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Debris Management

Description of Objective

Disasters such as tornadoes, high-wind events, and floods can result in the generation of large quantities of solid waste. It is important for responsible parties to plan in advance how the materials will be managed. This requires the identification of staging areas for debris, as well as contractors that may help in managing the debris. The amount of debris generated will vary, depending upon the situation, but having a plan in place will save money and time, and will help ensure roadways and waterways are clear of debris as soon as possible, which is important for the safety of all citizens.

TEMA and TDEC encourage all local governments eligible for the Public Assistance Program grant to construct pre-event contracts for debris removal operations and to generate a debris management plan. In light of recent disasters that have triggered massive debris removal efforts in the United States, past experience shows that having a solid debris removal plan, a pre-event contract/agreement in place and a collaborated agreement with partnering agencies before an event will expedite recovery in areas devastated by disastrous events.

The Materials Management Program (MMP) would like to share with you an important debris planning tool developed in partnership between the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) – Division of Forestry, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

The purpose of this planning tool is to provide both instruction and an example for developing a debris management plan that will satisfy requirements from the State of Tennessee (Tennessee Code Annotated §68-211-815(b)(17)) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Any assistance needed in the preparation of these plans or general concerns can be forwarded to the appropriate TEMA regional coordinator or the TEMA Public Assistance Division.

As reported in the 2016 Annual Progress Reports (APRs), thirty two counties indicated that they did not have a debris management plan (DMP). To assist with compliance, the Recovered Materials staff is available to present the DMP tool and provide technical assistance in preparing or updating a debris management plan. If you are interested in learning more please schedule a meeting by contacting our staff assigned to your local government illustrated on the map. Future solid waste plan approvals will require these additional plans in accordance with the rules and statute. The Department understands that development of a debris management plan takes coordination of multiple agencies and some counties may be unable to complete a disaster debris management plan by March 31, 2018.

As such, the Department will favorably consider a county’s progress toward fulfilling this planning requirement. Counties should make every effort to begin the planning process and complete debris management plans by March 31,
2019.

 Regions that have debris management plans are not required todevelop a new plan. However a region may wish to use the DMP tool to update their existing plan or prepare a new plan. Please review the planning tool and contact the Recovered Materials team if you have any questions about your APR or the DMP template.

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