WELDON CANYON : Revision Discounts Other Dump Sites

The third revised draft of an environmental study on the proposed Weldon Canyon landfill discounts the merits of four alternative sites and a proposal to haul trash out of the county. It also states that the dump's air and noise pollution will not reach nearby residents.

The report found that four alternative landfill sites near Weldon Canyon are not feasible because none of the landowners are willing to sell or lease their property for a private landfill.

The study found that the ozone emissions caused by hauling the county's trash to Utah or Riverside County via rail would far outweigh emissions caused by truck traffic to a landfill at Weldon Canyon, about three miles north of Ventura.

The report, prepared by a private consultant and county staff and released this week, foresees several negative impacts, including significant amounts of toxic gas, nitrogen dioxide and noise in the immediate area. But those impacts will not carry over to nearby homes, the report states.

The draft report also finds that the landfill, proposed at the base of a mountain with religious value to the Chumash Indians, would disrupt the religious and cultural environment of the Weldon Canyon area.

Pat Baggerly, board member of the Environmental Coalition, which has opposed the Weldon landfill for more than eight years, said she had not fully reviewed the draft report but feels that the dump would severely impact the surrounding area.

"It just is too close to people. It is not a remote landfill," Baggerly said. "This is the most major project in our county for 1993."

But county Planner Scott Ellison said the impacts outlined in the draft report are based on a worst-case scenario.

"Staff believes that this is a legally and technically adequate document, but that's something for the Board of Supervisors to determine," Ellison said.

The planned dump, which would be operated by Waste Management of California, would serve the cities of Ventura, Ojai, Camarillo, Oxnard and Port Hueneme.

The report is available for public review and comment through Feb. 8, officials said.

The Board of Supervisors, sitting as the Environmental Review Committee, will decide Feb. 9 whether the environmental impact report is adequate. If it is judged adequate, the project could go to the county Planning Commission in April and the supervisors could make a final decision in May.

Summaries of the draft report are available free of charge through the Ventura County Planning Division in Ventura. For information, contact Ellison at 654-2495.

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