Debris removal is broken down into two phases.
- Phase 1 is the removal of household hazardous waste (HHW) for materials that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, asbestos siding, propane tanks, and paints. Phase 1 is mandatory for all properties that were included in the state damage assessment report and will be coordinated in conjunction with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA), and California Department of Toxic Substance Controls (Cal DTSC).
- Phase 2 is the removal of the remaining structural ash and debris as well as soil testing to ensure the site is clean, safe for rebuilding, and free of potentially leached toxins. Phase 2 cleanup can only begin after the Phase 1 HHW Sweep is complete and the property owner has authorization to begin Phase 2 by either Sonoma County Environmental Health or the City of Santa Rosa (depending on jurisdiction). Some properties may be eligible to qualify for an exemption for Phase 2 – see FAQ regarding “exemptions” and the “exemption approval process”.
A public (government-sponsored) Phase 2 debris removal program will be available as an option for property owners of eligible destroyed residential structures. As an alternative option, property owners may also hire a properly licensed contractor and follow the private Phase 2 removal process. More information on the public Phase 2 program will be available soon.