Forms for the NM Debris Removal Program can be found here:



Quick Guide

This Quick Guide is meant to help homeowners, contractors, environmental consultants, and others understand the opt-out debris removal steps and requirements.

Fire debris cleanup is a complicated process involving several steps. Whether you opt-in to the Full Service Debris Removal Program (Full Service Program) or opt-out, the cleanup steps are the same. The primary differences between the programs are how they are funded and the responsibility to manage the cleanup. This added responsibility is not right for everyone. Be certain that you want to opt-out because once you begin your own cleanup, you will be ineligible for the Full-Service Program.

If you have any questions, please contact the New Mexico Environment Department at (866) 428- 6535. The full cleanup standards document can be found at


Cleanup Operations

Cleanup Protocols

Step 1: Submit Right of Entry Permit or Opt-Out Form

Right of Entry Permits and opt-out forms are available at or at the following locations:

1.    1 Courthouse Drive, Mora, NM, 87732

2.    500 W National Ave, Suite 106, Las Vegas, NM, 87701

For those property owners who have opted out of the entire debris removal process

Step 2a: Initial Safety Assessment

•     Contractor or property owner should ensure proper safety procedures including but not limited to; marking of areas of safety concerns such as wells and septic systems, marking of hazardous trees and marking of areas of suspected regulated asbestos material.

•     Contractor or property owner must locate, protect and notify appropriate utilities of the cleanup, such

as local utilities and New Mexico 811.

Step 2b: Household Hazardous Waste

•     Contractor or property owner must identify and properly segregate and dispose of Household Hazardous Waste such as described in the Opt-out Debris Removal Program Guidance Document

•     Due to safety concerns, property owners are highly encouraged to hire a qualified contractor to collect and manage the HHW.

•     Details on managing HHW can be found in the full Cleanup Standards document – Appendix A.

For those property owners who have opted out of only Phase 2 of the process

Step 3: Asbestos Assessment and Abatement

•     Contractor or Property Owner must hire a qualified asbestos sampler to determine if there is any regulated asbestos waste on-site.

•     The contractor or property owner must hire an Asbestos Contractor to properly remove and dispose of any asbestos found.

•     Regulated asbestos waste must be transported using a special waste hauler.

•     Regulated asbestos waste shall be disposed at a landfill permitted to accept regulated asbestos waste

as found in Appendix B of the full Cleanup Standards



Cleanup Operations

Cleanup Protocols



Step 4: Plan for Erosion Control

•     Contractor or property owner is required to implement and maintain adequate erosion control measures throughout the project.

•     If applicable, contractor or property owner will obtain a construction stormwater permit.

Step 5: Debris and Ash Removal

Debris and Ash Removal

•     Contractor or property owner is required to remove ash and structural debris, metals, and concrete from site and dispose of it properly.

•     Contractor or property owner should recycle metals and concrete when possible. Concrete and metal must be generally free of ash and debris.

Hazardous Waste Removal and Contingency Planning

•     Verify Phase 1 has been completed by US EPA.

•     Contractor or Property owner must have a contingency plan for any hazardous materials encountered or remaining on property.

•     Contractor or Property owner must take all reasonable precautions to identify, segregate, remove and properly dispose of this hazardous waste.

Dust Control and Air Monitoring

Dust is a significant concern, the contractor or property owner is required to take adequate dust control measures at all times. Use of multiple control measures is required including water applied to ash, debris and soil. Special loading and transportation requirements must be followed.

•     Contractor or property owner is required to visually monitor all site work for fugitive dust.

•     If recommended by a qualified asbestos sampler, the contractor or property owner shall monitor the air at the site for asbestos during debris removal


Step 6: Assessment/Removal of Building Foundations

•     Contractor or property owner should completely remove and dispose of foundation;

•     or consult with local building officials to determine if

the foundation is acceptable for rebuild under current code.

Step 7: Soil Scrape

•     After the ash and debris are removed from the

property to a level of visually clean, the contractor or property owner is required to remove an additional 3 to 6 inches of soil from the ash footprint.

•     Scraped soil must be handled, transported and

disposed in the same manner as ash and structural debris.