The firm that imports waste from the Bay Area to bury under the approach to Stockton Metro Airport wants to expand to stay in business 6 more years so they can landfill 5.6 million cubic yards of additional out-of-county garbage.
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors are taking up an appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of the expansion when they meet this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of the county administrative building, 44 N. San Joaquin St., Stockton. The appeal was filed by the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau.
The supervisors rejected a previous attempt in 2013 to expand the landfill citing concerns about pollution, severe impacts on nearby farmland, odors, pollution, and birds attracted by garbage interfering with flights landing and taking off from the airport.
Republic Services operates the site. More than 70 percent of the garbage the private for-profit company buries at the landfill off Austin Road to the northeast of Manteca is trucked in from the Bay Area.
Farm Bureau President David Stecker noted in a letter that the “mountain” — a reference to the growing mound of dirt used to cover the trash that is buried and that you can see to the west of Highway 99 as you past Stockton Metro Airport — is simply Republic Service’s most profitable alternative to operate a landfill that benefits those that do not reside in the county,
“. . . The Mountain is taking up some of the best farmland on the planet,” Stecker wrote. “In addition, those trucks coming to and leaving the mountain are dropping trash on the neighboring farms and ranches. — trash that could lead to the grower being forced to abandon their crop due to this pollution. Speaking of pollution, there are problems with the water quality in that region due to the mountain. Then there are the countless trucks coming from outside the county and destroying our roads so they can feed the mountain.”
And then there is the airport. Mountains of trash attracts birds and lots of them. Each year there have been bird strikes at the airport. But the Mountain is seemingly deemed to be more important. . . . it is close to a developing area that strives to be more than a dumping ground for the rest of the state. The mountain is the gateway to San Joaquin County.”
Forward Landfill operated by Republic Services wants to expand its landfill footprint by 17.3 acres to 372 acres. The landfill can be seen from Highway 99 to the east of Stockton Metro Airport and is on Austin Road north of French Camp Road and south of Arch Road.
The expansion will add the ability to bury 8.1 million more cubic yards of garbage.
Among the major points of the approval by the county planning commission:
Residents with homes within 100 feet of the centerline of Austin Road from French Camp Road to Arch Road will have the option of requesting funds from Republic Services for installation of a sound barrier and/or additional insulation to buffer the noise of passing garbage trucks.
Truck trips will be capped at 233 a day and will impact the Highway 99 interchange at French Camp Road and Arch Road but no mitigation will be required.
Given it is under the flight approach for Stockton Metro Airport a mile to the west Republic Services must step up its gull and bird control program.
Republic Services must provide bottled drinking water to residents on Newcastle Road to the northwest of the landfill until such time the City of Stockton extends piped water to the area due to groundwater contamination.
The expansion would allow disposal at the landfill to continue to operate until approximately 2036 for a six-year increase from the current anticipated closure of 2030.
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