2017 Napa Fire Complex - Fire Debris and Hazardous Waste

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2017 Napa Fire Complex

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Updated: November 16, 2017

CONTACT: Environmental Health Division. (707) 299-1350

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and Debris and Ash Removal      

General Information

IMPORTANT: Private Property Owners Impacted by 2017 Wildfires, the last day to submit a Private Debris and Ash Removal Plan (DAR plan) to Napa County is Monday, November 20th at 5:00p.m. Napa County will issue abatement orders after this date, learn more.The owner of every property with any residential and/or residential accessory structure that burned must have submitted a decision regarding debris and ash removal work by Monday, November 13, 2017, 
 
 
To participate in the Government Removal program, owners must have submitted a Right-of-Entry (ROE) form to PBES, no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, November 13, 2017.  This deadline ensures that property owners can take advantage of this no-cost removal. Once USACE completes this work for those who have submitted an ROE, this government program ends, USACE will be leaving, and the County will be unable to accept any ROEs. Failure to submit an ROE will result in property owners having no option but to complete the private Debris and Ash Removal (DAR) Plan requirements indicated below.   
 
Property owners who do not submit an ROE will need to privately complete this work and submit a DAR Plan and Application by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 13, 2017.  Approval of the DAR Plan and Application by the County and completion of the work is required before any buiding permit to reconstruct damaged buildings will be issued.  All work to be done under an approved DAR Plan must be completed by January 15, 2018 or the property owner will be subject to enforcement action by the County. 
 
To protect public health, the County is required to take enforcement actions against those property owners not meeting the above deadlines.  After 5 p.m on Nov. 20, property owners will be subject to enforcement action by the County if they have not turned in a ROE form or a complete DAR application.    There are two phases needed to complete the debris and ash removal process: Phase I Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Removal and Phase II Debris and Ash Removal. 
There are two phases needed to complete the debris and ash removal process: Phase I Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Removal and Phase II Debris and Ash Removal.   
 
PHASE I - HHW REMOVAL 
 
There are two options for removing HHW.  With either option, the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will confirm that HHW removal has been completed before work on Phase II may begin.   
  
A. Government Removal: The USEPA will remove HHW at no cost to the owners.   
B. Private Removal: Alternatively, owners may hire a Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certified contractor to remove HHW at the owners’ cost.
 
PHASE II – DEBRIS AND ASH REMOVAL – ACTION NEEDED BY NOVEMBER 13, 2017 
 
There are two options for removing debris and ash:  
 
A. Government Removal:  This program is being managed by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and the work will be conducted in Napa and Sonoma Counties by the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE). There is no cost to anyone, but owners that have fire debris removal insurance are required to assign any insurance proceeds related to the cost of fire debris removal to the County.   
 
The ROE form can be obtained by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. 
 
This program is only available for residences and residential accessory structures.  Business structural debris is not qualified for removal under this program.  Debris from farm structures (e.g., sheds, fences, equipment) will be removed by the USACE, as long as they are accessory to the on-site residence.    If you have structural damage to non-residential or non-residential accessory buildings, you will need to comply with Option B below.   
 
B. Private Debris and Ash Removal:  Owners should thoroughly review all requirements before pursuing their own debris removal. There is no disaster funding or reimbursement available for privately completed debris and ash removal.  If removal is not conducted under the terms of an approved Plan and Permit (see below), affected properties may be declared a public nuisance and the debris and ash will be removed by the County.  The cost of County removal is subject to full recovery with a lien recorded on the property should expenses not be paid by the owner.    
 
Debris and ash removal may be performed by owners or their qualified contractors (with a valid class A-General Engineering, Class B or C-21 Building Moving, Demolition license).  Before any debris and ash removal work may begin, owners must obtain approval of the following from the County Planning, Building, and Environmental Services Department (PBES): 
 
1. Debris and Ash Removal (DAR) Plan Application (Found in Attachment A); and  2. Demolition Permit. 
 
The DAR Plan must include the following information.  Instructions regarding DAR Plan requirements are provided in the application.  If an owner or their contractor has further questions about their DAR Plan, please contact PBES by phone at 707-299-1350 or by email at Environmental-FIRE@countyofnapa.org
  • Descriptions of the property, including the structures, improvements, vehicles, debris areas, and other site features proposed for cleanup.'
  • Procedures for removal of any HHW and/or asbestos discovered during the cleanup of debris and ash.
  • Agreement that required notifications will be made to utility companies, as applicable to the property, before work begins.
  • Proposals for controlling dust during removal and transport.
  • Procedures for disposal of all debris, ash, recycled materials, and green waste.
  • Identification and protection of any on-site wells, water tanks, and septic systems.
  • Proposed measures for storm water pollution prevention.
  • Soil sampling and testing plan, including the name of the qualified professional who will be conducting the collection and testing. 
 
If an owner intends to keep a foundation, it is strongly recommended that test(s) be conducted and that any foundation, footing, and soil removal be included as a part of the DAR Plan (See “Foundation” below). 
 
Once the DAR Plan has been approved by the County, the Demolition Permit may be issued and work can begin.  After debris and ash removal is complete and soil testing shows that the site has been cleaned to meet the local standard (See “Soil Confirmation Sampling” in the Instructions for Attachment A below), the owner must complete and submit a Debris and Ash Removal Self Certification of Completion (Attachment B) to PBES.   
 
Foundation: Please be advised that prior to issuance of any building permit for a property where a structure fire occurred, PBES will require a California Registered Civil or Structural Engineer to certify the existing concrete footings/foundations, slabs, and under-slab utilities proposed to be re-used.  A heat/stress dynamic test will be required and the results must be submitted to PBES.  The test must demonstrate that the foundation has not been impaired and is able to withstand the loads anticipated for new development based on a minimum 2500 lbs. per square inch of concrete strength. Soil sampling may also be required under the slab/ foundations if they, or any areas adjacent to them, were severely impacted by the fire.   If the foundation and/or underlying soils cannot meet the test, the foundation, footings, and soil must be removed before a building permit can be issued.     

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