It doesn't look like you need another project - your plate seems quite full however, here is an issue that might be of interest to your readers:
Let me give you a little background on our situation and how it relates to your part of the world. Recology, a Bay Area waste management company, obtained a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in 2007 to construct and operate a square mile landfill 25 miles west of our town on a desert playa. They propose importing by train eight million pounds of non-recyclable garbage a day, five days a week for 95 years, and burying it in a hole in the ground thirty-five feet above the groundwater in an area known for high winds, flooding, and poor soils. They were given three years to obtain the necessary permits and begin construction.
Fast forward three years. Only one permit has been granted (the air quality permit). Recology applied for an extension for their CUP and ultimately it was denied by the County Board of Commissioners due to Recology’s own procrastination. Recology has chosen to sue the county and the commissioners for denying them their rights as property owners, when, in fact, Recology only has a lease on the property in question. Once the citizenry woke up to what was proposed in their neighborhood, an initiative petition was organized and signed by the county voters and, if unchallenged by Recology lawyers, will go before the voters in November. These lawyers actually strongly suggested the county commissioners and the District Attorney file suit against the initiative to prevent it from going on the November ballot. Fortunately, the commissioners declined.
These proceedings are front page news in this neck of the woods. But I wonder about the press coverage in the Bay Area; in the area this garbage would be coming from. Do these people know or care about what Recology would be dumping on us; or do they realize where their trash ends up? How would they feel if the tables were turned?
Recology has gone out of their way to portray themselves as a green, recycling company. Are they really? Maybe, as far as Bay Area recyclables are concerned; as far as we in this area are concerned, not so much. They want to dump everything that is not recyclable in our lap. There is no reason to assume that this barrage of garbage would stop with just one square mile of land since they have options on three or four others. All of this is verifiable by logging on to the website http://nolandfill.wordpress.com/.
I would like to encourage you to delve into this and shine a light on what is going on here. Please ask your readers to put themselves in our shoes. How would they like it? Would they want to own homes in this area? Raise their children and send them to school in a community that is known for hosting one of the largest landfills in the country? Would they want to take such a chance with their health and the health of their families? Would they want to chance that, once the door is opened and the signal is sent, environmentally friendly or neutral businesses would pass this community by and only dirty, polluting industry would provide the opportunity for “growth”.
I think most in this area tend to think of people in California as environmentally conscious and who try to do the right thing. I hope this is the case, and that they really care about what goes on outside their borders, especially regarding their garbage.
Please continue to bring attention to this issue and keep your readers informed. If I can answer any questions or be of service, please don’t hesitate to contact me.