Oxnard to Consider Extending Permit for Dump : Bailard Landfill: The two extra years for the facility would provide time to open an alternative site. Three council members oppose the plan.
In what is expected to be the first in a series of debates over the operation of a controversial landfill in western Ventura County, the Oxnard City Council will consider today whether to extend for two years an operating permit for the Bailard Landfill.
In the past, the issue has split the council and sparked heated debate among city and county officials.
Bailard is operated by the Ventura County Regional Sanitation District and serves five cities in western Ventura County. The extension, which would allow the dump to operate past its 1993 deadline until 1995, is proposed to give the district time to open an alternative site.
The discussion will be the first in a series of hearings and meetings by city and county agencies to decide the future of the landfill.
Oxnard’s support or opposition to extending the permit is vital because the landfill is near Victoria Boulevard, within the city’s sphere of influence. The extension must also be approved by the County Board of Supervisors, the County Environmental Health Department and the state Regional Water Quality Board.
On Monday, council members Manuel Lopez, Michael Plisky and Gerry Furr said they oppose the extension because, as Lopez put it, “we have been a host for other people’s garbage long enough.”
Supervisor John Flynn, whose district includes the landfill, vehemently opposes the extension because he said Bailard is an eyesore and should not be located along a major thoroughfare. He said the landfill also generates traffic congestion from dump trucks traveling to and from the site.
“My position on Bailard has been that a garbage dump doesn’t belong there,” he said.
The landfill receives about 1,500 tons of solid waste per day from the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Port Hueneme, Ojai and unincorporated county areas. The city of Oxnard delivers about 500 tons of waste per day.
The district also operates and owns the Toland Road Landfill, which serves Santa Paula, Fillmore and nearby unincorporated county areas.
Without the extension, the sanitation district would be hard-pressed to find an alternative landfill site, said Wayne Bruce, director of the district.
The most likely alternative site is in the Weldon Canyon area near California 33 and Canada Larga Road. A 1985 county study identified Weldon Canyon as the best location for a landfill in western Ventura County. A draft environmental impact report on a Weldon Canyon landfill is expected this month.
However, landowners next to the Weldon Canyon site have threatened to sue to block a landfill. Such a lawsuit could delay for years the opening of a landfill in Weldon Canyon.
City Manager Vernon Hazen has recommended the extension to give the sanitation district more time to find an alternative site to Bailard.
“In the event the Weldon Canyon site is eliminated, for whatever reason, then it will likely take much longer than 1995 to bring an alternative site on line,” Hazen said in a report to the council.
Hazen said an extension would also give the sanitation district two more years to collect fees to cover the cost of closing the dump and perhaps to pay for a regional park on the site.
If Bailard is closed, Oxnard residents will probably pay more in garbage collection fees to transport their solid waste to a landfill farther away, Hazen said in his report.
Mayor Nao Takasugi supports Hazen’s proposal, saying he doesn’t believe that an alternative site will be ready for operation by 1993.
“I just don’t see where anything will be ready in ’93,” he said.
In previous discussions on the matter, Councilwoman Dorothy Maron has supported giving Bailard an extension.
However, Plisky and Lopez said that if the city opposes an extension, the sanitation district will be forced to work harder to find an alternative site.
“If you start waffling there will be all kinds of reasons why the Weldon Canyon site will not come on line,” Lopez said.
Bruce said the sanitation district is working as fast as it can to identify an alternative site.