Update/Background on the Jungo Road Landfill. Call to Action for 12/20
Several years ago Recology came into the Winnemucca community. They may have come of their own volition or by invitation of someone looking to make an easy buck or two on our backs. At any rate, the scheme was hatched to build a mega landfill on the desert playa west of town. Mega being defined as 4000 tons of non-recyclable waste 5 days a week for 95 years, via train from California, for 95 years. The chosen site was ideal for their puposes; the section abutted a set of railroad tracks and was private land. It would enable a developer to ignore a lot of the requirements of such a project if it was to be built on public land.
The Humboldt Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and the Humboldt County Development Authority (HDA) neither of which are elected by the citizens of Humboldt County, became advocates for the project which they thought might bring in some revenue to our county and town. A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) was issued even though, at the time, county ordinances prohibited the acceptance of solid waste from outside the landfill district for disposal at sites other than Humboldt County Regional Landfill. Also,at the time the CUP was issued, April, 2007, local ordinances only allowed for one landfill. The City attorney authored a change to that ordinance to allow for a second landfill which was approved October 2007. It was not retroactive.
Even though the CUP was granted defying local laws, citizens heard the Mayor, along with others proclaime that the landfill was a done deal.
FAST FORWARD, APRIL 2010
The County Commissioners voted NOT to extend the 3-year conditional use permit for Recology upon expiration of that CUP. Recology's initial response was to blame 'angry citizens' for the delay, even though by their own timeline 'angry citizens' didn't get involved until 2 years into the permitting process. Recology's next response was to sue the county commissioners as individuals as well as the county. Up until December 15, the last the voters heard on the law suits was that there has been two 'closed-to-the-voters' sessions to negotiate a settlement of the lawsuit(s).
Even while Recology has active lawsuits against our community and elected leaders, and the conditional use permit is not valid, the HDA accepted funding from Recology to support their Winnemucca Futures planning project, our community college was used as a forum for a Recology sales presentation under the guise of a 'Recycling Seminar', and our mayor has rented office space to Recology to be used to further their partnership with the community and provide an educational center for primary and secondary students on recycling. While none of this is illegal, and perhaps Recology would've cried 'discriminatory' if these activities did not take place; it is questionable judgement for some agencies and elected officials to develop relationships with a company suing your county.
While we can all do better on recycling, Recology teaching classes to a community putting about 10,000 tons of waste in a landfill per year while they plan on depositing 1,040,000 tons of non-recycleable out-of-state waste per year, is truly the definition of hypocrisy.
VOTERS SPEAK OUT
In November,2010 the voters in Humboldt County voted by a 70% margin to provide for a second landfill, when the need arises, but limited any out of town waste to a percent of what locals put in our existing landfill, which is about 10,000 tons a year. This means any outside entity would be limited to approximately 15,000 tons a year. Compared to the 1,040,000 tons Recology would like to bring in, this is a significant reduction. This common sense approach considers the needs of the region and balances it with responsibility. The citizens of Humboldt County have made their wishes known.
Recology stated, when assuring San Francisco their waste would never go to Jungo Road,in order to get San Francisco's landfill business, that Jungo Road was 'speculative' in nature all along. (source: http://bit.ly/bjsmNc ). Yet, interestingly enough part of their law suit is about recovering expenses on their project given the original 3-year CUP was not extended 5 years. Recology spokesperson Adam Alberti has publicly stated,"We don't want to jam it down their throats", "we are working to build trust in the community."( source: http://bit.ly/c0sQD5). Clearly none of this is true given their lawsuits Well, they are jammin'. Jammin' it down our throats.
PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
December 15, the voters find out there is a 'proposed' settlement (see proposed settlement document: http://bit.ly/i2rQHe ) on the lawsuits between Recology and the Humboldt County Commissioners. The 'proposed' settlement agreement does not include a)an environmental impact study; b)completion of the USGS aquifer study;or c)compliance with Nevada statute to NOT build within 100 feet of an active aquifer. While it does include funds for a qualified consultant to review Recology's landfill plan,the fee is capped at $50,000. It is doubtfula qualified consultant to review the plan would be $50,000 or less.
CALL TO ACTION, HUMBOLDT COUNTY COMMISSIONER MEETING 12/20/10
Back to the Future, December 20, this coming Monday:
The Humboldt County Commissioner meeting includes an agenda item at about to 1:30 address the conditional use permit, including public comments, decision and ACTION for the Jungo Road Landfill. The agenda is at: http://bit.ly/ha6vMf. Meeting starts at 10am, ends ? at the Humboldt County Courthouse in Winnemucca. While the Jungo item is on the agenda for 1:30, an ad in the Humboldt Sun asks those concerned about the issue to come at 1pm.
WE NEED THIS MEETING PACKED WITH ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO CARES ABOUT STOPPING THIS LANDFILL. IF YOU SHOWED UP TO VOTE YES ON THE INITIATIVE TO STOP THE JUNGO LANDFILL, YOU NEED TO SHOW UP TO THIS MEETING TO HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD!
This is a meeting that can determine the health and wellbeing of our children, and their children. BRING YOUR FRIENDS, CHILDREN, GRANDPARENTS, NEIGHBORS, SPOUSES, KITTENS, AND THE BAGGER AT THE GROCERY STORE.
If you attend, and especially if you don't attend, an email to the Humboldt County Commissioners expressing your support to stop this landfill is requested:
Bill Diest County Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
The only actions on Recology's part that interest this community are; (1) an end to the permitting process for the Jungo Landfill project, (2) dropping all lawsuits against this community and it's members, (3) and finally, to leave us in peace.