The state of Oregon and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover the cost of household hazardous waste removal for victims of wildfires, according to information from the Oregon Wildfire Joint Information Center.
According to KATU, the state will cover 25 percent of the cost of removal and FEMA will cover the remaining 75 percent.
The Debris Management Task Force, a team formed by members of the Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, is working to get crews on the ground as soon as possible to assist with clean-up efforts.
Contractors will also work in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess and remove hazardous materials that pose a threat to human health and the environment.
Officials say hazardous waste includes items such as propane tanks, pesticides, batteries, herbicides, paints, and large pieces of asbestos.
State officials say they'll need signed access agreements from property owners. The sooner property owners complete the agreements, the sooner the clean-up work can begin. The agreements will be available to submit online and at drop-off locations. They must be signed by October 16.
The Oregon Wildfire Joint Information Center said removing wildfire debris is a two-step process and the first step is to remove household hazardous waste to minimize exposure of hazardous materials to the public.
Step two is the removal of ash, debris, and burned-out structures. The joint information center said state, county and federal partners are working to develop options for step 2, ash and debris removal.