Transfer station sites in trouble

November 19, 2001 12:00 am

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

None of the three possible locations planned for Del Norte Countys transfer station are adequate, according to the California Coastal Commission.

A written comment submitted to the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority by the commissions coastal planner, Jim Baskin, concerning the draft environmental impact report (EIR), said all the sites are either too small, situated too close to wetland areas, or do not adequately take increased traffic into consideration.

The three sites currently being considered are at the current landfill at the end of Old Mill Road, and two locations within a mile of each other on Elk Valley Road, called Hambro and Hooshnam.

Two of the sites, Hambro and the current landfill, have been indicated as having only three and four acres, respectively, available for development of the envisioned seven-acre (transfer station), said Baskin in his written comments. Other than mentioning this deficit in minimum land area, the draft EIR does not further discuss how these sites remain feasible alternatives given the lack of area on which the (transfer station) could be developed.

Baskin further criticized the draft EIR claiming the report was based primarily upon the criteria of current ownership or sites where public controversy would likely be limited. Baskin indicated there were far more potential sites available than are addressed in the report.

Solid Waste Director Kevin Hendrick said yesterday he did not want to comment specifically on any of the comments received on the report until the next solid waste meeting.

Baskin could not be reached for comments yesterday.

Del Norte County planner Ernest Perry, who said he must deal with the commission on projects, said its comments are not to be taken lightly.

Comments from Coastal Commission staff tend to be very detailed and require substantial effort to respond to them, Perry said. And they have to be addressed.

Baskin emphasized this in his comments to the solid waste board:

All portions of the three potential project sites are located within the California Coastal zone ... and subject to the policies and standards of the County of Del Nortes local coastal program, said Baskin. Accordingly, the commission will function as both a trustee and responsible agency.

The transfer station will be a stopover for county refuse on its way to out-of-county landfills when the local landfill closes in late 2002 or early 2003.