- Building & Grading/Drainage: Local LA County Public Works Building and Safety offices can be found at LA County Public Works Building and Safety office
- Septic Systems: Los Angeles County Environmental Health (626) 430-5380
- Fire Prevention: Los Angeles County Fire Headquarters (323) 890-4132. Local district office numbers may be found at https://fire.lacounty.gov
- Geology & Soils: Los Angeles County Public Works Geotechnical & Materials Engineering (626) 458-4925.
- Planning and Zoning: Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning: (213) 974-6411. Local office numbers may be found at: planning.lacounty.gov
- Fire Debris Removal: (888) CLEANLA / (888) 253-2652 https://www.lacounty.gov/recovery/
The County of Los Angeles understands that the process of rebuilding after a disaster can feel cumbersome and frustrating. To help clarify the process, Los Angeles County has developed this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page with answers to commonly asked questions. Every property is unique, so the answers below may need to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Los Angeles County will make every reasonable effort to allow fire victims to rebuild. Updates will be made to this document as additional information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Household Hazardous Waste Assessment and Removal (Phase I)
- Inspections began during the week of December 3rd and could take several weeks or months to complete depending on your location. Inspectors will be going door to door so you will not have to schedule an appointment.
- Property owners cannot opt out of household hazardous waste assessment and removal activities.
- Name, address, email & phone number
- The access issue on your property (e.g. locked gate)
- If only large, easily identifiable pieces of ACM are identified on your property, they will be removed by an asbestos removal contractor.
- If asbestos is identified throughout the debris pile, it will be addressed during general debris removal operations.
Consolidated Debris Removal Program
- In Phase I, local government, state and federal agencies have organized teams of experts from the California State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to inspect impacted properties and remove any household hazardous waste that may pose a threat to human health, animals, and the environment such as batteries, herbicide, pesticide, propane tanks, asbestos siding, and paints. Phase I is automatic and includes both residential and commercial properties that have been destroyed by the fires.
- In Phase II, CalOES, FEMA, and local officials will coordinate with the State’s Debris Task Force and its Debris Management Teams (DMT) to conduct fire-related debris removal from your property if you have elected to participate in the program by signing a Right of Entry Form.
For Phase I (household hazardous waste): You do not need to do anything to have household hazardous waste removed from your property. Operations are automatic and already underway.
For Phase II (remaining debris and ash): Contact your City officials or Los Angeles County Public Works at 626-979-5370 to get a Right-of- Entry (ROE) form or download the form at https://lacounty.gov/recovery. You will fill out the form to grant government contractors access to your property to conduct the debris removal.
Household hazardous waste must be removed without delay to protect public health and safety. This is an emergency protective measure. Hazardous waste could have significant long-term environmental impacts and should not be combined with the waste from the general clean-up that is going to the landfill.
Removal of hazardous waste from the fire debris prevents these environmental contaminants from polluting the environment, and protects the workers and the public from exposure during debris removal efforts
Removal crews are specifically certified to handle household hazardous waste.
There are a number of factors that determine when your lot will be scheduled for debris removal. Contractors are responsible for planning their work, based on priorities set by Cal OES and partners, with input from local government and city governments, to maximize efficiency.
Health and Safety
The safety of the general public and workers is a priority during debris operations. To prevent safety hazards, the public is encouraged to stay away from areas where debris removal operations are underway. Exclusion zones will be established surrounding the current work area to ensure safety of the public.
Payment and Insurance
- Specified Amount Specified Amount: If your homeowner’s insurance policy contains a separate, debris-specific clause, the local government will only collect the specified amount designated in the debris removal clause. These clauses are typically capped at a percentage of the coverage amounts listed in the policy (for example, 5 percent of the value of a primary structure, other structure, and personal property). You will not owe the local government any additional money, even if the actual costs to remove the debris exceeded the amount designated in your insurance policy for debris removal.
- No Specified Amount: If your homeowner’s insurance policy does not have a separate, debris-specific clause and instead includes the costs of debris removal in the total coverage, the local government will only collect insurance proceeds for debris removal after you have rebuilt your home. The local government will only collect any available insurance proceeds, if any, after the rebuild. If there are no remaining funds, the homeowner will not owe the local government any additional money for debris removal.
If your homeowner’s insurance policy does not have a separate, debris-specific clause and instead includes the costs of debris removal in the total coverage, you may use these proceeds to pay for the removal of fire related debris that is ineligible for removal under the program. The local government will only collect remaining insurance proceeds, if any, after you have removed ineligible fire related debris
In either scenario, the property owner will be required to substantiate all expenditures.
Additional Debris Removal Questions
If the property uses a septic system for wastewater disposal, the appropriate Environmental Health agency must approve the condition of the existing septic system prior to connection of the trailer.