Santa Clara County Hazardous Waste and Debris Removal and Mandatory Cleanup Deadlines and Requirements

From: “Toma, Louay” <Louay.Toma@oem.sccgov.org>
Date: November 25, 2020 at 8:52:19 PM PST
To: Louay Toma <louay.toma@sccfd.org>
Subject: Debris removal email notice for property owners

Good Evening

The Department of Environmental Health would like to share the following information with owners of private property that may have been impacted by the SCU Lightning Complex Fires (“Fires”).  They are providing an update on the status of hazardous waste and debris removal cleanup in Santa Clara County, as well as mandatory cleanup deadlines and requirements.

The Department of Environmental Health would like to share the following information with owners of private property that may have been impacted by the SCU Lightning Complex Fires (“Fires”).  They are providing an update on the status of hazardous waste and debris removal cleanup in Santa Clara County, as well as mandatory cleanup deadlines and requirements.

Please read this information and at the end there’s a link to a zip file with various documents and forms from Santa Clara County that you can download.

Phase 1 Household Hazardous Waste Removal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently performing Phase 1 removal of household hazardous waste from fire-affected properties. If your property has structures that were damaged or destroyed in the Fires, but has not yet undergone Phase 1 household hazardous waste cleanup, please contact the U.S. EPA Hotline immediately at (415) 793-8794 regarding EPA access to your property. You will not be charged for Phase 1 household hazardous waste removal.  For a map showing the completion status of affected properties, click here.

Phase 2 Debris Removal Programs

Once your property has been cleared of household hazardous waste, it is time to start preparing for Phase 2. This phase includes the removal of all remaining ash and debris from fire-damaged or destroyed structures, as well as removal of Hazard Trees (trees that are so severely damaged by the Fires that they threaten the safety of work crews, obstruct access to the debris clearance site, or threaten public health or safety due to risk of falling onto a public right-of-way or public infrastructure). Owners of all private property in Santa Clara County with ash or debris from fire-damaged structures or Hazard Trees are required to apply for Phase 2 debris removal by December 15, 2020.

The County is offering two ways for property owners to undertake Phase 2 debris removal. You can either:

  1. Participate in the publicly-funded Consolidated Debris Removal Program operated by the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) in conjunction with other State and Federal agencies.  Through this program, wildfire ash and debris are removed and disposed of at no direct cost to residential property owners.  You must submit a Right of Entry Form to the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) by December 15, 2020 to enroll in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program.  Participation in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program is strongly encouraged, as debris is removed at no direct cost to property owners. Debris removal through this program is expected to begin in early December 2020.
  2. Participate in the Private Contractor Debris Removal Program where you may choose your own licensed contractor(s) and perform debris removal at your own expense, subject to County oversight and approval.   To apply, you must submit the County of Santa Clara Private Contractor Debris Removal Program Application and Workplan to the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) by December 15, 2020.  You will not be reimbursed with public funds for any portion of remediation or debris removal work conducted through the Private Contractor Debris Removal Program.

Alternatively, property owners may apply to DEH for a Conditional Exemption from the Private Contractor Debris Removal Program.  An exemption is only available to properties where fire debris is limited to fences, non-structural wood materials, and non-residential structures less than 120 square feet that did not contain hazardous substances, such as paint, fuels, oils, pesticides, herbicides, propane, or asbestos.  Additional exemptions may be granted on a case by case basis for non-residential structures greater than 120 square feet that did not contain any hazardous materials and pose a minimal risk to human health and the environment.  Property owners who have received a conditional exemption for their parcel are not required to complete a Private Contractor Program Application and Workplan for that parcel.

Please visit www.EHInfo.org/FireDebris to access resources on the publicly-funded Consolidated Debris Removal Program, including the Right of Entry Form, an eligibility matrix, and an FAQ document that answers questions about eligibility, costs, insurance, and more.   The website has also been updated with resources for the Private Contractor Debris Removal Program, including the Application, Workplan Template, Conditional Exemption Application, and Conditional Exemption requirements.  These forms have also been attached to this email.  Return your completed form(s) by December 15, 2020 to Department of Environmental Health – Debris Removal at 1555 Berger Drive #300, San Jose, CA 95112, or by email to DEHWildfire@cep.sccgov.org.

DEH will promptly review submitted documents starting Monday, November 30.  Please do not begin removing ash and debris from fire-damaged structures until you have submitted your application and received approval from DEH.  Building permits for repair and reconstruction of structures will not be issued until debris removal on your property has been completed and it has been deemed safe for rebuilding.

Disposal of Fire Debris

The County has received reports that Santa Clara County residents have attempted to dispose of fire debris at landfills outside the County, including the Stanislaus County Fink Road Landfill.  Please be advised that landfills in Stanislaus County are only accepting fire debris from properties within Stanislaus County.  For properties that participate in the Consolidated Debris Removal Program, fire debris will be disposed of for you at no charge.  For properties that participate in the Private Contractor Program or have an approved Conditional Exemption, please dispose of structural fire debris at one of the following solid waste facilities once you have obtained an approved Workplan or Conditional Exemption.

  • Kirby Canyon Landfill – 910 Coyote Creek Golf Drive, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
  • Newby Island Landfill – 1601 Dixon Landing Road, Milpitas, CA 95035
  • Guadalupe Landfill – 15999 Guadalupe Mines Rd, San Jose, CA 95120

Further Information

For additional information on debris removal programs and requirements, including answers to frequently asked questions, please visit www.EHInfo.org/DebrisREmoval.  If you have further questions, please contact DEH at (408) 918-3411 or by email at DEHWildfire@cep.sccgov.org.  The County understands that losses from the wildfires have been devastating, and we are here to help.

Click here to download Santa Clara County debris removal documents

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