BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - The US Environmental Protection Agency began its clean-up of toxic waste on Tuesday. Crews started work in the lower Pentz neighborhood, just south of Paradise.
The agency expects to comb through hundreds of homes over the next few weeks. They expect to remove hazardous materials from 15,000 homes by the time clean-up is done in June 2019.
"The workers are donning white suits to mitigate and minimize repeated exposure to a wide variety of chemicals," explains EPA Incident Commander Steve Calanog. "Each household has a wide variety of products that can impact human health if released."
Phase 2 of the clean-up will capture remaining fire debris. That's expected to begin in January 2019.
The EPA plans to stay in the lower Pentz area for a few more days before moving to other neighborhoods south and west of Paradise. All collected debris will be sent and sorted at a nearby staging area, before being properly disposed of.
All clean-up by the EPA is done free of charge to impacted homeowners.
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