Pre-Incident Planning and Preparation
Nearly every homeland security incident will generate waste. The amount of waste generated will vary, but for many of these incidents, the amount of waste generated may be greater than the amount of waste many communities typically handle in a year. In addition, homeland security incidents may generate waste streams (e.g., chemical, biological, and radiological-contaminated wastes) that are not typically handled by communities or waste management facilities. Finding treatment and disposal facilities to accept these contaminated wastes may be challenging. Therefore, pre-incident planning is very important. Communities should develop a waste management plan detailing how they will manage the potential waste from different homeland security incidents before any incident occurs.
Advantages of Pre-Incident Planning
Pre-incident planning for waste management:
- Saves valuable time and resources during a homeland security incident;
- Allows for more efficient and effective waste management decision-making during an incident;
- Encourages stakeholders (e.g., state, local, and tribal governments, owners of private storage, treatment, and disposal facilities, residents) to begin to work together before an incident occurs; and
- Helps reduce the risk that waste management activities will adversely impact the timeline for recovery of an affected facility or area, which is very important when considering the health and economic impacts a homeland security incident has on a city or region.
Contents of a Waste Management Plan
A waste management plan should, at a minimum:
- Address different types of homeland security incidents (e.g., radiological dispersal device, major hurricane, intentional food contamination);
- Identify the types of waste and forecast the amounts of waste likely to be generated in a community as a result of different types of incidents;
- Identify waste management options for different waste streams, giving preference to reuse and recycling options, where appropriate;
- Address waste management considerations;
- Identify accessible waste management facilities for each waste stream; and
- Address Federal, state, local, and tribal laws and regulations.
The following resources may be helpful to consult during pre-incident planning. In general, the planning activities described in the incident-specific documents are relevant for other incidents as well. Additional resources will be included in this section as they become available.
Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance (PDF) (94 pp, 1.9MB, about PDF)
National Homeland Security Research Center's Incident Waste Decision Support Tool (I-WASTE DST)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Emergency Preparedness and Response Website
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Agricultural Health and Homeland Security Emergency Response Integration Plan (PDF) (42 pp, 294K, about PDF)
Disposal Decision Tree for carcass disposal