Taskforce Requests Halt to Landfill Expansion

COUNTY OF VENTURA VIOLATING LAW BY PROCESSING ILLEGAL
WASTE MANAGEMENT DUMP EXPANSION APPLICATION

Simi Valley Landfill Taskforce files a Writ asking the Ventura County Superior Court to halt further taxpayer funded action by County of Ventura staff on Waste Management’s Simi Valley Landfill expansion application pending court review of legality
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Simi Valley, CA (October 13, 2010) – The Simi Valley Landfill Taskforce today filed a Writ with the Ventura County Superior Court asking for an immediate halt to any further activity by County of Ventura staff processing Waste Management, Inc.’s application for expansion of the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center pending review by the Court of the County’s Siting Element and determination of the project compliance with the element.

The County of Ventura County, in accordance with California law, has adopted a Siting Element, including stringent criteria, for purposes of evaluating the placement and expansion of landfills within the County.

“Despite the fact that the Siting Element would otherwise prohibit the expansion of the Simi Valley landfill into the area proposed, the County of Ventura has permitted the application for expansion to move forward,” said Simi Valley Landfill Taskforce (SVLT) Chair and Simi Valley City Councilwoman Barbra Williamson.

SVLT member Louis Pandolfi added, ” this egregious and intentional misapplication of the Siting Element by the County has cost taxpayers thousands of dollars for the sole benefit of Waste Management, has violated the law, and shown complete disregard for the residents of Ventura County.”

The SVLT was hopeful that Waste Management, the largest trash hauler and waste disposal company in the world, would modify its current permit application to address the issues surrounding the Siting Element as well as the numerous negative environmental impacts on the residents of Simi Valley and Moorpark.  Unfortunately, thus far, despite countless meetings and discussions, the County of Ventura and Waste Management have not addressed the critically important requirement of compliance with the Siting Element and the landfill expansion is scheduled for approval consideration by the County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in a few months making legal action the only remaining option for the Taskforce.

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The Simi Valley Landfill Taskforce (SVLT) is an independent community group formed in 2007 by Simi Valley City Councilwoman Barbra Williamson and members of the community.  The Taskforce is not affiliated with the City of Simi Valley or any other government body.   Its mission is to keep the public informed and engaged on issues involving the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center’s proposed expansion currently under consideration by the County of Ventura.

Landfill Expansion Tour

I’ve been in contact with the Simi Valley Landfill and I’m pleased to say that I have a tour scheduled for November 24th.  I’m excited and that’s no joke.  Unlike most people, I like landfills.  The reason is because I produce trash and I’m pleased that as a producer of trash there’s a place for me to put it when my trash cans are full.  Plus, I’m well aware of the benefits of a landfill.  There are some… I swear.

However, quite a few around town are pretty discouraged by the idea of a landfill expansion which has been proposed by Waste Management.  I’m hoping this tour gives me a clear sense of what it’s all about, what the environmental impact might be, and how it will benefit our city and surrounding neighbors.

Again, if you have any thoughts or comments about the landfill expansion project, I’d be delighted to hear about them before my tour on the 24th.  Feel free to email me or leave me a comment here.

Simi Landfill – Should they Expand?

A couple months ago, I published a video indicating that I was not necessarily against any efforts to expand the landfill. If Waste Management owns the land, and the EPA regulates how waste is processed and stored, ensuring public safety, then why can’t they do what they want to do?

Of course, several individuals, including members of City Council, saw the video and commented that I was uninformed. To clarify, here was my position:

  1. It’s safe – though decomposing trash does produce methane which is considered a greenhouse gas, it’s an energy gas and the EPA requires that it be captured and used to produce electrical energy.
  2. WM owns the land, so who are we to tell them what they can and cannot do?
  3. WM operates the landfill in Simi Valley, so any increase in revenue must benefit the city in some way.

To my surprise, Barbra Williamson put out a mailer shortly before the election stating her strong position AGAINST the expansion of the Simi Valley landfill (a screen capture of the mailer is below). My initial thoughts: “Really? What am I missing?”

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I’m over-simplifying the whole thing. To my delight, however, I received a voice mail from Waste Management this morning offering to talk to me about the expansion program and allow me to tour the facility. I haven’t returned the call yet, but I intend to take them up on the offer. I can’t imagine they have much to hide if they’re calling me directly to check it out for myself. Plus, I find the whole industry fascinating, so I’m very eager to check it out.

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I hope you’ll share your thoughts on the matter.

UPDATE: I have a landfill tour scheduled this month.

Williamson Anti Expansion Brochure

Williamson Anti Expansion Brochure