December 14, 2010
Cleanup at the Escondido “Bomb Factory” house is nearing completion, with the last of the soil, debris and ash expected to be hauled away from the property Wednesday.
On Tuesday crews tore down the 16-foot-high wall that was constructed from drywall along the north side of the house to protect a neighboring home during last Thursday’s controlled burn.
As of Tuesday, other progress included one 15 and one 40-cubic-yard roll-off box of metal sent for recycling; one 40-cubic-yard roll-off box of wrapped ash and debris transported to Otay Landfill; and two 55-gallon drums of flooring materials and furnace pipe insulation containing asbestos prepared for shipment to a hazardous waste landfill.
Mark McPherson, chief of the County Environmental Health Department’s Land and Water Quality division, said that all waste hauled from the home was being disposed in a manner to protect public health.
“The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has received a number of questions, and it appears that there is some confusion regarding the disposal of ash and debris from the Escondido ‘Bomb House,’” McPherson said.
Hazardous Materials crews who inspected the home’s remains determined the chemicals and explosives in the home had been completely destroyed in the controlled burn, McPherson said.
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which is overseeing the clean-up with the County, determined from debris samples taken from homes destroyed in the 2007 Southern California wildfires that such waste is suitable for disposal in a municipal landfill.
The DTSC has determined that the waste at the burned Escondido home is similar to that and can be safely disposed at the Otay Landfill.
Protective measures include wetting the ash and debris before loading it for transport; lining the roll-off boxes with plastic and wrapping the debris before transporting it and immediately burying it in a lined area at the landfill.
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