Contractors named for fire zone debris removal

Oct. 27, 2017 - State and federal agencies have named two prime contractors to handle debris removal in the widespread Northern California wildfire zones where an estimated 6,700 homes and 1,700 businesses were destroyed in blazes earlier this month.

Both firms will be required to pay federal Davis-Bacon or state prevailing wage rates, whichever is higher, under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Advanced Contracting Initiative.

The contractors are the Environmental Chemical Corporation of Burlingame and AshBritt Environmental of Deerfield Beach, Fla. Subcontractors can register with the firms through the companies’ websites, www.ashbritt.com and www.ecc.net, according to the state Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hundreds of Operating Engineers and Laborers are expected to be hired through the companies in the debris-removal project that will last into next year.

“Along with our affiliates, we’re working closely with the governor’s Office of Emergency Services,” said State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter. “The Building Trades and our contractors are at the ready to go to work to clear the debris and the toxic waste that’s been left behind from the thousands of homes in Santa Rosa and the counties north of Sacramento.

“We’re determined to get things cleared and lots ready for construction by Christmas, and hopefully in the New Year families can get the process going for starting to get new foundations and homes built. The Building Trades stand ready to assist in any way, working with the governor, working with OES, working with the people who lost their homes out there, including many of whom are members of the Building Trades. We will be working in clearing this debris and getting this community back on the road again.”

The cleanup began this week with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducting a toxic sweep of the areas devastated by fire. The heavier lifting operation managed by the Corps of Engineers that will include the removal of concrete foundations will immediately follow.

The debris-removal project will not cost homeowners anything if they are willing to sign a right-of-entry form for the contractors. Property owners may also be required to remit to local officials the debris-removal reimbursements they receive from their insurance companies.

“The whole goal is to get this debris cleared, the roads cleared, the infrastructure fixed, the foundations out and the lots ready for new homes being built,” Hunter said.

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