update 01/20/2017: our appeals was rejected.
After San Jose Planning commission upheld the decision on Dec 7th for the Newby Island Landfill Expansion Permit, Milpitas REACH filed an appeal on Dec 12th. Here is our appeal: NewbyDec12thResidentAppeal.
San Jose Planning Commission voted 5-0 Wednesday to allow a nearly 100-foot vertical expansion to the Newby Island Landfill.
Unfortunately, the San Jose planning commission on Dec 7th voted to approve the Newby Island Landfill expansion. The Garbage dump will be piled up to an unprecedented 245 feet and will remain open until 2041. They erroneously cited they need more Landfill capacity when they have plenty in the county. They also stated that they didn’t want to ship their Garbage to other communities and needed the expansion, but apparently it is okay to ship San Jose’s garbage to Milpitas and Monterey. They also argued that the extra height won’t contribute to more odor, use your common sense about that point, more garbage more odor.
City of San Jose has been hypocritical in its public policies.
On one hand, it issued Green Vision goal to divert 100% of waste out of landfills by 2022, and had used that goal to build over 12 new recycling and composting facilities. San Jose Mayor further endorsed Measure AA to raise $500 million to restore the bay from landfill and toxic pollution.
Newby Island’s Area Manager Mike Caprio told the planning commission that its existing permit has capacity through 2023-2025. This is not even including the 20+ years of excess landfill capacity at San Jose’s other landfills that have 0 violations.
Yet, the planning commission chose to expand Newby Island, completely disregarding 23 unresolved regulatory violations, its city municipal code and zero waste goal. No wonder City of San Jose is persistently ranked as one of the worst-run big cities in the country.
Thanks to the volunteers for all the efforts that went into last night’s San Jose Planning commission meeting on the Newby Island Landfill. Volunteers were preparing speeches, organizing for the bus ride/carpool. Special thanks to the brave folks who brave the rainy weather to speak on behalf of the community. Thanks Milpitas councilmembers Garry Barbadillo and Marsha Grilli and Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran for also showing up.
We had presented to San Jose at the start of the appeal process about how 44 landfills in San Francisco Bay had closed upon reaching capacity and converted to parks. None ever exceeded 150-160 feet height. But San Jose isn’t interested in superior alternatives.
Look at the stats:
San Francisco County has 0 landfills, Marin County has 0 landfills, San Mateo County has 1 landfill. Yet – San Jose city alone has 4 landfills.
The underlying problem is San Jose gets tax revenue per ton disposed at landfills, hence it chose to harbor more landfill capacity than it needs.
Again thanks to everyone who fought hard against the Newby Landfill expansion for the past 2 years and waiting out 10 deferrals.
You can watch a recording of the meeting when it gets posted here, look for “Dec 7th Planning commission meeting”, http://sanjose.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=51&clip_id=9429 OR is prior link is broken try this link http://www.sanjoseca.gov/civiccentertv/.
Republic Services is still pursuing Newby Island landfill expansion permit, and San Jose Planning Commission will make a decision on Dec 7th, 6:30pm at San Jose City Hall. All residents are encouraged to attend the meeting and speak up.
The San Jose Planning commission’s new odor study is flawed. BAAQMD (Bay Area Air Quality Management District) has written a letter outlining its concern. Attend the Dec 7th San Jose Planning commission meeting to stop the Newby Island Landfill from expanding. San Jose will attempt to use the flawed odor study to justify the expansion permit citing that the Newby Landfill is NOT a public nuisance.
Read more below:
Dear Concerned Residents,
Honorable Santa Clara County Recycling and Waste Reduction Commissioners, Division Staff and TAC members,
I am writing on behalf of Milpitas REACH, a grassroot movement advocating to stop Newby Island Landfill expansion for past 2 years. Over 23,000 have signed our “Stop Landfill Expansion” petition.
As you may already be aware, if the expansion is approved, Newby Island will rise to an unprecedented 245 feet above MSL, extending the life of what is already the largest landfill ever built along San Francisco Bay through 2041 in a densely populated and environmentally sensitive area with protected wildlife.
Due to recurring public nuisance and regulatory violations at the site including over 30 violations from 4 regulatory agencies in past 2 years, we feel strongly that the expansion project will be detrimental to the lives of 100,000 people who work and live in its immediate vicinity.
Unfortunately, City of San Jose Planning Staff issued a report last Friday and concluded that recurring violations are insignificant, even when 20 BAAQMD violations have not been formally resolved. The staff had recommended landfill expansion permit to be approved at the October 26 Planning Commission meeting, which I believe is irresponsible in light of open and recurring violations.
I am writing to seek your help with respect to your role in driving sustainable and responsible waste management plan for the region.
In the 4th Five-Year Review of the CIWMP, it is clearly stated that there is excess landfill capacity over what is required even without Newby Island expansion, as follows:
“Newby Island Landfill currently accepts about 60% of the County’s waste and has listed 5-7 years site life is currently undergoing a permit process for expansion. If the expansion goes through, then the site life will be extended to 20-25 years. If the expansion is denied, the calculation estimates splitting the material among the remaining two landfills within the County. The volume of material to each site would almost double their current volume which would decrease the site life by half. This reduction would be estimated at 20 some years which is greater than the 15 years for a Siting Element revision. ”
Since options are available, can you offer support by writing to San Jose Planning Staff and Commission to re-evaluate project alternatives, including tapping into regional landfill capacity and prioritizing waste diversion through non-disposal facilities, before urban landfills, such as Newby Island, are expanded any further?
Your assistance is much appreciated.
Honorable Members of San Jose Planning Commission,
I am writing to formally request that the Newby Island Expansion Permit be denied at the October 26 meeting or defer the decision in light of evidence of substantial changes that have occurred since the original 2012 EIR certification and zoning approval.
I cannot stress enough that it is against City of San Jose’s Municipal Code to permit any project that is a public nuisance. The landfill in its present state already impose significant negative impacts on the of thousands who live, work, shop & play surrounding Newby Island. 20 open regulatory violations from BAAQMD, including 5 for landfill public nuisance, and 10 other violations from CalRecycle, LEA and RWQCB within the last 2 years is clear evidence of Republic Services’ poor conformance and operational track record. I hope you didn’t forget how Republic Services have lied through their teeth at past public hearings, denying odor responsibility and tried to blame others.
I have very low confidence in Republic Services’ ability to mitigate odor. They spent $27 millions in odor measures at their Sunshine Canyon Landfill, and violations persist. 2 Order of Abatement had to be pursued by Air District to modify their permit after expansion was approved. This is evidence that effective mitigation does not exist no matter how much $ is invested.