Dear Editor Letter: Measure L introduces Big Money

Measure L introduces Big Money

Dear Editor,

Republic Services PAC money to fight against Measure L has now exceeded half a million dollars.  But despite of the big money pouring into their campaign more and more people are becoming aware of how Measure L actually does lower garbage rates with improved services.  Republic Services, also seeing this trend, in a single day in October, spent $93,000 on advertising and marketing.  A week after this, they spent $37,500 to put additional door knockers on the streets.  Initially, Republic Services had set aside $250,000.  At the time of this writing, the PAC dollars was at $600,000.

It is curious to note that while a billion-dollar company like Republic Services have deep enough pockets to fund their campaign, outside companies as far away as Stockton (Central Valley Construction) and Bakersfield (Guinn Construction) have decided to contribute to their cause.  Even former Milpitas City councilman Armando Gomez (now self-employed) decided to betray his roots and contributed $6,000 of his own money.  You can be sure that these token donations, that don’t even cover the costs of paying for surveys ($34,000), are intended to gain future business consideration.

As the election date draws near, we all are anxious to see if the outcome will be David overcoming Goliath or simply another example of corporate greed stomping on a helpless city to add another feather to their cap.

All information in this article can be verified at the following website:

http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/milpitas/departments/city-clerk/campaign-committee-reports/

Letter to to deny Newby Islandfill Expansion

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.

Please review the presentation file attached.
Also monumental is the fact that San Jose Planning Staff had been analyzing “Alleged Source” from BAAQMD when their report and recommendation was published. It is extremely irresponsible to draw any conclusion based on “alleged” data. I had brought this to Ms Whitney Berry’s immediate attention last week. Mr John Marvin, BAAQMD Compliance and Enforcement Division Manager, had confirmed my findings on the data discrepancy. He has supplied the valid “Confirmed Source” data to City of San Jose yesterday. Appended below is our email correspondence documenting this finding, together with the corrected spreadsheet. Until the new and valid data is thoroughly analyzed, it would be premature to hold a public hearing on Wednesday based on invalid data.
BAAQMD data represents the most comprehensive investigation into odorous sources over an extended period of time. Their data should be given far greater weight than ERM Odor Study which covered 2 arbitrarily weeks. BAAQMD confirmed complaints data clearly showed that the ERM prediction is underestimating the frequency of odor impacts onto surrounding communities.

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.

Sound public policies must be made to stop urban landfill expansions. Please take a lesson from the Tullytown Landfill closure and order landfill closure plan instead. It is an obligation for public officials such as you to protect public welfare.
Thank You for your attention and consideration.
Regards
Milpitas Resident

Oct 26th SJ Planning Commission Meeting on Newby Expansion

Update: Republic requested the item be deferral.  This was granted and the next meeting will be in December.

San Jose City Staff is recommending approval of Newby Island Landfill Expansion.
https://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/61655

Please join us for a rally and asking Planning Commission to deny Newby Island Landfill Expansion.

Will stage a Rally and meet with media at 5:30pm.
Meeting starts at 6:30pm. Meeting & Rally at San Jose City Hall

Free shuttle bus will be provided. Details see: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeXEG0GKhQKDpOe8c9aoUNvvS8uDB0ovSsR5bIHX4PPoz484Q/viewform?c=0&w=1

Request to Deny Newby Island Expansion Permit (PD14-014)

Request to Deny Newby Island Expansion Permit (PD14-014)
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.
Please review the presentation file attached.
Also monumental is the fact that San Jose Planning Staff had been analyzing “Alleged Source” from BAAQMD when their report and recommendation was published. It is extremely irresponsible to draw any conclusion based on “alleged” data. I had brought this to Ms Whitney Berry’s immediate attention last week. Mr John Marvin, BAAQMD Compliance and Enforcement Division Manager, had confirmed my findings on the data discrepancy. He has supplied the valid “Confirmed Source” data to City of San Jose yesterday. Appended below is our email correspondence documenting this finding, together with the corrected spreadsheet. Until the new and valid data is thoroughly analyzed, it would be premature to hold a public hearing on Wednesday based on invalid data.
BAAQMD data represents the most comprehensive investigation into odorous sources over an extended period of time. Their data should be given far greater weight than ERM Odor Study which covered 2 arbitrarily weeks. BAAQMD confirmed complaints data clearly showed that the ERM prediction is underestimating the frequency of odor impacts onto surrounding communities.

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 theirSunshine 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.

Sound public policies must be made to stop urban landfill expansions. Please take a lesson from the Tullytown Landfillclosure and order landfill closure plan instead. It is an obligation for public officials such as you to protect public welfare.
Thank You for your attention and consideration.
Regards
Milpitas Resident

Mike Honda Newby Appeal

A letter we received from congressman Mike Honda:

Recently I was contacted by community leaders and residents of the cities of Milpitas, Fremont, and San Jose concerning the upcoming San Jose Planning Commission meeting to consider the appeal of the proposed expansion of the Republic Services Newby Island Landfill.

As a result of concerns raised by the community on the validity of the data submitted by BAAQMD, the analysis of data by the City of San Jose, and the need for additional time for the community to review the new data, I have requested that the matter be continued until January 2017.

I have attached a copy of the letter I sent to the Mayor of of San Jose, the City Council, and the San Jose Planning Commission.  Although I and other community leaders have requested the continuance, the community should be prepared to attend the meeting on October 26, 2016 to express their concerns about the project and City staff’s recommendation.  There is no guarantee that the item will be continued to another date.

For years, I have heard from my constituents in Milpitas, San Jose, and Fremont who are impacted by odors emanating from the landfill.  As your representative, I will continue to advocate on your behalf so that your concerns are heard by the City of San Jose.

Mike

Click below to see his letter to SJ Mayor and Planning

2016 Mike Honda Newby Appeal Continuance

CIWMP & Newby Island Landfill Expansion

Subject: CIWMP & Newby Island Landfill Expansion

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.

Why We Should Vote YES on Measure L

  1. We have been overcharged for 30 years by Republic Services / Allied Waste, while dumping at Newby Island landfill in our own backyard. Among Newby’s customers that truck their waste from all over California, we pay significantly more than those much farther away.GarbageDistanceVSRate
  2. The City of Milpitas has secured the best deal for disposal, better than Newby Island, which will save the city $350,000 – 650,000 per year (depending on who will be selected as the collector), and sending trash to South San Jose, away from our city, and against traffic.
  3. Newby / Republic Services / Allied Waste is not happy. They fooled people to sign a referendum petition that put Measure L on the ballot.
  4. Now they want to fool us again. They put down $200,000 in a PAC (Political Action Committee). They distribute flyers and advertisements to spread false claim, with no facts to back them up. Their flyers and website are filled with lies. Be aware that they mix up the disposal contract with the collection contract, which is not part of Measure L. Also beware of “Milpitas Residents for Fair Garbage No on L”, which is funded by a Stockton construction company, not Milpitas residents.
  5. We are a group of citizen volunteers, 100% funded by citizens. We have done research and share facts with fellow residents.
  6. Vote YES on L to approve the Waste Management contract and lock in the lowest disposal rate. Preliminary rates published on 9/20/16 by City Council agenda showed we can achieve a potential rate reduction of as much as -26% for our final garbage bill.

Republic Services / Allied Waste has cheated us for too long. Vote YES on L to lose these scumbags!

Visit www.YESonL.vote for more facts.

Help us get all Milpitas voters to know about these facts. Please forward this message to your friends and neighbors. Kindly consider to volunteer time or donate on our website. Thank you for your support!

 

Milpitas Citizens for Yes on L, FPPC# 1390888

Should Milpitas Award Contract to Newby / Republic Services / Allied Waste? Let the City Council Know

Dear Milpitas Residents,

Should the City of Milpitas award the next ten-year garbage collection contract to Newby Island Landfill?

During the bidding process, the city conducted a survey asking the residents many questions. However, no question ever touched on the sensitive “odor” and “public nuisance” issue that everyone in town is affected by.

In October 2016, the City Council of Milpitas will be presented of a recommendation for the next garbage collection contract from the city staff. The city staff believe that the majority of Milpitas residents are only willing to select the contract that has the lowest rate, regardless of any other considerations.

To help the city council assess the residents’ preference in choosing our next garbage collector, we ask that you fill out this survey, and answer the question that the city has never asked.

Please note, this garbage collection contract is not the disposal contract that Measure L is about. However, these two contracts are closely related. If Milpitas will NOT give ANY garbage contracts to Newby, then Newby will have a less chance to get its expansion approved.

Please let the city know how you feel about Newby and this garbage collection contract, by filling out this survey:

http://tinyurl.com/GarbageSurveyMilpitas

Thank you for helping make Milpitas a better city.

Milpitas REACH

Milpitas residents rally against landfill expansion

Milpitas residents rally against landfill expansion
Submitted By Sharat G. Lin and Charlotte Casey
[ Submitted to the Tri-City Voice, link ]

Anyone who drives on Freeway I-880 through Milpitas is frequently assaulted by foul odors that vary in intensity with the time of day, wind and humidity. But Milpitas residents face these smells every day in and around their homes and schools, and when they go about their daily errands.

The source of the unpleasant smells is the Newby Island Landfill operated by Republic Services. The winds blowing through the Golden Gate move in a southeasterly direction over the Tri-Cities Landfill, then the larger Newby Island Landfill, and finally through central Milpitas.

On Sunday morning, September 18, some 200 Milpitas residents said, ÒEnough is enough,Ó and ÒDump the dump.Ó They marched along Dixon Landing Road from Milpitas Boulevard to the entrance of the Newby Island Landfill.

While Milpitas residents have been upset with the foul odors for decades, they had become particularly alarmed by Republic ServicesÕ proposal to extend the lifetime of the landfill and composting facility from 2025 to 2041 by raising the height limit from 150 feet to 245 feet. The City of Milpitas has appealed to the San Jose Planning Commission to reconsider the planned expansion. Newby Island lies within San Jose city limits.

Milpitas residents, many of whom had never before engaged in a protest march, had been pressuring the Milpitas City Council to take action in an attempt to block the landfill expansion.

The Newby Island Landfill, operated by Republic Services, is currently reaching its maximum capacity, but unlike more than 44 landfill operations around the San Francisco Bay that were closed when they reached their maximum capacity, Republic is requesting approval for an expansion that would increase capacity by 15 million cubic yards. Newby Island is the largest and one of the last remaining landfills around the San Francisco Bay.

According to data from a state government organization, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, on odor complaints, Newby has received 10 public nuisance tickets, 17 notices of violation, and over 7,000 odor complaints in two years. Because of the push from SVFBC (Silicon Valley Foundation for Better Community), San Francisco Water Board listed 1,4-dioxane as the new item to be tested. From test results for 2015, the SF Water Board found that groundwater contamination is already occurring and is bound to worsen. It hopes to convince the San Jose Planning Commission and City Council that new evidence of ground water contamination and an overwhelming number of odor complaints show that a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) should be required.

Milpitas residents have complained that the landfill operations not only produce a foul smell but also pollute the air and contribute to airborne particulates with unknown health consequences. They support a new EIR, one that they expect will confirm their complaints of hazards to livelihood, health and environment. Milpitas homeowners are also distressed that the incessant odors depress the resale value of homes.

Jennifer Strohfus, Arzhang Kalbali and other Milpitas residents organizing with SVFBC have been fighting to halt the Newby Landfill expansion for almost two years.

Some protesters are demanding, ÒNo expansion, no exception.Ó Arzhang Kalbali says that SVFBC is advocating a ban on all landfills located in urban areas. Jennifer Strohfus points out that we should all be consuming less and creating less garbage, to approach zero waste.

Originally opened in the 1930s, the Newby Island Landfill was once surrounded by vacant land and open fields. Now it is rapidly becoming surrounded by urban development in Milpitas, Fremont, and San Jose.

This site contains information on odor issues in Milpitas.