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Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles

CRS report via FAS – Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles, September 6, 2017.
“Every year, communities in the United States are affected by disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, wildfires, and winter storms. After a disaster, when a region turns its attention to rebuilding, one of the greatest challenges often involves properly managing disaster-related debris. Disaster debris typically includes soils and sediments, vegetation (trees, limbs, shrubs), municipal solid waste (common household garbage, personal belongings), construction and demolition debris (in some instances, entire residential structures and all their contents), vehicles, food waste, “white goods” (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners), and household hazardous waste (cleaning agents, pesticides, pool chemicals). Each type of waste may contain or be contaminated with toxic or hazardous constituents. In the short term, debris removal is necessary to facilitate the recovery of a geographic area. In the long term, the methods by which these wastes are managed requires proper consideration to ensure that their management (e.g., by landfilling) will not pose future threats to human health or the environment..”

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