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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
May 7, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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May 7, 2014

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I-earner Kwer uu.etm Wednesday, May 7, 2014 9A WASTE, from page 8A Sacramento that these fees get imposed, Valentino said. "It is just really hard to fathom that we have to take on this much burden and our urban counterparts virtually pay nothing for it. This has a real direct impact on our operating budgets for solid waste," he said. He said they have been working with Assemblyman Brian DaMe's office and Rural County Representatives of California, but they aren't getting a lot of traction. "I think any legislative solution to this will be very difficult so we're going to have to bear them," Valentino said, and the message he wanted to impart was to keep the pressure on and at least have some recognition and consideration of rural jurisdictions' ability to pay. On the regulatory front, Valentino said, "We've just had an increase in regulations, most of them pertaining to diversion from landfills. The state of California believes it's in the best interest of everybody to divert our solid waste from landfills and transfer stations... and it does sound good on paper. Unfortunately, it's a really expensive proposition in areas like Northeastern California." There is a regulation in place for mandatory commercial recycling, which impacts the waste received at facilities, according to Valentino. Additionally, 2nd District Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, who wrote the bill for mandatory commercial recycling, has now introduced Assembly Bill 1826, which requires mandatory commercial organics recycling. In an emafl sent to RCRC and state county officials, Mary Pitto, of RCRC, said the concern is if the bill isn't enacted this "The state of California believes it's in the best interest of everybody to divert our solid waste from landfills and transfer stations.., and it does sound good on paper. Unfortunately, it's a really expensive proposition in areas like Northeastern California." Tom Valentino Manager Lassen Regional Solid Waste Management Authority year, the air resources control board will develop regulations under its authority from Assembly Bill 32, which will mean much stronger requirements. Another concern is the 75 percent recycling goal, which Valentino said he is sure will become a mandate. Counties also struggle with CalRecycle's pressure on a zero waste model, where nothing goes into the landfall and every material has a useful home. "So as they divert the waste away from that we lose those fees," Valentino said. "We've had a dramatic reduction in revenue over the past few years and I imagine each of the other counties have, too." Instead of reducing its agency's work, Valentino said CalRecycle's answer is to just increase rates. One problem, Valentino pointed out, is increasing fees will result in more people opting out and more illegal dumping and more blight, according to Valentino. "And that's the last thing we want," he said. Valentino also discussed the future of solid waste. The Bass Hill landfill has a lifespan of another 15 to 17 years. Last year, staff did an in-house study and looked at the possibility of taking the authority's non-garbage component to Lockwood, Nev. Waste Management sent a sample contract and Valentino said there were some concerns, particularly with the ability to increase fees at will for a circle of liability. According to Valentino, the most important thing staff got out of the process is that the future may not lie in exporting solid wastes to Nevada, but in waste energy at Bass Hill. "I think that's the direction we're starting to look at now. The economies of scale should be improving over the next few years. The price is coming down; the scalability of waste energy is improving. I think it has the potential to be a regional facility for the four counties," Valentino said. Reno Offer Supervisors: Quad meetings to continue Debra Moore Staff Writer Water, economic development, natural resources, juvenile detention, public safety -- those are just some of the issues that Plumas County shares with its neighbors to the east. Three Plumas supervisors joined their counterparts from Lassen, Modoc and Sierra counties for a joint meeting in Susanville last Tuesday. Lori Simpson, Terry Swofford and Sherrie Thrall spent April 29 discussing a variety of topics of mutual interest. "It was a very productive meeting," Swofford said during an interview the day after the meeting. "It is valuable because there are issues that affect all of US." "All in all it was pretty good," Simpson agreed. "I think we all got a lot out of it." Both supervisors mentioned Lassen County's juvenile hall as an example of a productive result of the meeting. Plumas contracts wig Lassen to house juveniles, but during the meeting, Lassen officials lamented the costs involved in running the facility and discussed raising the fees charged to other counties. Simpson said that she reviewed the documentation, and despite decreased bookings, the staff'mg levels remained the saIne. "It looks like you passed a status qua budget," Simpson said in recalling what she told the Lassen supervisors. "You haven't reduced staffing." "Half the facility wasn't being used," Swofford said. Lassen now plans to review the staffing levels at the juvenile hail before it approaches the other counties with increased fees. The supervisors discussed the possibility of writing joint letters on legislation that impacts all of them. "We're all on the same page when it comes to working with the state and federal government," Simpson said. Sierra County requested most of the agenda items and led those discussions. The only item attributed to Plumas was economic development, and Simpson spoke on behalf of the county, touting recent good news such as Sierra Pacific Industries' $10 million investment in its Quincy mill, the advent of fiber optics and Rec and Tech, and the resurgence of the ski hill. The supervisors historically held joint meetings on a regular basis, but Swofford and Simpson said that none had been held during their tenure on the board. "We all agreed that we need to band together and have regular meetings," Simpson said. The four boards now intend to hold two or three annual meetings. The Plumas Board of Supervisors meets the first three Tuesdays of the month beginning at 10 a.m. in the courthouse boardroom. Proceedings can be viewed live by going to LEAVE THAT SCARY OLD LADD,ER ! IN THE GARAGE iooy. I is o1 rik4"  Never set foot on a dangerous ladder again! Trust the rain gutter that never clogs, and never, =  ever, ever needs cleaning. 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Continue norma intake of water and medications. *Appointment required. Appointments will be scheduled at time of screening only. No phone appointments will be made.