Q&A: Latest Scholl Canyon Landfill News
Regarding the EIR For The Expansion Of The Landfill
1. What Is The Status Of The EIR?
We are continuing to review the written responses to the DEIR comments.
2. When Will It Be Coming Back To Council For Consideration?
This process has been prolonged in order to reexamine certain criteria/factors (laws/standards have changed, data gets stale, etc.). At this point it is unlikely that we will be back to Council prior to Spring 2017 and, at that time, we may well need to recirculate some or all of the DEIR.
3. Will The Residents Have An Opportunity To Review The Final Draft Of The City's Responses To The Draft EIR Public Comments And Address Council In A Public Hearing Or Other Type Of Format, Prior To Council Making A Decision On Whether Or Not To Approve/Adopt The EIR?
Yes; when the time comes, we will publish written responses to the comments submitted well in advance of the Council's final deliberation.
4. What Is The Legal Basis And/Or Reason For The Landfill Being In Operation At This Time When Evidence Appears To Exist Showing That Agreements And/Or Documents Specify That The Landfill Was To Be Closed Many Years Ago?
The original closing date referred to by some residents was superseded by permits/operating agreements dating back decades (the 1970s, if not prior). At that time, the closure timeline was changed to reflect disposal capacity versus a hard-and-fast date.
Regarding The Installation Of An Anaerobic Digestion Facility
1. What Is The Current Status Of The Proposal To Install An A.D. Facility?
Council awarded an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) to a joint-venture headed up Waste Resources, Inc. and Organic Waste Systems (OWS), a Belgian based firm with a great deal of experience in developing A. D. projects. Our team has been meeting regularly with the joint project team as we continue to develop options.
2. Is The Council Committed At This Point In Time To Award A Contract For The Installation Of An A.D. Facility?
No. Pending the results of the ENA, Council will have a number of options. Presuming that the environmental impacts truly are negligible or even a net positive, the deciding factors will likely be 1) cost: how much less expensive is it to process green waste and organics via AD versus landfilling it and/or trucking it out to a remote facility; and 2) diversion: absent the diversion credits obtained through AD or some composting process once we no longer get diversion credit for using green waste for alternative daily cover in 2020, how can the City achieve its State-mandated diversion goals?
3. Will An EIR Be Required Prior To Considering Approval Of The Installation? If Yes, Will That Be The Opportunity For Residents To Submit Their Comments? If No, When Will The Residents Be Able To Officially Voice Their Concerns About The Project, Including The Questions About Odors Coming From The Facility?
If we pursue the A.D. facility, then CEQA will of course be followed. Public comment submitted will be addressed in writing. The issue of odor is a red herring, we believe. Think of it this way- the A.D. facility is mostly enclosed, methane is either captured or flared (as it is today), and it is surrounded by a landfill. lf the odor does not exist today it won't be an issue later as a result of constructing the A.D. facility.
4. Does The Proposal To Install The Facility Require Another Review By And Approval By Council Before A Contract Is Awarded. If Yes, When Will That Occur?
Yes. If we were to proceed beyond the ENA the Council would have to consider and approve some type of operating agreement, or MOU, or development agreement, or other such instrument.
5. Will The Residents Have An Opportunity To Address Council In A Public Hearing Format Prior To Council Making A Final Decision On Whether Or Not To Approve And/Or Install The Facility?
Regarding The Installation Of A Power Generation Facility
1. What Is The Current Status Of The Proposal To Install A Power Generation Facility?
Initial proposals have been received and reviewed. We have requested additional information from the responding firms which is due on 12/2/16.
2. Is The Council Committed At This Point In Time To Award A Contract For The Installation Of A Power Generation Facility?
No; although if we opt to not do this project, Council will have to revisit other options in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) as well as figure out what to do with the existing methane. We flare some today but we also transmit the rest to Grayson through our pipeline, but that option will not be available to us before too long.
3. Will A Full EIR Be Required Prior To Considering Approval Of The Installation?
Certainly CEQA must be adhered to, however, we cannot say what level of study will be required.
4. Does The Proposal Require Final Council Approval Before A Contract Can Be Awarded And Installation Can Begin? If Yes, When Will That Occur?
Yes. The timing will be a function of the procurement. We can assure you that this will not move very quickly because of the procurement, due diligence and CEQA. However, we expect to return to the City Council on the issue in Spring 2017.
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