Fairfax County Debris Management Plan Approved by FEMA


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Feb. 13, 2008

Fairfax County Debris Management Plan Approved by FEMA

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has approved the Fairfax County Debris Management Plan, making Fairfax County only the third jurisdiction in Virginia to receive FEMA approval, following the city of Chesapeake and Hanover County.

The approval is part of FEMA’s Public Assistance Pilot Program, a voluntary program that recognizes plans that meet FEMA’s stringent requirements and rewards those jurisdictions by allowing them access to additional federal funds for eligible disaster debris cleanup costs.

“Fairfax County is certainly not immune to the effects of natural disasters,” said Joyce M. Doughty, director of Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery. “In three of the last five years, Fairfax County has experienced major disasters including hurricane Isabel in 2003, a tornado in Pleasant Valley and Country Club Manor in 2004, and the flooding of our Huntington community in 2006. FEMA’s approval of our debris management plan will allow us to recover more of the costs incurred as we work to efficiently and expeditiously remove debris and restore the county’s infrastructure in the wake of such disasters.”

Debris removal is a major component of most disaster recovery operations and can extend for months or even years past the actual disaster. Building materials and green waste, such as trees and shrubs, make up most of the volume of disaster debris. Over the past five years the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) Solid Waste Management Program has managed more than 3,000 tons of debris left by these three major disasters.

The Solid Waste Management Program submitted the county’s debris management plan for consideration under FEMA’s Public Assistance Pilot Program in November 2007, and received approval in December.

The county’s new plan also will support regional debris management efforts. Fairfax County has signed a Mutual Aid Agreement for emergency support in the National Capital Region (NCR), and was the first jurisdiction to agree to the plan for regional debris management assistance. The NCR also has conducted debris removal exercises involving local, state and federal governments.

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