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EPA Provided Support to FEMA, USACE, and State and Local Partners in the Ongoing Joint Response to the Fires (Article and Videos)

On October 8, 2017, fires began burning in multiple counties of Northern California. EPA has provided support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and state and local partners in the ongoing joint response to the fires.

Mendocino and Lake counties

In mid-November 2017, FEMA asked EPA to conduct asbestos removal for impacted parcels in Lake and Mendocino counties. EPA began work on November 27 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify and remove parcels with asbestos-containing materials.

Napa and Sonoma counties

EPA led the survey, collection and disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) at nearly 7,000 residential and commercial parcels affected by the fires in Sonoma and Napa counties. This work cleared the way for proper removal of ash and debris, allowing the rebuilding process to begin. EPA also removed asbestos from burned properties, and collected and disposed of hazardous drums and containers.

HHW includes leftover household products that can catch fire, react, or explode under certain circumstances, or that are corrosive or toxic. Products such as paints, cleaners, solvents, oils, batteries, herbicides and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special handling and disposal.

By late November 2017, EPA had completed removal of HHW at more than 98% of fire-affected parcels in Napa and Sonoma counties.

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