Bad news for Santa Maria citizens -- On February 7, 2006, the San Luis Obispo board of supervisors voted unanimously to deny the appeal of Santa Maria resident Dan Kirk to prevent 860,000 cubic yards of oil diluent-contaminated soil from Guadalupe from being transported to the Santa Maria landfill. The denial was reported in the February 8, 2006, issue of the Santa Maria Times.
Kirk's appeal was filed on the basis that proper public notification was not given by San Luis Obispo County to the public in Santa Barbara County. Therefore, the Santa Barbara County citizens were denied their lawful right to comment on the proposal.
Public notification and opportunity to have input on the project is required by law in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). There are many Internet choices to read about CEQA. Google it and find section 15087 -- Public Review of Draft Environmental Impact Report, where it says:
"Notice shall be . . . given by at least one of the following procedures:
"(1) Publication at least one time by the public agency in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the proposed project. If more than one area is affected, the notice shall be published in the newspaper of largest circulation from among the newspapers of general circulation in those areas." (emphasis added)
The newspaper of largest circulation in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties is clearly the Santa Barbara News-Press.
However, the SLO supervisors publicized the project in the SLO Tribune, which has a readership of 450 people in all of SB County.
Clearly, the citizens of Santa Maria, whose landfill is slated to receive the oil diluent-contaminated dirt, were never notified.
However, isn't it interesting that Santa Maria's own mayor, Larry Lavagnino, went to the trouble of attending the same SLO board of supervisors meeting where Dan Kirk was presenting his appeal -- on behalf of the SM citizens.
Lavagnino was there in opposition to Kirk's appeal, reassuring the SLO board that they'd performed everything they were supposed to do correctly. (One Tin Soldier: "And please give us the $6 million in unmarked bills . . . .")
Way to go, Larry. The citizens of Santa Maria really want to thank you for going out of your way to work on our behalf.
The Santa Maria Sun's March 8, 2006, issue reported that Dan Kirk will appeal the SLO supervisors' decison to the California Coastal Commission.
One Tin Soldier
Posted March 31, 2006: Today's issue of the Santa Maria Times details the appeal to the Coastal Commission. Four Santa Maria residents are listed as having signed the appeal: Dan Kirk, Thomas Gibbons, David White and Raymond Alexander.