VENTURA, Calif. – The deadline is approaching for residents affected by the Thomas Fire to sign up by filing Right-of-Entry forms for no-cost debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged or destroyed property. Through this program, all the work is undertaken by CalRecycle contractors and there is no direct cost to the property owner; however, where applicable, insurance proceeds for debris removal shall be dedicated to offset costs.
“This is an extraordinary benefit for property owners who have suffered devastating losses,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “Although it may seem too good to be true, it is truly a great opportunity. The program helps homeowners clear their property, so this first, critical step in the rebuilding process is completed quickly and at no charge to them.” The program is funded through a combination of federal, state, city and county funds.
The CalRecycle program includes the removal of all burnt debris, foundations, dangerous trees, and contaminated soil. The program also includes soil testing before and after the debris removal to ensure the site is clean and safe for building. In addition, air samples are taken during the debris removal process to protect neighboring properties from hazardous dust and air contaminants. All of this work is coordinated by CalRecycle under the Right-of-Entry form. The entire debris removal project is expected to be completed in April.
Fire victims are strongly encouraged to complete and submit a Right-of-Entry form before the January 22, 2018 deadline. Forms are available at venturacountyrecovers.org, the County Government Center, Ventura City Hall, and the Debris Removal Operations Center (DROC). The DROC is located at 290 Maple Court, Suite 120, Ventura. The County Government Center is located at 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura.
As of January 10, 2018, more than 200 property owners have completed their Right-of-Entry forms and enrolled in the CalRecycle program. CalRecycle expects to mobilize and begin operations the week of January 15. They intend to start with 15 debris removal crews. CalRecycle is interested in bringing in additional crews to speed up the completion of the work but that is dependent on the number of property owners that enroll in the program.
Todd Thalhamer, CalRecycle senior solid waste engineer said, “Our goal is to assist the county in its efforts to clean up the damaged properties and return their communities back to their residents as soon as possible. The sooner residents enroll in the program, the sooner I can bring in additional crews to accomplish that.”
The CalRecycle program has been in existence for almost a decade and has removed debris from thousands of properties across the state. The attached photographs provide two examples of sites before and after completion of the CalRecycle program.
Both the County Government Center and the DROC are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The DROC is also open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. if residents have questions. The Government Center will be closed on Monday, January 15, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.