The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners made progress toward moving forward on the removal of marine debris from canals throughout the Keys during its monthly meeting today.
The BOCC adopted an ordinance that amends Chapter 11 – Emergency Management and Emergency Service of the Monroe County Code. The amendment provides for disaster-generated debris removal from canals in order to protect public health and safety. The ordinance is retroactive to Sept. 4, 2017.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration funds disaster land debris removal and the agency requested this ordinance to be able to fund marine debris removal from canals.
“This satisfies a request from FEMA that makes it clear the county has legal authority to go into canals and remove marine debris and vessels,” Monroe County Assistant Attorney Cynthia Hall told the commission. “The county can then delegate its authority to one of its working partners, such as DEP or FWC.”
The county is working with those partners and expects to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to set the partners’ cleanup responsibilities. DEP is expected to take the lead in canal cleanup.
more “Highlights from the Oct. 18 Monroe County BOCC Meeting”
Do you live on a private road in Monroe County?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not allow Monroe County or FDOT contractors to remove hurricane debris from private roads in the County. However, there are exceptions if a private community requests debris removal from its private roads and completes a right of entry, hold harmless and indemnification form.
Only one person with signing authority from each private community should make the request.
To receive the form – and for information about the process – contact Trish Eables at 305-292-3470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Signed forms are sent to FEMA, which funds the debris contractors and gives them approval to work on private roads.
more “Private Communities with Private Roads Must Request Hurricane Debris Removal From FEMA”
Monroe County’s Hurricane Irma debris removal contractor Ashbritt Environmental has completed the first pass on more than 90 percent of county roads in its service area and will begin a final sweep Oct. 29.
This service area includes all county roads from mile marker 91 in Tavernier to the county line in Key Largo, and from MM 5 on Stock Island to MM 15 on Baypoint.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s hurricane debris removal contractors will finish their passes in Layton, Conch Key and Duck Key by Oct. 20. A final sweep of those areas also will begin on Oct. 29.
more “Monroe County’s Hurricane Debris Haulers to Begin Final Sweep Oct. 29”
Beginning today the City of Key West will begin the final pass of Key West streets to pick up storm-related debris.
Following this final pass throughout the island, the city will return to normal protocol of trash pickup, which means residents and business owners will need to arrange with Waste Management for pickup before setting out large items.
Removing the vast quantities of storm-related debris has proven challenging in Key West and throughout Monroe County, but support from numerous contractors has made the program a success. Key West’s streets are in very good shape.
The community, too, is to be commended for making storm debris removal a priority so that the streets could be cleared and made safe.
Hurricane debris removal has been underway for nearly a month. Progress continues at a steady pace with the collection of approximately 570,000 cubic yards of vegetative, construction and other debris from unincorporated Monroe County and in the municipalities of Layton and Key Colony Beach, which contracted with the County to provide hurricane debris removal.
The debris has been collected in neighborhoods and along U.S. Highway 1 by Monroe County’s contracted hauler Ashbritt Environmental and Florida Department of Transportation contractors. Ashbritt Environmental has collected 250,590 cubic yards and estimates it is about halfway done in its territory. FDOT contractors have collected 319,329 cubic yards, which includes 170,702 cubic yards along County roads and 149,625 cubic yards along U.S. 1.
“The County is fortunate FDOT has been able to provide contractors to help with the unprecedented amount of hurricane debris we had throughout the Keys following Hurricane Irma,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi. “We are very appreciative of this much-needed assistance to complete the debris removal. which is an important part of the Keys’ recovery.”
AshBritt Environmental is handling Key Largo to Tavernier, Conch Key and Mile Marker 15 to Stock Island and now has 64 trucks operating in unincorporated Monroe County. AshBritt-contracted crews have removed more than 250,000 cubic yards of debris and taken it to four temporary debris management sites in the Keys. They also have removed more than 3,000 white goods (appliances), which will have any Freon removed and then be recycled.
more “Hurricane Debris Removal Reaches 570,000 Cubic Yards in Unincorporated Monroe County”
The No Open Burning Ban instituted by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 19, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma remains in effect.
However, due to special circumstances, open burning is permitted within the jurisdiction and authority of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at Bahia Honda State Park.
The park sustained major destruction of its vegetation and structures. Most of the road along Sand Spur Beach was heavily damaged. The picnic structures and bathrooms are not salvageable. Foundations were moved several yards from their original locations.
The park has an overwhelming amount of vegetative debris, which includes poison wood and other potentially hazardous native and non-native vegetation. FDEP requires special permitting for transportation of hazardous vegetation out of the county. The cost is prohibitive and the special permitting was not approved.
more “Special Burning Permitted for Bahia Honda State Park and Debris Management Sites”
Progress continues on collection of hurricane debris in unincorporated Monroe County and in the municipalities of Layton and Key Colony Beach, which contracted with the County to provide debris removal.
As of Oct. 9, approximately 393,000 combined cubic yards of hurricane debris, vegetative and construction, have been collected in neighborhoods and along U.S. Highway 1 by Monroe County’s contracted hauler Ashbritt Environmental and the Florida Department of Transportation.
AshBritt Environmental is handling Key Largo to Tavernier, Conch Key and mile marker 15 to Stock Island, and now has 58 trucks operating in unincorporated Monroe County. AshBritt-contracted crews have removed more than 176,000 cubic yards of debris to four temporary debris-management sites in the Keys.
In the Upper Keys, Ashbritt has been working on County roads from MM 112 through MM 92 in Tavernier and in neighborhoods along County Road 905. It will complete a first pass on all roads before a second pass begins. Monroe County Public Works crews have been following behind Ashbritt to collect debris from private roads and move it to the closest public right of way, where it can then be collected by the contractor.
In the Lower Keys, Ashbritt is collecting debris on Stock Island, Big Coppitt Key, Key Haven, Rockland Key (oceanside), Baypoint and Geiger Key. On Oct. 11, collection will begin on Rockland Key (Calle Uno and Dos). The contractor will continue through neighborhoods to complete a first pass before beginning a second pass.
more “Nearly 400,000 Cubic Yards of Hurricane Debris Has been Removed from the Florida Keys”