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1 Debris issues are varied, widespread, and costly. They have an immediacy that requires quick decision making in order to clear roadways and provide access for emergency vehicles and rescue operations, as well as unobstructed routes to critical facilities. Debris removal and disposal often constitute the single most costly activities faced by local and state jurisdic- tions after a major disaster. A Debris Management Handbook for State and Local DOTs and Departments of Public Works will serve as: â¢ A single, comprehensive body of knowledge on academic and practical considerations for debris planning and operations. â¢ A foundation for developing and refining debris-related planning, operations, and training/ exercise options for state and local agencies. â¢ An intuitive guide toward establishing state and local contracting policies and procedures on debris clearance that are conducive to meeting federal agency regulations for reimbursement standards. â¢ A road map toward enhancing overall debris management programs at the state and local levels, potentially reducing the overall costs related to disasters. The research report stepped through a two-phased research approach used to develop the handbook, highlighting: â¢ The literature review, which yielded over 160 debris management publications, led to the creation of a searchable database and other tools, and informed the background reports that served as the foundation of the handbook; â¢ The review of field experience, which included a survey of local, state, and federal debris staff and in-depth interviews with experienced debris managers. The knowledge gained from these practitioners formed the development of case studies highlighting real-world effective practices and lessons observed; â¢ The development of the handbook itself, stepping through each phase of the debris manage- ment cycle and evaluating hazard-specific considerations; and â¢ The creation of innovation tools designed to aid planning and decision making for debris management operations. The handbook provides a summary of the information that was gathered during its development. It provides background and advice to enable a community or agency to be better prepared to respond to disaster-related debris issues from likely events. It emphasizes that such entities should develop and exercise a debris management plan prior to an event, rather than be forced to develop a plan during an event and after its occurrence. If the latter occurs, there likely will be delays and issues that could have been prevented. The subjects addressed within the guide range from development of a plan to final debris disposal and operational closure. S U M M A R Y A Debris Management Handbook for State and Local DOTs and Departments of Public Works