BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - As Paradise works to turn over a new leaf in the new year, the question remains: Where will the estimated 2 million tons of fire debris go?
FEMA rejected the use of Chico's Barber Yard site late 2018, after strong public opposition. In addition, the US Army Corp of Engineers tells Action News Now that Barber Yard lacked the proper haul routes to remove debris smoothly from Paradise.
In Oroville, Action News Now witnessed similar backlash from residents at a public hearing hosted by federal agencies.
The US Army Corp of Engineers says it expects to announce if the Koppers site is still under consideration sometime this week. The Corps will also decide where to put the facility by the end of the month, to ensure a site is finalized by the start of Phase 2 of debris cleanup.
Federal agencies say the deadline to share an opinion on the use of the Koppers site, and alternatives for other locations to house a temporary debris site, is Thursday, Dec. 3. The US Army Corp recommends reading their environmental assessment on the Koppers site before sending in a recommendation. So far, federal agencies have assessed 50 different sites within a 30-mile radius of Paradise. Land acreage, haul time, zoning and haul routes are all part of the government's consideration process.
Interested parties can find the email to contact the Corp, and the complete environmental assessment, here.