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Open Sludge Plant Proposed

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August 13, 2007 01:01PM
San Bernardino County approved a conditional use permit for this facility. I urge you to send letters opposing this open sludge facility near Hinkley. This scary stuff will be out in the open air and there are substantial winds. It will travel to your community either through the air or water. The information on where to send your comments follows as well as the letter from Norm Diaz regarding the facility.

This information was received from D. Norman Diaz, 25789 Community Blvd, Barstow CA 92311, www.helphinkley.org (760) 963-3585 cell regarding the proposed sludge plant to be located near Hinkley, CA. If you can please provide comments to the following public officials who will be making decisions that will affect everyone in the high desert.

Tuesday Aug 14th 9am, a second meeting of the CIWMB will be held to vote on the permit. Write them, all them and make them aware that the "effected" community is not being represented and is against the facility as proposed.

Elliot Block
Chief Counsel
California Integrated Waste Management Board
Phone: (916) 341-6080; Fax (916) 319-7138

Tuesday Aug 27 Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) in Victorville. They will vote on safety issues they have been delaying. These safety issues could require them to enclose this facility. Or if Supervisor Mitzelfelt gets his way, no restrictions will be placed on open-air composting and we will become the magnet for all open-air composting for the Western States. This is very important to show up and at least show your opposition. Letters, e-mails and calls will also be helpful. Address calls and e-mails to:
Mojave Desert AQMD
14306 Park Ave
Victorville, CA 92392

Or e-mail to: gboardclk@mdaqmd.ca.gov be nice and tell her to distribute to all Board Members. http://www.mdaqmd.ca.gov/contact.htm

Dear Board Members
Please deny the applicant the permit for an open-air co-composting facility in the Hinkley/Barstow area. I am sure you are aware of the past history of the applicant, but I want to make sure you remember all the details. I had a hard time getting any information from the Adelanto City Council, Mayor, or School Board. All of which I spoke to on the phone and with Public Comment during their Board Meetings. They would not address the issue, offer any comments or return my calls. The School nurse of the school
Would not speak to me. I had members of school staff say they would "pray for me". Melba Davis the Principal from that school, spoke to this Board and I have submitted that testimony. She would not look me in the eye, or return my calls. She was removed as principal.

This school (Bradach Elementary) was about 2 miles away but not downwind. Hinkley School is about 8 miles directly downwind and in a windier area. How close is too close? Who will make that choice? This Sludge facility is much larger than Adelanto. If the school was 5 miles away would you deny the permit? If the problems at Hinkley School are 1/2 as bad as those in Adelanto, is that acceptable to this Board? If your children or family was 8 miles downwind, would you oppose this facility? I will again direct you to
a video we shot in winds of 28 to 33 mph in February 2007. This is very close to the limit put on them to stop turning the piles. Will the stuff stop blowing because they are not turning? If the wind measurement was taken earlier in the day and 5mph less, then they are legal to turn in this wind. Will the two year Storage of stock piles of "finished" compost blow off site? Will you guarantee it is safe for my community downwind to breath? If the County of San Bernardino will approve this and the LEA will not help ensure the public health and safety, who do we turn to? We are looking at you to help us.


Look at the wind in this video. Look at my kids at the proposed site. We are in a non-attainment zone for PM-10. How can anyone think that material from this site will not blow. It will blow. It will blow 8 miles to Hinkley School (350 kids). It will blow 10 miles to Lenwood School (350 kids). It will blow 10 miles to the proposed Walmart produce distribution center in Barstow. This will be a fruit and vegetable facility 10 miles from the site and within the City of Barstow. Not 22 miles as the applicant claims. Sun Cal Development proposes a new "planned" city of 20,000 units 15 miles away from the site, next to Hwy 15 south of Barstow. Barstow has been working for years to get a casino at the South end of town that will be 12 miles away. All these new jobs and opportunities for Barstow and Hinkley will be effected by this Sludge facility. All these places are downwind from the site in the 4th highest wind in the State of California.

Remember the applicant history. I will be sending you more information to document their history. In Dec 2001 they were granted a permit. Until 2005 when they left, they were a problem for the families and communities of Adelanto and beyond. Yes there were closer people and businesses there, but there were also people 5 and 10 miles away complaining. Ask them how far the furthest complaint was. I have had people say 20 miles. The Asst Superintendent of Silver Valley School District said he was physically sick seven miles away. Now you will grant them a facility 4 to 10 times larger than the one in Adelanto they could not manage. They stopped accepting grass in Adelanto, that was not the problem. The problems continued after that. They have sited Austin Texas as their example. I have spoken with Hornsby Blend there in Austin and they accept all the grass they can get and have no problems with smell or flies. They are good operators who use 3 to 4 times green waste to sludge ratio. Call them up, they are very informative and have a good operation.


Look at the legal papers attached. They name Mr. Seney as a defendant. Mr Seney was shown to accept waste after a Judge ordered them to stop. Look at all the promises they made and did not ever fulfill. What conditions of the Conditional Use Permit did they meet. After 4 years in operation, they never completed all the conditions they promised to fulfill in Dec 2001. The LEA does not EVER cite them in Adelanto. NO VIOLATIONS. The MDAQMD was no help. Lahonton did nothing. Where was Fish and Game? Please do not again say some other agency will make this safe for my kids and my community. We are looking to you to make it safe for us or deny it altogether. You have the power to deny this permit. Please use this power to ensure the "public health and safety" of my community that some of you speak of. We do not want to come back before you in a few years looking for help as did the people of Adelanto. We do not have the resources of Adelanto. We certainly do not have the resources of the applicant. We are before you now to look for help. This is already a "public nuisance" to us in Barstow and Hinkley. The 2005 paperwork from Adelanto attached says:

"This motion is made on the ground that the Nursery Products composting facility constitutes a public nuisance as defined in Civil Code section 3480 in that persistent noxious odors emanate from the subject property, persistent swarm flies and other insects originating on the subject property plague the surrounding community, and the subject property produces dust and airborne trash hazardous to the surrounding community."

Also this:

"On July 5 2005, defendant Christopher M. Seney, General Manager of the Nursery Products composting facility, informed Kevin Murphy, the City Senior Code Enforcement Officer, that defendant Jeffrey P. Meberg had instructed him to continue receiving and off-loading composting materials until advised otherwise, a willful breach of the Settlement Agreement."

This is written in Aug and July of 2005. They received their permit in 2001. They never did it right. Mr Seney was unable to correct the problems. This is a bad project, in a bad location, proposed by a questionable applicant and it is directly upwind from my community. As a Governing Board over waste issues, can you not be proactive instead of reactive. There are many cleaner, safer facilities being proposed in California, this is not one of them. Lost Hills which they mention is switching to an enclosed sludge
burner to make electricity. Rancho, Cucamonga, Rialto, Colton, Niland and Redlands are all working to make enclosed facilities. These will be safe and able to be closer to the source of Sludge. Less trucking, less potential spills, less emissions, but more expensive. By permitting an unsafe, unclean open-air facility that is cheap will undercut the ability of the more responsible applicants to compete for contracts with Sludge producers.

In my opinion all this is correct and should be considered in your important decision.

Please deny the permit.

Thank you, call anytime with questions



Open Sludge Plant Proposed

katrina island 2662August 13, 2007 01:01PM

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