News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: August 4, 2016
Release #2016-17
For more information contact:
Lance Klug

SACRAMENTO--The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has begun preparing for debris removal operations at Kern County properties damaged by the 48,019-acre Erskine Fire. California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s Office of Emergency Services tasked CalRecycle with the design, implementation, and oversight of the cleanup program for at least 293 eligible sites.

“The people who lost their homes to the Erskine Fire can trust CalRecycle has the expertise, resources, and unwavering commitment to clear these properties and make them safe for families again,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “We’re proud to work alongside our state and local partners on this recovery effort to ensure our fellow Californians can begin to rebuild as soon as possible.”

In the coming days, technicians and engineers with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will complete household hazardous waste sweeps on affected properties, removing things like batteries, used oil, and other chemicals. Homeowners who wish to participate in CalRecycle’s Debris Removal Assistance Program should return right-of-entry forms to the Kern County Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Division so CalRecycle and its contractors can begin debris removal operations. Cleanup will proceed as follows:

Order of OperationsCleanup Process
1) Site DocumentationMeasure and record foundation, structures, debris, utility infrastructure, and property-specific hazards
2) Site Testing and AnalysisObtain and evaluate soil samples to establish cleanup goals for the project; identify and remove asbestos-containing materials
3) Debris RemovalRemove metals and concrete for recycling, ash and contaminated soil for disposal
4) Soil GradingScrape and remove contaminated soil and smooth ground surface
5) Confirmation SamplingSample and analyze soil, compare results to cleanup goals
6) Erosion ControlImplement storm water best management practices to control sediment runoff and promote vegetation growth

Those who wish to conduct their own cleanup may do so, but should be aware of all safety and environmental standards and requirements. Kern County will have guidelines available for residents who wish to pursue this option.

CalRecycle has established a Debris Recovery Operations Center at 5540-E3 Lake Isabella Drive in Lake Isabella. The Erskine Fire Debris Removal Assistance Program will be funded with an $18.75 million grant from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act.

CalRecycle Logo
Home Page | CalRecycle Blog | News Releases | Public Meetings | Climate Investments | Organics | Bottles and Cans
CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.