You may be driving down Highway 99 by the Stockton airport and wondering what are those mountains as you look to the East. Yes, the mountains continue to grow as a result of the Stockton landfill bringing waste from the bay area to our county. They are taking this mountain of foreign waste and impacts to our community to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, September 24th so they can ask the Board to ignore the rules so they can expand their dump again. We believe it is time for the citizens of our county to weigh in with the Board of Supervisors and ask the question, when will public safety finally be considered the overriding consideration when it comes to this dump? Or is it in the best interest of this county to again expand the dump that brings in more than 70% of its waste from outside of the region?
Forward, Inc.’s proposed expansion threatens public safety in a myriad of different ways, the first of which is food safety. Food products are grown in the land adjacent to the existing dump and the new property they hope to use for this expansion. These area farms are under constant siege as trash from trucks entering the dump and other materials from the facility. This waste brings contaminants and pathogens to the fields and undermines food safety. Farmers go to considerable lengths to protect our food supply, but this expansion of the landfill would diminish their ability to do so. Furthermore, this poses a hazard to the community at large because the food products are exposed to the untreated waste.
The impact on groundwater from this expansion is another major concern. Forward already provides bottled water to the two homes adjacent to the site due to contaminants from this site. We are concerned that this expansion will again result in contamination of our groundwater rending it useless for service in agricultural production due to food safety concerns.
The expansion would again increase the number of neighboring agricultural parcels that would now be directly adjacent to the activities of the dump. Again, this brings food safety issues to those new neighboring farms.
Furthermore, this project threatens public safety by expanding an incompatible land use in the vicinity of the airport and right into the flight path for the runway. It has been shown that birds are attracted to landfills, yet the Landfill owners propose experimental measures to address this issue. We do not need to experiment with pilot and passenger safety at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport. The risk of an untested avian control program is very clear; bird strikes on aircrafts that cause the loss of millions of dollars in property and life every year. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, of “Miracle on the Hudson” infamy, knows firsthand how dangerous bird strikes can be to public safety and has also sent a letter to the County in opposition of this expansion. It is nonsensical to create and extend a hazard that must be mitigated when it is completely preventable in the first place.
t this point in time, this decision must be made with great thought as it will have a momentous impact on the future of San Joaquin County. Every landfill has a useful life and at its current rate, the Stockton landfill would operate until 2021. Why we would want to extend again, and again and again the size, scope and time frame to allow this business to fill our county with hazards and trash from other regions is mystifying. It’s time to stop this insanity, so please call your Supervisor at 209-468-3113 to ask them to stop the Stockton landfill expansion. For too long the company that owns this facility has been putting the burden of public safety on our residents so they can fill the landfill with Bay Area trash. It’s time for the Supervisors to do what is best for our safety rather than expand the landfill for another 30 years so WE are the ones who suffer.