Opinion

COMMUNITY OPINION: Information forum or revelation of just who is using ‘scare tactics’?

Resident Mike Graves writes to respond to information shared at a recent event by the group Don't Dump on San Benito.

This community opinion was contributed by resident Mike Graves. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. By registering as a BenitoLink user in the top right corner of our home page and agreeing to follow our Terms of Use, you can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues.

 

Facts matter, while I will allow Don’t Dump on San Benito group’s use of our democratic system of soliciting fellow citizens to hear their view of the John Smith Road Landfill expansion, I would strongly suggest that this view should be based on facts, and as the old United States Senator once said, “you are entitled to you opinion but not your own facts.”

One would hope the BenitoLink reporter would do his own fact checking of the story before going to print. Noting the opinions of the group’s founders and attendees is appropriate—veering off agenda and throwing in conclusions not based on fact is harmful to all sides in what has become a very unnecessary debate in our community.

To be clear, the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) prepared for the County for the proposed landfill expansion project does state that the document evaluated potential impacts of up to 2,300 tons per day. However, nowhere in the document does it state that if such a project were approved that 2,300 tons per day would immediately be headed to John Smith Road Landfill from parts unknown and the EIR states this fact.

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors will decide how much tonnage above the current permit of 1000 tons per day will be allowed—not the EIR document!

The article additionally erroneously states that the Resource Recovery Park was defeated by residents at Heatherwood Estates. A quick check of county records and this newspaper’s archives would reveal that this is entirely false! The Resource Recovery Park was approved by the San Benito County Board of Supervisors and has the zoning to proceed should a viable project go through the planning process and be approved. The EIR states this fact as well.

It is stated that there is a scare tactic being used that if the expansion isn’t approved it will cost residents more to dispose of their waste at the curb and at the landfill.  Out-of-county waste, since 1992, has been used as a rate stabilization mechanism. So, this is not a scare tactic—it is the truth.

But the most egregious part of this article were the bullet points listed in the article as concerns:

  • Issues surrounding traffic and its impacts: All being addressed, and the county will be compensated for such by the landfill operator, Waste Connections.
  • Groundwater contamination: Facts can be found by reviewing the semiannual Central Coast Regional Water Resources Control Board reports— the facts are that any contaminants have been removed or controlled and none are leaving the Landfill site.
  • The unlined portion of the current landfill: Regulations were not yet in place in the 1960’s but as stated above, third party (the Central Coast Regional Water Resources Control Board) documents prove that any contaminants have been eliminated or controlled.
  • And finally, the loss of the natural landscape, habitat and wildlife are far less than that which occurred when Santana Ranch was built (or other developments for that matter). People make waste, and communities need a safe and environmentally sound location to put it—simply a fact.

All of the above supposed concerns are truly “scare tactics.”

And it is not the county or the landfill operator using them;

It is the “Don’t Dump on San Benito” group. Get informed-know the facts.

Don’t fall for the scare tactics.

BenitoLink Staff