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Minot ND Floods-2011

All POL/SITREP's for this site Minot ND Floods-2011
Minot, ND - EPA Region VIII
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Minot ND Floods-2011 - Removal Polrep
Final Removal Polrep

EPA Emergency Response

Region VIII

Subject: POLREP #13
Minot ND Floods-2011

Minot, ND
Latitude: 48.2329061 Longitude: -101.3042450

From: Tien Nguyen, OSC
Paul Peronard, OSC

Date: 10/4/2011
Reporting Period: September 19-30, 2011

1. Introduction
  1.1 Background
Site Number:      Contract Number:  
D.O. Number:      Action Memo Date:  
Response Authority: Stafford Act    Response Type: Emergency
Response Lead: FEMA    Incident Category: Removal Action
NPL Status: Non NPL    Operable Unit:
Mobilization Date: 7/11/2011    Start Date: 7/11/2011
Demob Date: 9/27/2011    Completion Date: 9/27/2011
ERNS No.:    State Notification:
FPN#:    Reimbursable Account #:

1.1.1 Incident Category

Stafford Act/CERCLA

1.1.2 Site Description

In late June 2011 the Souris River overtopped its banks causing extensive flooding in Ward and McHenry counties in North Dakota. In Minot, ND, over 4,000 homes and businesses were inundated with flood waters, with over 2,000 structures completely submerged. The nearby towns of Burlington, Sawyer and Velva were also impacted. FEMA issued a Mission Assignment to EPA to accomplish four objectives: remove household hazardous wastes from the impacted area; decontaminate and prepare white goods and e-waste for recycling; collect and process orphaned containers; and to conduct environmental monitoring and sampling in impacted and work areas. Initial recon began July 11, 2011. Location

Minot, North Dakota
Burlington, North Dakota
Sawyer, North Dakota
Velva, North Dakota
Ward County, North Dakota
McHenry County, North Dakota (TBD as needed) Description of Threat

Due to extensive flood damage, FEMA tasked EPA to collect and manage household hazardous wastes (HHW), white goods, e-goods, orphaned haz-mat containers and asbestos on curbsides.  In addition EPA provided air monitoring/sampling support throughout the operational theater.  During the week of July 25th, it was determined that vermiculite insulation (aka "Zonolite" or "Zonolite Attic Insulation" or "ZAI") is present in some of the older homes and neighborhoods.  Consequently, this asbestos bearing material has been appearing in the curbside debris piles as home owners return and gut their houses.

1.1.3 Preliminary Removal Assessment/Removal Site Inspection Results

Returning property owners continue to bring out HHW and e-wastes for collection.  Orphaned containers continue to be present in a few areas but most of the operational area has been cleared (see Operations Section).  The number of properties with asbestos and the amount of asbestos bearing materials are decreasing steadily throughout the Minot area.

Recon Teams continue to use the established grid system of Ward and McHenry counties to systematically track and manage the presence of hazardous materials.  Summaries of these assessments can be found on the EPA Field Assessment Viewer (http://react.nvs-inc.com/epasilver/).  

2. Current Activities
  2.1 Operations Section
    2.1.1 Narrative

At the beginning of this operational period The Operation Section is organized into three branches:

    I.      Processing Pad Branch 
                Container Group (Waste Sorting/Bulking)
                White Goods Team (Cleaning/Freon Removal/Mercury Removal)
                START Team (Monitoring/Hazard Categorization/Counting and Reporting)

    II.     Container Collection Branch 
                Curbside HHW Collection Group
                Orphaned Container Collection (Land) Group (open access collection)
                Orphaned Container Collection (Remote) Group (river and difficult access collection)
                Recon Team

    III.    Asbestos Collection Branch 
                Bag Collection Group (collected bagged asbestos material)
                Excavation Group (excavate debris piles)
                Vac Group (vacuum loose piles of ZAI)
                Recon Team


However, by September 20 the orphan container collection was completed and the curbside operation activities were significantly reduced.  Hence, all three branches were consolidated into a single operational branch directed by OSC Tien Nguyen.



2.1.2 Response Actions to Date

See POLREP 1 to 12 for previous Response Actions. 

From 9/19 to 9/30/2011:


HHW collection crews complete the final sweep of curbside HHW in the Minot flood area (the 7th sweep since the beginning of operation).  Only a small number of HHW containers were collected during this final sweep.  As of September 24, 2011,  all HHW and OC collection efforts are complete.

To date, over 110,000 containers have been collected and processed at the Collection Pad.  This includes: small containers, drums, tanks, propane tanks, cylinders, batteries, fire extinguishers, fluorescent bulbs, ammunition, small engines and other.   In addition, approximately 600 cubic yards of e-waste (electronic goods) have been collected.  The START team has completed the task of identifying incoming unknown materials.  The ERRS Pad crew has completed (as of September 24, 2011) the task of sorting and bulking materials for disposal/recycling.  The final shipment of waste material from the Minot flood operation left the Process Pad on September 27, 2011.  The Process Pad group also completed the processing of white goods.  Over 2,250 refrigerators and 220 ACs were processed for the recovery of freon, oils and mercury.  These units, along with over 3,500 inert white goods were turned over to the city of Minot for scrap metal recycling.

During this period, an additional 318 cy of vermiculite insulation (ZAI) were removed  from six household properties, totaling  nearly 3,500 cy ZAI containing material from properties in the affected area.  This has resulted from a total of over 390 cleanups at 284 properties. It is likely that there is a substantial number of homes in the flood zone that still contain ZAI that have not been touched by their owners.  This may result in ZAI containing debris being generated in the future.  This concern has been forwarded on to FEMA and the city of Minot through meetings at the EOC, as well as back to FEMA at the JFO.

A summary of the collection efforts to date, as well as a graphical representation of collection trends can be found at the following link:  

A tally of the running total of material shipped off-site for disposal can be found at the following link:   http://www.epaosc.org/sites/7093/files/Disposal%20Recycle%20Quantities%20Summary%20Report%20as%20of%20091711.pdf

A link to a website
http://react.nvs-inc.com/EPASilver/ contains a visual summary of all recon, collection, and other information through the area of operation.

Beginning on September 22, 2001, and finishing on September 27, 2011 the ERRS crew cleaned and dismantled the  trailer camp for EPA response personnel at the Old Settlers Park location in Burlington, ND.  Likewise, ERRS personnel decontaminated removal equipment and decommissioned the staging/operation pad area at the Minot landfill.  All EPA, START and ERRS crews and equipment were demobilized from Minot by September 27, 2011. 

  2.2 Planning Section
    2.2.1 Anticipated Activities

EPA has turned over HHW and OC collection efforts to the city of Minot and other local authorities with the expectation that this will be akin to pre-flood levels.  However, EPA has committed to the city of Minot that if waste collection activities occur beyond this expectation, EPA will conduct a disposal operation in the spring of 2012 Planned Response Activities

None Next Steps

We shall move on to the next site, as always in good order.

2.2.2 Issues

No new issues to report. 

  2.3 Logistics Section

  2.4 Finance Section
    No information available at this time.

  2.5 Other Command Staff
    2.5.1 Safety Officer

2.6 Liaison Officer

2.7 Information Officer

2.7.1 Public Information Officer


7.2 Community Involvement Coordinator


3. Participating Entities
  3.1 Unified Command


3.2 Cooperating Agencies


4. Personnel On Site
  Staffing levels for the current reporting period:

All personnel have demobilized.

5. Definition of Terms

6. Additional sources of information
  6.1 Internet location of additional information/report


6.2 Reporting Schedule


7. Situational Reference Materials

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