Debris Removal Process
The Sonoma County Consolidated Fire Debris Removal Program has two phases: removal of household hazardous waste and removal of other fire-related debris.
Phase I: Household Hazardous Waste Removal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will inspect your property and remove any Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, asbestos siding, and paints. Review the progress of Phase I. Phase I of the Program is required for all residential properties.
Phase II: Debris Removal and Property Clean-up
- Option 1: Sonoma County Consolidated Debris Removal Program
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials are coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct fire-related debris removal from your property. This will include removal of all burnt debris, foundations, hazardous trees, and some soil to ensure the site is clean and safe for building. Phase II debris removal by USACE is optional. (DEADLINE FOR OPTION 1 HAS PASSED) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District (USACE) has established a Debris Removal Information Line for property owners affected by last year’s devastating wildfires in Northern California. The number for the USACE Debris Removal Information Line is 877-875-7681. May 16, 2018, is the last day USACE will accept new debris removal complaints via its phone line and email. Residential property owners who are registered for the government-sponsored debris removal program can also e-mail: USACESupportToSonoma@usace.army.mil
- Option 2: Private Debris Clean-up
Property owners who do not qualify for, or who chose not to participate in, the Sonoma Consolidated Debris Removal Program, must hire a private contractor to remove fire debris and clean up their properties.
A Private Clean-up Application form must be submitted to the County of Sonoma or City of Santa Rosa, depending on the location of the property, prior to the commencement of work. Private debris removal is done at the homeowner’s expense and must meet or exceed the standards set by local, state and federal agencies. This includes compliance with all legal requirements for disposal, authorized disposal sites, best management practices for activities on site, proper transportation and documentation of waste, and erosion control.
Debris Removal Completion
Government Sponsored Consolidated Debris Removal Program
Once the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) receives the soil testing results, they will evaluate if all levels are within the set limits and/or baseline values. If the results fall within those limits, the property will be cleared and the County will be notified by a letter that includes the property’s soil testing results.
Once the USACE notice is received by the County, the information is entered into our system and a robotic call will be made to the property owner. Following the call, the property owner will be notified via a mailed letter sent to the address indicated on the Right of Entry (ROE) Form.
Private Cleanup Program
Submit Certification of Completed Work
After implementation of the approved Work Plan, the owner must submit a certification showing that all work has been completed as specified. The work must be completed pursuant to standards set forth by the City and or County and the State. Documentation of adequate clean-up and proper disposal will be required. Property owners will not be allowed to build on their property until there is a certification that the property cleanup and removal of all hazardous waste has been completed in accordance with applicable standards and approved by the City and or County.
Abatement of Hazardous Materials and Debris
Due to the Sonoma Complex Fires, the Governor of the State of California has proclaimed a State of Emergency under Government Code section 8265. The Health Officer and Director of Environmental Health have proclaimed a Local Health Emergency and the County Administrator has proclaimed a Local Emergency. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors also passed the Sonoma Complex Fire Cleanup Emergency Ordinance to provide for an orderly response to the disaster.
The Sonoma Complex Fire Cleanup Emergency Ordinance requires that impacted property owners in the unincorporated areas of the County clean up their properties either through the Office of Emergency Services clean up or through the Alternative Program.
Properties that have not entered either the Office of Emergency Services clean up or the Alternative Program by November 21, 2017 are subject to summary abatement.