COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Emergency Debris Wastepile Permits

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Information regarding the County’s application for Emergency Debris Wastepile Permits

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Shadman, Freitas, Mullaney, and Matt Smith

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

June 3, 2009

 

ACTION:                INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:              INFORMATION:  X

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   No

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The County is vulnerable to severe weather hazards such as tropical storms, hurricanes and tornadoes that have the potential for generating large quantities of debris which, in extreme cases, may overwhelm the capacity of local disposal facilities.  This occurred in September 2003 as a result of Hurricane Isabel.  Immediately after that event the County, through the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), obtained temporary permits to establish emergency debris wastepiles at four parks.  To be better prepared to meet the challenges associated with such events in the future, staff is pursuing the pre-selection of those four sites for future use.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal Two:  Protect the County’s Natural Resources

 

DISCUSSION:

The Virginia Solid Waste Regulations provide for the permitting of temporary sites to be used for the storage and processing of solid waste in the aftermath of a disaster.  Once activated, permits are valid for 90 days.  A locality may select the site either before an emergency (“Pre-Selected” site) or immediately after an emergency (“Post Emergency” site).

 

Prior to an emergency, a locality may identify and apply for site pre-selection by completing and submitting the appropriate DEQ application.  The application details points of contact, proposed site location, and site characteristics.  The application process requires the locality to hold a public meeting to answer questions and to receive comments from the general public.  A record of the public meeting is submitted with the application.  Once approved by DEQ, the permit may be activated upon a verbal request by the locality.

 

Alternatively, a locality may identify a site after a disaster.  The locality must provide the same information to DEQ as it would for a “Pre-Selected” site permit, although the information may be submitted verbally, with the written application being submitted within five days.  Within five days of the application a public notice must be published announcing the locality’s intent to open a temporary facility.  If the application receives DEQ approval, a permit will be issued.

 

The advantage to “Pre-Selected” sites is timing.  Operations are typically hectic immediately following a disaster, and having pre-approved sites can save valuable staff time and allow sites to be immediately available.  Depending on the extent of a disaster, and DEQ’s resulting work load, obtaining permit approval for a “Post Emergency” site could take several days.

 

Staff will be pursuing the “Pre-Selection” of four emergency debris wastepile sites to handle vegetative debris:

• Walnut Creek Park

• Mint Springs Valley Park

• Darden Towe Park

• Chris Greene Lake Park

 

These sites were also used in 2003 following Hurricane Isabel.          

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

The cost of advertising for the requisite public meeting will be approximately $200.00.  There is also the indirect cost of staff time required to complete the applications and to prepare for and conduct the public meeting.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

This is provided for the Board’s information.  No action is necessary.

 

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