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Texas Department of Public Safety DEBRIS MANAGEMENT: OVERVIEW, POLICIES, AND LESSONS LEARNED Texas Emergency Management Conference 2011 Texas Division.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas Department of Public Safety DEBRIS MANAGEMENT: OVERVIEW, POLICIES, AND LESSONS LEARNED Texas Emergency Management Conference 2011 Texas Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas Department of Public Safety DEBRIS MANAGEMENT: OVERVIEW, POLICIES, AND LESSONS LEARNED Texas Emergency Management Conference 2011 Texas Division of Emergency Management

2 Texas Department of Public Safety Presentation Agenda Overview of Debris Management – Relevant to FEMA’s Public Assistance Program Updates to Policies Regarding Debris Lessons Learned from Recent Disasters

3 Texas Department of Public Safety Background Disaster-generated debris in the U.S. has steadily increased in recent history – Increased development, especially along coasts. The costs to manage debris increases as the diversity of debris increases. – Older disasters – More vegetative debris – Newer disasters – More household hazardous waste and white goods Joplin Tornado Debris, Photo courtesy of FEMA.

4 Texas Department of Public Safety The Debris Management Process Pre-incident – Debris forecasting, planning and precontracting Post-incident – Debris clearance – Debris estimating – Debris removal – Debris storage or reduction (optional) – Final disposal – After-action review, plan revision

5 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Forecasting Understand the types of debris generated by various types of disasters. Forecast how debris would be generated in your jurisdiction by any type of likely disaster. – How much? What type? Design forecasting techniques that can be applied to debris estimating after a disaster.

6 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Forecasting Techniques: – Historical debris event analysis What debris have you dealt with before? What has changed since then? – Community-based risk sampling What debris quantities can you expect from the different urban/commercial/residential/rural portions of your community? – Computer prediction software Uses local GIS data and simulations of disasters

7 Texas Department of Public Safety Designing a Management Plan Start with a multi-disciplinary team – Public Works, Solid Waste, Emergency Management, Police/Fire, Accounting, Legal, Parks, etc. Begin with a template – Seattle UASI – Share ideas with neighboring jurisdictions

8 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Plan Considerations What types of disasters are possible? How much debris could each generate? What type of debris will each generate? What are you responsible for as a jurisdiction? What permitting do you need? How do you comply with FEMA’s requirements and get reimbursed? How will each type of debris be handled? – Collection (FA Labor or contract? Monitoring?) – Storage (Direct to landfill, or operate a TDRS?) – Reduction (Appropriate method? Minimize landfill use?) – Disposal (Available landfills? Recycling?)

9 Texas Department of Public Safety General Contract Guidelines Follow procurement process (local must meet state and federal) Competitive bidding, debarment check Scope of work must be well-defined Specifically address each task Unit costs or lump sum pricing acceptable Avoid cost-plus or time and materials. Require detailed documentation Volumes, hauling details, final disposal Include a termination for convenience clause Specify a reasonable period of performance Make your own estimate of debris

10 Texas Department of Public Safety Regulatory Compliance Must follow local, state and federal laws – Environmental - NEPA – Historic - NHPA – Insurance – 44 CFR (a)(1) Applicant is responsible for compliance – Know how debris activities trigger compliance Regulations can impact all stages of debris management

11 Texas Department of Public Safety FEMA Eligibility Considerations Debris must be: – Result of declared event – Located in designated disaster area – Legal responsibility of an eligible applicant – Must be a threat to life, public health and safety, improved public or private property, or the economic recovery of the community.

12 Texas Department of Public Safety FEMA Debris Eligibility Eligible Activities Clearing from improved public property, ROWs Curbside debris pickup in neighborhoods – Separate from regular trash – Ask residents to segregate by debris type Ineligible Activities Removal of debris from unimproved property, forests and farmland Removal of underground structures (wells, tanks, pools) Removal of reconstruction debris.

13 Texas Department of Public Safety Eligibility of Private Property Debris Under normal circumstances, debris removal from private property is not eligible for reimbursement under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. In extreme circumstances, when private property debris is so widespread that it threatens public health and safety, a request may be made to FEMA to allow private property debris removal (PPDR).

14 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Operations Harrison, AR, Ice Storm Debris, April Photo courtesy of Dr. Lynn Keener.

15 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Operations Removal – Clearing debris from roads, ROWs and public property – Picking up debris – Storing debris – Reducing debris to manageable volume – Disposing in appropriate location Monitoring – Independent verification of debris removal operation

16 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Operations Two Phases Debris clearance – Remove immediate threats to health and safety – Clear essential routes - pushing debris to curbside Debris removal – Clearing less immediate threats Removing debris to Debris Management Sites Volume reduction by appropriate, eligible methods – Removing debris to landfill or recycling

17 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Clearance First priority – Clear threats to health and safety – Hospitals – Police stations, fire stations – Residences, shelters (access to citizens in emergency) Second priority – Critical community services – Schools, local government – Utilities – Transportation infrastructure (airports, seaports)

18 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Removal Remove from ROW – Separation of debris at curbside Vegetative, HHW, white goods, recyclable, construction Make sure placement doesn’t block traffic/fire hydrants – Traffic control measures Remove from public property – Separate types as much as possible – Document each location separately Debris removal as part of Cat. E repair can be eligible.

19 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Storage and Reduction Options Once picked up, debris can go two places – Straight to landfill or recycling facility Must already be sorted Landfill must not be exhausted by the volume Necessary traffic flow to landfill not excessive – Haul to a Debris Management Site Conduct separation, reduction, recycling Store until final disposal space available Minimizes impact on landfills

20 Texas Department of Public Safety Temporary Debris Reduction Site Site Selection Ownership (owned/leased, responsibilities) Size necessary for operation (more sites?) – Expected volume, rate of removal, space needed for sorting and reduction methods Location – Historic/environmental issues (TCEQ/SHPO) – Neighborhood Site Design Accessibility Separate holding areas for items of concern Separate by form of reduction Runoff berms, buffer zones Efficiency Monitoring stations Baseline study

21 Texas Department of Public Safety Disposal Considerations Is reduction necessary? – Landfill lifespan – Type of debris What type of reduction? – Grinding – typically vegetative, 75% reduction – Burning – most types of debris, 90% reduction Are final disposal sites far from affected area? – Use TDRS to reduce traffic to disposal site Are there local recycling options?

22 Texas Department of Public Safety Debris Monitoring Must be done by an independent party – If debris removal and monitoring are both contracted, they must be done by separate firms Must be done at DMS and with pickup teams Prevents disputes between contractor and applicant. Prevent disputes between applicant and FEMA. Essential for Federal reimbursement! Debris monitor. Photo courtesy of FEMA.

23 Texas Department of Public Safety Final Disposal Be able to document the final disposal of all debris. Make sure debris is taken to a disposal site or landfill that will handle that type of waste. Return any TDRS to original condition.

24 Texas Department of Public Safety FEMA Policies on Debris Tuscaloosa, AL, tornado debris, April Photo courtesy of FEMA.

25 Texas Department of Public Safety FEMA 9500 Policies Policies: – Demolition of Private Structures – Debris Removal from Waterways – Hand-Loaded Trucks or Trailers – Debris Removal from Private Property Fact Sheets: – Debris Contracting Guidance – Debris Removal Authorities of Federal Agencies – Debris Monitoring – Validating Hazardous Trees, Limbs and Stumps

26 Texas Department of Public Safety – Demolition of Private Structures Applicant must present evidence that the building is an immediate threat to health and safety. Applicant must provide law, ordinance or code that grants the authority to demolish unsafe structures. Duplication of benefits is not permitted – Insurance on the private building must be considered before establishing FEMA’s share.

27 Texas Department of Public Safety – Hand-Loaded Trucks or Trailers Stipulates that the debris load from a hand- loaded truck cannot be counted as more than 50% of the truck’s certified volume. – If a 40CY hand-loaded truck appeared 100% full, it would be recorded as 20 CY. – If a 40CY hand-loaded truck appeared 50% full, it would be recorded as 10 CY. Based on extensive weight-to-volume studies during the 2004 Florida Hurricane response.

28 Texas Department of Public Safety – Debris Removal from Private Property Applicant must submit written request to FEMA. Only in specifically designated areas. Only allowed for disaster-related debris. Must incorporate any expected insurance payment, right of entry, and hold harmless agreements.

29 Texas Department of Public Safety – Validating Hazardous Trees, Limbs and Stumps Should separate these costs from debris paid on a cubic-yard basis. Gives guidelines for what is considered a hazardous tree, limp and stump. Requires validation of removals periodically and at the end of the debris process. – Requires GPS point for each item removed; picture recommended – Validation of >80% = 100% federal share funded – Validation of <80% = Only funded the federal share of those samples which were validated.

30 Texas Department of Public Safety Lessons Learned

31 Texas Department of Public Safety Legal Considerations Procure your contracts correctly! – Pre-contracting under normal procurement can prevent issues that arise with emergency contracts. The applicant is responsible for following all laws, regulations and policies! – Always double check the advice of others against FEMA documentation or other subject matter experts. Don’t forget all necessary permits!

32 Texas Department of Public Safety Innovative Solutions Galveston Tree Statues – Historic trees killed by salt water inundation were carved into statues. Angelina County Vegetative Debris – Final disposal of woody debris was with a local wood-burning power plant. Bastrop Wildfire Debris Management – Interlocal agreement between County, City and others.

33 Texas Department of Public Safety Bastrop Wildfire – A Unique Debris Situation Mike Fisher (EMC) and Ronnie Moore (County Engineer) Wednesday at 1 pm Discussion of the unique problems with wildfire debris – Contractors – PPDR – Validation

34 Texas Department of Public Safety For More Information TDEM now offers FEMA’s 4-day Debris Management Course! To schedule a class to be taught in your jurisdiction, please contact your TDEM District Coordinator! You can also register for available sessions of the class on


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