BATON ROUGE, La. – Problems with ineligible debris are slowing state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) efforts to clear state rights-of-way, and the department has issued a warning that responsible parties will be held liable for costs associated with removal of such items plus penalties.
In a letter sent recently to all parish presidents in the southern half of the state, Assistant Secretary of Operations Gordon Nelson asked for the help of local officials, residents, business owners and property owners with facilitating the huge effort required to dispose of massive amounts of debris from hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Nelson said DOTD is limited to disposal of eligible debris, meaning debris deposited by the storm or residential debris related to storm damage – but not related to rebuilding efforts.
The following are a list of ineligible debris:
· Debris originating from restoration/construction activities such as new roofs, new siding, etc.
· Debris from undeveloped properties such as pastures, agricultural fields, timber land, etc.
· Debris generated from contracted demolition, restoration and construction work.
· Household garbage.
“Any parties placing ineligible debris on DOTD right-of-way will be held responsible for any and all costs associated with its removal and disposal as well as any fines and/or penalties for such illegal activities,” Nelson said.
To speed up the process, DOTD requests that storm-related debris be separated into two piles – vegetative debris (trees, limbs, etc.) in one pile and demolition debris specifically related to storm damage, NOT from restoration or rebuilding, in another. Household appliances should be placed separately and to the side.
To date, DOTD has been responsible for the collection of more than 3.4 million cubic yards of debris from state roads since hurricanes Katrina and Rita at a cost of $120 million.