued.

The purpose of the household hazardous waste (HHW) section is to provide assistance to local jurisdictions in developing a disaster plan for the collection of HHW to minimize potential public health and safety impacts as well as to minimize costs and confusion.

Copies of the plan can be obtained by contacting the Board’s Office of Local Assistance at (916) 341-6253.

Financial Assistance

While the Board does not provide financial assistance to LEAs for disaster-related expenses, reimbursement for disaster-related expenses is available, under certain conditions, from both the Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reimbursement generally requires documentation of staff time and materials expenditures. More information on record keeping requirements and other conditions may be obtained from the State Office of Emergency Services at (916) 364-2044 for Northern California or (818) 440-2144 for Southern California or your local Office of Emergency Services delegate.

Technical Assistance

The Board’s Permitting and Enforcement (P&E) Division staff can provide assistance in assessing landfill damage and providing recommendations for the repair of damage. Particular areas of Board expertise include, but are not limited to slope stability and failure, seismic damage, severe erosion due to drainage and flooding problems, gas system failures, landfill fires, alternative daily cover options, and emergency construction contracts and oversight of construction.

Board staff can also assist LEAs in conducting joint site inspections of solid waste facilities to determine disaster-related damage. These inspections are coordinated through the Board’s solid waste facility inspection coordinator. The inspection coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating Board staff field inspections of solid waste facilities within the area affected by the disaster. As part of this task the coordinator establishes communications with LEAs and Board staff to secure local facility damage estimates and requests LEA and other agency assistance in conducting emergency inspections of solid waste facilities within their jurisdictions. The inspection coordinator can be contacted at (916) 341-6406.

Permitting and Enforcement Division staff is also available to meet with LEA staff to explore options for waivers of permit conditions and/or State minimum standards to assist in the handling and disposal of the increased and diversified waste stream as the result of the disaster. LEA Advisory No. 41 provides general and step-by-step guidance on the emergency waiver of standards regulations and their applicability to disaster-related waste handling and disposal concerns, issues, and options.

Other Assistance

Additional assistance Board staff can provide is the rescheduling of Board training missed due to disaster-related activities of the LEA. Also, based on disaster-related information, supplemental training may be developed.

A non-exhaustive listing of available disaster-related Board assistance, including contact persons and telephone numbers, is included as Attachment A. However, please note that this assistance is not limited to the time period of the declared state of emergency but is also available before and after disaster-related activities.

Board Information Needs

As part of its particular role during emergency operations, the Board is required to locate and assess the amount of damage to facilities under Board jurisdiction (i.e., solid waste facilities) and report this information to the Office of Emergency Services as soon as possible. In an effort to facilitate the collection of this information, LEAs are faxed at the beginning of each disaster an "LEA Disaster Advisory" (Attachment B).

When assessing the condition of solid waste facilities after a disaster a number of issues need to be considered including:

  • Are there any landfill or other solid waste facility closures in your area? If so, which ones, why were they closed, and what are the consequences?
  • Have any emergency waiver of standards been issued (14 CCR 17210 et seq.)? If so, which specific standards and conditions were waived and for which facilities?
  • Are there any significant or unusual landfills or other solid waste facility problems in your area (gas, leachate, etc.) as a result of the disaster? If so, which landfill or solid waste facilities and what is the problem?
  • Are there any waste handling backlogs and/or hazardous waste concerns?
  • Are there other waste-related incidents?

The consideration of the above questions/issues will greatly assist Board staff in providing accurate disaster-related damage reports to the Office of Emergency Services and in determining the necessity of emergency inspections.

Should you have any questions or comments concerning this advisory, please contact Michael B. Wochnick at (916) 341-6318.

Sincerely,

Original signed by:

Deputy Director
Permitting and Enforcement Division

Attachments

Attachment A

Attachment B

Publication #232-97-016

The intent of the advisories is to provide guidance to Local Enforcement Agencies (LEA) in performing their duties. Guidance, for this purpose, is defined as providing explanation of the Board’s regulations and statutes.

Unless included by reference in the LEA's Enforcement Program Plan (EPP), advisories are not enforceable in the same manner as regulations because they have not been adopted through the formal rulemaking process (see Government Code sections 11340.5 and 11342.6). Advisories do not take precedence over statute or regulation.

Please note: These LEA advisories are retained for historical purposes. Over time, some information and links on these pages may become dated and/or inaccurate.

LEA Advisories, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/LEA/Advisories/
Martin Perez: Martin Perez (916) 323-0834