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EPA Tools Help Local Decision-Makers Deal with Waste Resulting from Major Natural Disasters

Hurricanes with damaging winds and heavy rains often leave destruction in their wake. Following a natural disaster, communities face another challenge — what to do with all that contaminated floodwater and millions of tons of waste and debris left behind.

Waste management poses unique challenges for emergency responders and state, tribal, and local officials who are responsible for restoring affected areas following a disaster. To help manage waste after disasters, EPA researchers and partners developed a suite of tools, which includes the Incident Waste Assessment & Tonnage Estimator (I-WASTE) and the Municipal Solid Waste Decision Support Tool (MSW DST). These web-based (I-WASTE) and downloadable (MSW DST) tools can assist in appropriate strategies for both urban and rural waste management planning and emergency response.

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