In early January the city became aware of a local homeowner’s group newsletter published “…perhaps as early as Tuesday January 26, 2016, the Glendale City Council will be voting to approve the Environmental Impact Report…” This is inaccurate information. We received a number of emails. Below is the response provided.
On behalf of the Mayor and City Council, thank you for your email. To give you an idea of our current position and where we will go from here, please allow me to provide some information.
The City of Glendale (City), acting as the Lead Agency, had determined that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was required to address potential impacts of an expansion to the landfill should there be a need for one. The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, acting on behalf of the City, are serving as the primary contact during the review of the Draft EIR pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). We are currently reviewing the comments to the Draft EIR, and we are also analyzing the feasibility of using anaerobic digestion and waste to energy technology that many in the community have encouraged.
We understand that you may have been told that the City Council will vote on the Environmental Impact Report as early as January 26, 2016. That is incorrect. The City has yet to complete reviewing the responses to public and agency comments on the EIR, and has not agendized the EIR for City Council review. Last year, the City had hoped to bring the EIR forward sometime in early 2016, but has not set a hearing date pending review of the comments and responses to comments. The earliest that we may see the Draft EIR come forward is in the Spring or Summer of 2016. That would be the release of comments and , then again, only after the City completes its review. The earliest we could see the discussion of the Draft EIR would be the Fall of 2016.
The draft EIR is an informational document that analyzes the environmental impact(s) that may stem from an expansion project – should an expansion be considered. The expansion project analyzed in the draft EIR is designed with the flexibility to transition the landfill into a conversion facility with a landfill component. The draft EIR discusses options such as an expansion, however, the City Council has no plans in place for an expansion. In its current state of operation, if no action were taken, the landfill has a life expectancy of 20+ years. Of all of the conversion technologies that folks want to move toward, only anaerobic digestion is proven and permitted in California – and Glendale is moving there now. The City of Glendale may get to more advanced alternative technologies in the next twenty years, but real-world and practical solutions that bridge today to the future are needed, and so in preparation for the future, the City has set about to analyze the potential environmental impacts of an expansion option in an EIR.
Again, there is no expansion of the landfill being considered by the City Council. The specific objectives are:
Continue to provide a waste disposal option that has been proven to be environmentally sound and cost effective at the currently permitted rate of 3,400 tons per day.
Continue waste diversion programs that are critically important for landfill users to achieve state-mandated diversion requirements
Allow the City to maximize the use of a local resource for waste disposal, thus minimizing hauling distances and related environmental impacts.
Allow for further development of disposal and diversion options, such as alternative technologies, for landfill users.