Oregon Wildfire Hazardous Waste Cleanup Complete

Oregon Wildfire Hazardous Waste Cleanup Complete

Originally published by Insurance Journal

The Environmental Protection Agency said it has completed the cleanup of household hazardous waste from properties burned in Oregon wildfires.

The September fires led to an initial EPA response in Jackson County, which quickly expanded to Clackamas, Douglas, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties, the federal agency said in a news release.

The agency said it identified and removed about 300,000 pounds of hazardous waste from 2,285 properties. Among the items rendered safe or removed were propane tanks, ammunition, oil, gasoline, solvents, paints, pesticides, and bulk asbestos. The EPA said removing those items helps ensure the safety of workers who will begin removing ash and fire debris as part of the second step in cleanup.

To protect water quality and sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, the EPA also completed bank stabilization, erosion control and fire debris removal work on more than 225 riverfront properties along seven rivers described as vulnerable.

“Over 250 EPA staff and contractors from around the country contributed to this effort to help Oregonians begin the rebuilding process,” Randy Nattis, EPA’s Incident Commander said in a news release.

The state of Oregon is now starting the larger task of clearing ash and debris, and will also remove hazardous waste from assistance-eligible properties not cleared by EPA.