Please be reminded that this country is governed based on federalism and separation of powers between federal, state, local government and its respective executive, judicial and legislative branches. They can’t step over one another. Jurisdiction and constituency are not one and the same thing.
Congressman Honda is our federal-legislative representative, while Newby Island Landfill expansion is wholly under the decision making power of San Jose City Council (i.e. local-representative). SJ City Council unanimously approved Newby Island expansion project in 2012 (Environmental Impact Report and Rezoning). If you insists on finding an elected official to blame – try Kansen Chu as he was the SJ Councilman who motioned and voted for Newby Expansion (Ref: meeting minutes http://www.sanjoseca.gov/
DocumentCenter/View/17419). We should be putting more pressure on Kansen to get us out of this predicament he had put us into. FYI – Kansen is running for CA assembly re-election in November, so no reason for him to stay under the radar if he’s looking for votes.
Our state and federal legislative representatives do not have the jurisdiction to overturn San Jose City Council’s decision or change its municipal code. This is why Milpitas City spent our tax $$$$ to challenge City of SJ’s decision through local judicial system, but repeatedly lost the case. Even if we can get President Obama’s support, he does not have the jurisdiction to overturn SJ or the court decision. So, save your anguish. Understand the division of powers and what tangible actions can be taken by your elected representatives. There’s no use in asking Milpitas City Council or Congressman Honda to shutdown the landfill or stop the expansion when neither one has that jurisdiction.
The one thing holding back Newby Island expansion now is San Jose PD permit issuance. Collectively, we succeeded in stalling the permit by proving that Newby Island is a public nuisance and cannot be permitted under City of San Jose Municipal Code. When a few of us met with Congressman Honda’s staff several months back, his staff noted the following actions are within Honda’s means:
1. Follow up on US Fish and Wildlife participation in SBOSG
2. Escalate our concerns to BAAQMD, CalRecycle, CalEPA, US EPA ===> AUGUST 5th 2016 meeting
3. Escalate our concerns to SJ Major Liccardo and CA Governor Brown
4. Federal legislative support – look into tightening regulations for odor nuisance and landfill operations
5. Federal funding for environmental protection
Regardless of your political preferences, I hope you recognizes the golden opportunity to get our concerns heard by CalRecycle and EPA this August 5th 2016. Make sure we show up in volume to ensure our governmental agencies take necessary actions to protect our environment, public health and safety.