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King Wildfire Site

Stratus' expertise in ash testing, removal, and disposal was utilized at this unique job site located in a remote area on United States Forest Service (USFS) land. The site owner was in the process of developing a plan to remove severely degraded structures from the area and Stratus had previously provided a Lead-based Paint and Asbestos Survey with follow-up sampling to confirm metal concentrations in painted building materials. Both asbestos containing materials and hazardous concentrations of cadmium, lead, and zinc in painted materials were found to exist in the structures. Hazardous concentrations of lead and zinc were also detected in the surface soil surrounding the structures. Prior to completion of the removal and disposal plan, the structures were completely destoryed in the September 2014 King wildfire.

Following the wildfire event, Stratus conducted additional sampling of remaining ash and soil below the ash to assess the concentrations of any remaining constituents previously detected in building materials and adjacent soil.

Once all sampling data was reviewed and evaluated, it was determined that remedial efforts were required. Stratus personnel began oversight of ash and metal debris removal and disposal work. As a result of the King wildfire, California Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency in El Dorado County, giving victims of the fire exemptions for clean-up, remediation, and removal of hazardous waste. This meant that the ash and debris from the wildfire could be disposed of in a Class III landfill instead of a class I landfill resulting in a cost savings for the client. All required permits were obtained and a Lead-Work Pre-Job Notification was submitted to Cal OSHA 24-hours before beginning work. An exclusion zone was set up around the work area, in accordance with Cal OSHA requirements (Title 8, CCR, section 1532.2) and Title 29 CFR Part 1910 and 1926 requirements, to ensure employee health and safety. Personal and perimeter air monitoring was conducted. Hand tools were used to remove ash from inside and outside destroyed structures, and material approximately one inch below the ash/soil interface was removed to ensure any ash mixed in with the top layer of soil/duff was removed. HEPA vacuums were used to remove any ash from areas inaccessible with hand tools. Housekeeping practices (keeping dust/ash adequately wetted, minimizing drop heights of debris into the collection bags, and ceasing operations during periods of high winds) were implemented to limit the spread of metals. Ash collection bags were transported by means of a helicopter across the American River to a designated loading zone. The bags of ash were placed in transportation bins and transported to a Class III landfill, complying with all transportation and disposal requirements. All scrap metal was recycled.

The wildfire ash and debris testing, removal, and disposal was completed and the site was restored to conditions acceptable to the USFS.