Smoke from the Woolsey Fire as seen from Santa Monica.

On Monday, December 3, the L.A. County Fire Department alongside teams from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will begin assessing and removing household hazardous waste from properties burned by the Woolsey Fire.

“The assessment and removal of hazardous waste from homes burned by the Woolsey Fire is an important first step towards reducing potential threats to public safety and health,” said L.A. County Fire Department Chief Daryl L.Osby. “Remains of everyday products like paints, cleaners, batteries and pesticides are toxic after a fire. Our hazardous waste removal teams will work thoroughly and quickly to clear the way so that the rebuilding process can begin.”

“We know people are anxious to return home after the fire. Safely removing the remains of everyday hazardous products from damaged properties before people return helps keep them and their environments safe and healthy,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “Safety is our primary concern as people work to get their lives back to normal.”

Hazardous waste removal work, completed jointly by the L.A. County Fire Department, EPA and DTSC, is authorized by federal and state disaster declarations and a subsequent executive order given by the Governor of California. The hazardous waste removal work does not require property-owner consent. Property owners cannot opt out of hazardous materials assessment and removal activities, and do not need to schedule an appointment. We kindly request property owners assist by unlocking and opening gates to accommodate the inspections and hazardous waste removals.

Specifically, the L.A. County Fire Department, EPA and DTSC activities include:

  • Door-to-door assessment, survey and collection of household hazardous waste at approximately 1,500 properties in L.A. County at no-cost to property owners;
  • Safe removal, transport and disposal of hazardous waste materials; and
  • Posting of yellow clearance placards on each property that have been cleared of hazardous waste.

Property owners impacted by the Woolsey Fire who have questions about the hazardous waste removal process can contact the Los Angeles County Fire Department at (323) 890-4000, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Additional information can be found at www.lacounty.gov/WoolseyFire.

Submitted by Matt Myerhoff

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