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Unified Command Announces Debris Burning Information

Release Date: 09/30/2008
Contact Information: Terry Clawson 512-239-5000

Hurricane Ike left many tons of debris after it passed through Texas. Many counties and municipalities have plans to manage debris without burning, while other counties are allowing limited burning.

The burning of debris results in the release of particulate matter. The inhalation of particulate matter can have negative health effects. People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are most likely to be affected. Healthy individuals may also experience temporary effects from exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter.

In Texas, burning of debris in general is prohibited without specific permission. The following summary by county provides the status of debris management in specific counties, and also provides contact information for further information.

Hurricane Ike Debris Management by County

Austin County:
Not enough damage to require debris management. Contact number is 979-865-5911 at County Judge Office.

Brazoria County:
Four sites approved by TCEQ for burning debris.
1. Seabreeze Environmental Landfill - Start date 9/24 or 9/25
2. Precinct 4 of CR 645 Service Center in West Columbia - Start date 9/22
3. Brazoria County Detention Center - Start date pending
4. Old Landfill off CR 38 in Alvin - Start date 9/25 or 9/26

Temporary burning is being allowed for residents. The collection of storm debris has been contracted to Crowder Gulf and is expected to take a few weeks to complete. Some cities have opted out of the burn plan and are managing their own debris removal. Lake Jackson is currently considering the option to join. The City of Alvin has contracted with IESI. The contact number in Brazoria County for debris management information is 979-864-1201 at the Office of Emergency Management.

Chambers County:
Currently there is a burn ban east of the Trinity River. Chambers County is contracted with Ceres to collect debris. However, the go ahead to start collecting has not yet been authorized. Also, the state has contracted with the Army Corps of Engineers to collect debris and deliver to the landfill. In addition, there are seven collection stations set up for residents to drop off their own debris. The debris management contact number is 409-267-8295 at the County Judge Office.

Fort Bend County:
Bagged Debris - The County and several cities are partnering to provide special assistance for picking up bagged debris. Following are specific instructions for each area:

* Bagged Debris is being picked up by the County in the unincorporated areas. If your bagged debris has been already picked up, County crews will not be through your area again. Any additional bagged items will be considered routine trash pickup.

* The City of Rosenberg and The City of Richmond are picking up the bagged debris and bringing it to the Fairgrounds Debris Site.

* The City of Needville has a designated area for the residents to bring all debris. (All vegetative and bagged debris- must remove debris from bags and dispose of bags on their own.)

* The City of Missouri City has a site at Independence Park for bagged debris only. Drop off the bagged debris in the dumpsters provided. Call for hours of operation 281-403-8500.

* The City of Stafford has been collecting bagged debris. Call 281-499-2626.

* The City of Meadows Place has been collecting bagged debris. Call 281-983-2950.

* Residents of the City of Sugarland need to contact Sugar Land City Hall.

Harris County:
Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services is requesting that citizens in unincorporated parts of the county do not burn storm and tree debris. Instead, place the debris near the street and work with your local jurisdiction or precinct to dispose of the debris. The debris removal will take some time and patience regarding its removal is requested.

For City of Houston residents, debris is being picked up at the curbside. Call 311 for information.

Liberty County:
There are four designated debris management sites. The material will be mulched. The county will collect the debris. There will be two passes to pick up debris at the curbside. The collection is expected to take two to three weeks. For further information, contact Royce Wheeler of the Liberty County Constables office at 281-593-8418, or Dennis Odell of the Office of Emergency Management at 936-334-3219.

Matagorda County:
Matagorda County is requesting that debris be placed into four separate piles as follows:

* Regular household trash

* Vegetation debris

* Construction materials

* Household appliances

The debris should be placed in the public right-of-way for collection in a manner which does not block drainage. The public right-of-way would be the property area that extends from the street to a sidewalk, ditch, utility pole, or curb. Avoid placing debris near a water meter, fire hydrant, or other above ground utility fixture. The storm debris will be picked up before the end of September. The debris management contact number is 979-323-0707 at the Office of Emergency Management.

Montgomery County:
Montgomery County residents are requested to place storm debris on the public right-of-way without blocking drainage. Vegetation debris should be placed on the curbside. Place fencing in a separate stack. Avoid placing debris near a water meter, fire hydrant, or other above ground utility fixture. The debris management hotline for Montgomery County is 877-237-7782.