The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency is serving as a technical expert for the State of New Mexico
and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the various wildfires in New
Mexico. As additional information becomes available, updates will be provided.
On June 14, Federal
Emergency Management Agency issued EPA an Emergency Support Function #10
Mission Assignment to conduct Household Hazardous Waste and bulk asbestos
removal in the counties of Mora and San Miguel, NM. EPA mobilized to New Mexico
on June 15 to coordinate with the State of New Mexico and begin assessment and
collection operations. New Mexico Environment Department procured a staging
area for the HHW and bulk asbestos in La Cueva. EPA’s Joint Field Office
Liaison Officer mobilized June 23 to provide daily updates on EPA activities,
as well as coordinate with FEMA and other responding agencies. Mora and San
Miguel Counties sent EPA a list of priority areas of concern for potential
flooding due to monsoons. All Right of Entry forms received in these areas have
been assessed for HHW and bulk asbestos. EPA mobilized personnel on June 26 to
lead the HHW and bulk asbestos assessment and collection teams in Mora and San
Miguel Counties, and HHW collections began on June 27.
HHW and bulk asbestos began in Mora and San Miguel on June 27, 2022. Assessment
and collection teams continued operations in Mora and San Miguel Counties, with
a focus on the counties prioritized areas of concern for flooding during the
upcoming monsoon season. As shown in Map 1 in this Management Report, the
priority areas in Mora County are Rio de la Casa Canyon and Holman
Hill. The priority areas in San Miguel County are Mineral Hill, Gallinas
Canyon, San Ignacio and Cañyoncito de Manuelitas.
On July 18,
2022, NMED secured a staging area for ammunition at the Las Vegas, NM Police
Department. EPA will provide pick up and disposal if ammunition is found,
however, no ammunition has been found to date.
Due to lack of
ROE forms and cost savings, EPA suspended assessment and collection of HHW and
bulk asbestos activities beginning on July 31, 2022, until August 15, 2022. EPA
field teams demobilized the site on July 31, 2022. EPA IC stayed in New Mexico
for any additional assistance until August 5, 2022. EPA will conduct all
response needs virtually until August 15, 2022, when assessment and collection
operations will resume in the field.