Boulder County Public Works’ Resource Conservation Division is currently coordinating a debris removal program for property owners in Louisville, Superior, and unincorporated Boulder County with structures that were destroyed by the Marshall Fire.
Information about the program is provided on this page, but there is a lot more detailed information and answers on the Debris Removal Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) webpage. This page is updated whenever new information is available.
Debris Removal Dashboard
View the debris removal dashboard to see the current status of properties and to learn more about how many tons of waste have been collected and recycled. The property status tracker (link below) also provides details on active runways and the status of specific properties.
Property Status Tracker Available
The planning team has developed a property status tracking tool to help show where a specific property is in the debris removal process. It can be viewed at www.BoCo.org/debris-removal-property-tracker. The tracker shows runways for each jurisdiction (using the tabs at the bottom) and the addresses that runway includes. Once a task force (TF) clears an entire runway, it will remobilize in the next available runway that does not yet have a TF. Color coding is as follows (legend is on the right side of the page):
- Red = Work has not started
- Yellow = Tree and steel removal in progress
- Green = Ash/debris removal in progress
- Orange = Ash/debris removal complete
- Blue = Property cleared and hydro-mulched
The tracker is updated at the end of each day.
Coordinated Debris Removal Program Underway – April 19, 2022
Boulder County and DRC Emergency Services, LLC (DRC) have started clearing the first areas participating in the coordinated Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) Program. This effort marks the beginning of the final phase of the county’s cleanup effort from the Marshall Fire. Work will ramp up over the next few weeks as more crews come on board and equipment clears primary inspections. By the end of April, the plan is to have 15 crews working at different areas throughout all three jurisdictions. Within the next 30-days, there will be up-to 30 different crews working on multiple areas within all three jurisdictions.
Property owners participating in the debris program will be contacted in advance of a crew arriving on their property to begin debris removal. You can be present at your property when work begins and while work is taking place, but you will need to maintain a safe viewing distance. Property owners will then be contacted again after the site has been cleared and all inspections have been passed.
Marshall Fire coordinated debris cleanup program schedule released – April 1, 2022
Boulder County, the Town of Superior, and the City of Louisville have released the order of operations for the removal of debris from properties participating in the coordinated debris removal program for sites destroyed by the Marshall Fire.
Heavy equipment has been deployed in Louisville, Superior, unincorporated Boulder County.
Thirty crews will be assigned throughout the regional project, with 15 initially working in Superior, nine in Louisville and six in Boulder County. Once underway, the entire project is expected to take four months to complete, weather permitting.
The schedule was developed through careful analysis of several factors, including:
- Imminent environmental hazards, including proximity of homes to waterways to protect area water supplies;
- Environmental Justice, using the EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool, based on demographic factors of low income, people of color, and those age 64+; and,
- Efficiencies of removal using input from the contractor, DRC Environmental Services, LLC.
Each jurisdiction prioritized the schedule for their own neighborhoods. By combining all of this information, the project team was able to develop the planned schedule and order of operations.
Areas in each jurisdiction are divided into “runways.” A total of 48 runways were created throughout the Town of Superior, the City of Louisville, and unincorporated Boulder County. Each runway corresponds to a list of streets within the specific area to be included in that runway’s cleanup. One of the 30 cleanup crews will be assigned to each runway and will remain in that area until all addresses within that runway are cleared.
In the coming weeks, Boulder County and its representatives will be contacting participating property owners by email to verify the right of entry form and obtain final permissions and an official assignment of benefits authorization to work directly with policy holders’ insurance providers. This will also be the opportunity to inform us of what you’d like removed, including driveways, patios, landscaping, and sidewalks, and what you’d prefer was kept in place.
Up-to five days prior to starting debris removal work on any property, the project team will contact the property’s owner to notify them that work will soon commence.
Debris Removal Program Online Public Meeting held March 29
On March 29, Boulder County hosted a virtual meeting to provide details about the coordinated debris removal program, which is anticipated to begin in April at private properties destroyed by the Marshall Fire for owners who have chosen to take part in the program. The meeting’s goal was to provide more information about what participants can expect to see at their properties before and during the removal of ash, debris, and other materials:
Opting-In and Opting-Out of the Coordinated Debris Removal Program
Owners of destroyed homes can still choose to participate in the program. Opting-in at this point does not guarantee inclusion in the coordinated debris removal program as several steps must be taken, including site inspection and soil sampling, before work can begin on any property included in the program, but the county encourages any impacted property owner who does not yet have a debris removal plan to reach out to email@example.com to see if the coordinated program is right for you. It is also recommended that you complete a Right of Entry form as soon as possible so we can begin to assess the property quickly.
Property owners who originally opted-in to the program but now wish to opt-out should also inform the county of their intentions as soon as possible, but they have until six days before work is slated to begin on their property to officially declare their intention to complete debris removal on their own. To officially opt-in or opt-out, a property owner will need to complete a new Right of Entry Form.
Timing of Cleanup Work
Debris Removal at Private Properties
Exact timing of clean-up of individual properties will be determined by the contractor (DRC Emergency Services, LLC) retained to complete the work, but we are hopeful this effort will kick-off in mid-April. Please complete an ROE as soon as possible to inform the county of your intentions to participate or opt-out of the program.
Please remember that any property owner choosing to conduct structural, ash, and soil clean-up work on their own would be ineligible for the debris removal program and would also be responsible for following local and state permitting requirements and federal regulations, which will include closeout inspections and utility requirements.
Boulder County does recommend and will allow property owners to contact their insurance companies about removal of vehicles from private property.
Sifting through ash and debris for personal effects does not constitute clean-up, so property owners who have been engaging in this activity will remain eligible for the Debris Removal Program. Please be advised that sifting through a property after a fire carries considerable health risks. Boulder County strongly advises against conducting your own sifting operations.
Hauling Requirements and Licensing
Please be aware that there is a county-mandated licensing requirement for all haulers and contractors who will be transporting ash and fire-related debris. Learn more by visiting the hauler licensing webpage. All privately contracted work must follow local, state, and federal environmental regulations including guidance developed for handling and transporting ash and debris from fires. Review this document to learn more about safe handling of materials. Any contractor hauling ash and/or debris assumes all liability for transporting this hazardous material, which must be properly profiled and manifested through an approved landfill.
Questions and Contact Information
We understand that there are a lot of questions about debris and the cleanup program. We have started a Frequently Asked Questions webpage that will be updated with new information as questions come in and more details are known.
You can also send an email to Debris@bouldercounty.org.