Source: US Environment Protection Agency
News Releases from Region 10
As the next step in Oregon’s wildfire recovery and rebuilding, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to collect potentially hazardous materials from properties to protect residents and to ensure these materials are disposed of properly. To accomplish this task and aid Oregon’s recovery, EPA is now setting up a staging area for the teams and equipment the agency will use to help Jackson County residents recover from the fire. Other staging areas are being planned near Salem and other areas of the state as cleanup operations expand.
The staging area – expected to be operational by October 19 – will occupy part of Boise Cascade property at 1229 Beall Lane in Central Point, Oregon. EPA is deeply grateful for Boise Cascade’s generous offer to temporarily share their Central Point property and assist the community in recovery. EPA and their contractors will be operating the facility, which will be secured 24 hours a day, where response workers will evaluate, organize and consolidate materials that EPA response teams will be recovering from burned homesites in the area. It will also serve as the main assembly, assignment and dispatch point for agency responders and contractors each morning as they head to area worksites.
Once the materials and containers arrive on site in sealed plastic containers and packaging, they will be inspected, organized and secured for shipment. They will be removed promptly by truck to be safely disposed of at a licensed & permitted disposal facility. Materials handled at the site may include:
- BBQ & outdoor stove propane tanks
- Cylinders, contents unknown, that can be transported safely
- Batteries, ballasts, full and partial containers of household chemicals
- Pool chemicals and household cleaners, polishes, varnish solvents and degreasers
The Response Staging Area is expected to operate between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, seven days a week, for approximately two months. EPA expects high levels of vehicle activity during operating hours, there will be bright lights illuminating the area for safety and unfortunately some unavoidable noise. Response officials are thanking local residents in advance for their patience and understanding during the construction, operation and dismantling of the facility when EPA’s work in the area is complete.
To protect workers and neighbors, air monitors will be used around the work site to be sure asbestos fibers and other harmful chemicals are not released to the air. In addition, locals may see the workers in HAZMAT suits to protect them from prolonged exposure to potentially harmful materials. EPA response officials ask everyone except authorized personnel to avoid the area due to the expected high-volume of heavy vehicle traffic and construction activity over the next several months.
EPA’s Response Staging Area is part of Oregon’s response to the recent tragic wildfires, aimed at helping Oregon residents recover and rebuild their lives. For more information about the Wildfire Response please visit: Wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup