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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | monterey county

Sierra Club Submits Comments on the Initial Study Addressing the Proposed Plasco Conversion Waste Disposal System in Gonzales

March 2012

Chapter Conservation Committee member Kevin Collins submitted comments on March 22 to the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA) regarding a proposed solid waste disposal proposal. SVASWA is the lead agency and funder for this project, a “Plasco Conversion System”. The plant would be designed by Plasco Energy Group of Ottowa and is slated for development at the Johnson Canyon landfill near Gonzales in south Monterey County. It will consist of a municipal solid waste receiving and sorting building, a plasma arc gasification process, “syngas” burning electric energy generators, ash, waste water and slag disposal and utilities connection.

The Sierra Club is concerned about the health, safety and quality of life for residents of Gonzales and surrounding areas, agricultural productivity and wildlife. The project has the potential to generate soil, water noise and air pollution.

Complicating this proposal is the lack of dissemination of information about the project in Spanish language to a largely Latino population. A scoping meeting in February erupted in a walkout of over 100 people in protest of racial and ethnic discrimination against Latinos and Spanish speakers in the proceedings.

On February 28, Latino residents led by community group Asamblea de Poder Popular de Gonzales opposed to the Plasco plant proceedings, filed state and federal civil rights complaints against SVSWA. The complaint alleges that SVSWA has discriminated against Spanish-speaking residents in its handling of this proposed project. The Sierra Club supports this protest.

For a full description of the Sierra Club’s concerns for the environmental impacts of the proposed Plasco solid waste disposal system as well as the environmental justice issues, please read the attached PDF.

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