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How Flooding Debris is Handled

Ashton Marra
Flood debris off of I-79's Clendenin Exit

Flooding debris is piling up as waters continue to recede. Mixed in the debris: hazardous materials. An emergency response unit at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is coordinating with the state’s National Guard to deal with flood debris.

Staging areas are established where the guard takes all debris - including a lot of dangerous, but common household products. Everything from propane tanks to paint, pesticides, and household cleaners are separated out. The DEP oversees safe disposal. Since there are no hazardous waste disposal facilities in West Virginia, most waste goes out of the state to facilities identified under federal waste disposal laws.

Anyone who observes a spill or threat is encouraged to call the state’s spill hotline that is manned 24 hours a day:  1-800-642-3074.


County officials are working with local waste management officials to get nonhazardous waste to the closest available landfills. The National Guard is collecting trash and asking that people leave any collected debris at the sides of roads.

DEP officials say they are not aware of any major contamination threats at this time. Inspectors have been checking mining operations, and slurries, as well as dams throughout affected areas.

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