Santa Barbara County to Challenge Waste-Hauling Plan

Santa Barbara County supervisors on Thursday authorized their attorney to challenge the state Department of Health Service's plan to truck excavated waste from the McColl dump in Fullerton through their county, saying that additional environmental study is needed.

Santa Barbara County Counsel Kenneth Nelson said he will seek a temporary restraining order next week to block the cleanup pending further analysis of the impact of the plan, which would route 40 waste-loaded trucks a day onto state and federal highways through Santa Barbara and other communities in the county.

Excavation of the smelly refinery acid waste, which lies beneath a vacant field and a stretch of golf course in a Fullerton residential neighborhood, is scheduled to begin early next month. The waste is to be disposed of at the Casmalia landfill, west of Santa Maria.

The supervisors were responding to action Monday by the department seeking to "categorically exempt" the McColl cleanup plan from state law that requires environmental impact reports on most governmental projects and major private developments.

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