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Debris Removal



Hurricane Laura – TDEM Debris Guidance

The following principles are important to understand when conducting debris related operations:

‚ Removal must be necessary to eliminate immediate threats to lives, public health and safety;

immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property; or ensure the

economic recovery of the affected community to the benefit of the community-at-large.

‚ The debris must be the direct result of the disaster and located in the disaster area, and the subrecipient

must have the legal responsibility to remove the debris.

‚ For Debris, staging, processing, reduction and burning activities within the State of Texas, both the

Texas Commission on Environmental quality (TCEQ) and Texas Historical Commission (THC) must

approve the temporary debris management site. TCEQ and THC approvals are not necessary for

debris disposal at a certified or properly licensed landfill.

‚ Ensure Temporary Debris Management Site (TDMS) locations are located ¼ mile from any private or

public water supply, caves, springs or streams and wetland.

‚ Removal of debris from lakes, creeks and rivers or any waterway will require United States Army

Corps of Engineers (USACE) (Section 504 permit) & Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)

and Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) involvement.

‚ Burning site should be located at least 300ft from the nearest property line and other structures.

‚ Debris may include:

‚ Trees, brush and other vegetative matter

‚ Construction or demolition waste, such as drywall, lumber, roof shingles, treated wood, plastics,

‚ Furnishings and appliances

‚ Other municipal solid waste, including putrescible waste (decomposing waste that causes foul odors),

and animal carcasses

‚ Household hazardous waste, such as cleaning supplies, automotive products, paints and solvents

‚ Staging/stockpiling sites: any hazardous materials, asbestos, batteries, used oil and oil filters, tires,

appliances containing chlorofluorocarbons (such as refrigerators or air conditioners) bulk liquids,

printed circuit boards, industrial hazardous wastes must get approval from TCEQ and be staged or


‚ Debris should be separates into piles no larger than 4,000 cubic yards.

Examples of required records under the FEMA PA Program for successfully applying for disaster

assistance grants include:

‚ Procurement Selection Process ‚ Timecards & Payroll Policy

‚ Contract/ Force Account Labor ‚ Photos & GPS locations

‚ Debris Monitoring ‚ Work Records

‚ Load Tickets ‚ Direct Administrative Cost

‚ Truck Certifications ‚ Proof of Payments

Find the TCEQ regional office that serves you at For additional

information about debris removal and disaster recovery, please visit

Please direct any questions about debris regulations and removal to