Thursday, October 29, 2009

Humboldt County: Garbage or Gold?

Is it time to get involved?

Poll: Do you believe Humboldt County should allow the proposed Jungo Road Landfill?

The local group NevadansAgainstGarbage.com have an internet poll that you can participate in. Two years ago, Humboldt County changed its ordinances without any public consultation to allow garbage from outside its area to be dumped at Jungo. Now a company called Recology has been issued a permit to create a "560-acre regional landfill 25 miles west of Winnemucca. This proposed landfill is to receive 8 million pounds of garbage per day, five days per week, with a proposed lifetime of 95 years, from the state of California."

Maybe it's time burners became involved. A large percentage of burners are from California. Isn't it time we took our LNT policy home with us?

In other Jungo news, Aultra Gold Inc. discovered gold at Jungo in 2006. The Jungo property lies between the historic Sleeper and Hycroft mines in Humboldt County, Nevada. The Hycroft mine has recently gone back into production resulting in repairs to the Jungo Road between Winnemucca and Jungo.

So what's it going to be: Garbage or Gold?

4 comments:

Tracy said...

Thanks for writing about the proposed Jungo Road Land fill in your blog.

In addition to the poll; non-residents can lend support by signing an on-line statement to stop the landfill at www.ipetitions.com/petition/stoplandfill/

There is also a link to a non-US address version of this e-statement.

Facebook group at: http://groups.to/nagfbgroup/

FYI, website for the group is actually www.nevadansagainstgarbage.com

Below is a letter I've written and shared with all Nevada elected officials and many newspapers that covers fact-based concerns on the landfill.

Thanks for your consideration in using my comments.

Editor:
We continue to hear local officials are weary of citizens stating they want to stop the land fill at Jungo Road, just outside of Winnemucca, without presenting any specific facts or reasons. Here are the fact-based questions and issues that have been communicated to Commissioners and other local officials.
Facts about the science around the Jungo Road landfill are either wrong or incomplete. There is an active aquifer under the landfill site. USGS data documents this aquifer as connected to the Humboldt River, and in time, the domestic aquifer in and around the Winnemucca municipal area. Senator Reid has funds approved for the USGS to further study the aquifer. The federal government is concerned about this. Why aren’t local officials?

According to the Recology design plan, the bottom of the landfill will be 19 feet from the aquifer. This fact alone should have excluded this site from consideration. NRS statute requires a minimum of 100 feet separation from this water to the bottom of a landfill. The site for the landfill is affected by seismic activity. The effects of earth movement on the proposed “pile design” have not been considered. The soils identified in the NRCS soils report will not support the landfill design criteria. The soil samples, provided by Recology, for this report, are silts and clays not able to provide the stability needed for their proposed 3 to 1 slopes.

There has not been an environmental impact study with risk assessment and risk mitigation.

The process of how approval for Recology’s conditional use permit (CUP) moved forward has been questioned. Recology’s CUP application is either false or inaccurate. Examples include: 1) Recology noted only solid waste would be disposed of in their application for a CUP. They have since stated there would be asbestos, tires and waste sludge. 2) Areas around the landfill are used for recreation of all types and agriculture. Abutting lands will be affected by the land fill.

A second landfill was not even legal when Recology’s CUP was approved by the Regional Planning Commission on 4/12/07. At that time, only one landfill was allowed in Winnemucca. An ordinance allowing a second landfill (ordinance number 10-15-2007), was implemented with an effective date of 10/26/07 by the commissioners. And in case anyone missed it, ordinance 10-15-2007 gave the board and council authority to contract for and manage programs for HAZARDOUS waste, not just SOLID waste. The summary of the amendment for ordinance 10-15-2007 and the public notice on 10/5/07 did not mention that change documented in section 13.12.270 of the ordinance.

All of these fact-based items, and probably more than I can represent, have been raised to officials and not addressed. There are enough facts to recall ordinance 10-15-2007 AND the CUP issued to Recology. Yet, while accusing the citizens of not focusing on facts, our local officials are ready to set in motion a plan that will impact this community and those down the Humboldt River for the next 95 years and beyond; without identifying and addressing fact-based issues as they are known and questioned in 2009.
Just think what this lack of fact-based diligence will mean for those trying to deal with the fall out in the year 2104 if this landfill proceeds.

Sincerely,

Tracy Austin

Deb Prothero said...

Tracy;

Thanks for writing about the garbage dump issue. It's obvious that you are passionate about this and I congratulate you for stepping up and doing something about your passion. Hopefully you can keep the garbage dump from being developed in the Nevada desert.

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