Stop Nursery Products

You have another chance to join in the battle against the sewage sludge dump in our desert. Due to winning a lawsuit Nursery Products had to prepare a supplemental environmental impact report that tries to address the water issue with the sewage sludge dump and also the economic feasibility of the planned dump. I am sure to no ones surprise I have a few questions. On the issue of enclosing the dump the report states that the site is too big to enclose because it will cost too much. My question is why does Nursery Products need to build a facility that has enough capability for all of Southern California, parts of Nevada and Arizona? Don't let them fool you this site is not just for the county and the Inland Empire. It turns out there are plants that are online that are covered and our cost effective. Their secret? They are smaller and are closer to the plants that generate the sewage sludge.

Wouldn't it be better for everyone if instead of hauling waste to a massive site hundred plus miles away we take care of our own waste in our backyard like Barstow already does.

On the issue of water: the report states that there is enough water on local well to supply the 1,000 gallons a day to run the dump. These figures are called into question when you look at the plans of the site and wonder if 1,000 gallons a day is enough to run the site. Most of the plans for the call for no dust control water on the dirt road that they will be running 200 plus trucks through. I see in this new report that there is plans to put gravel on that road but one has to ask themselves if that is enough effort to battle all the dust that will be kicked up by the trucks.

One thing that really sticks in my craw about this report is that they are still touting a system of composting sewage sludge that is illegal by EPA standards. They are planning to use partially (read completely) a system that is called static pile composting. In the system instead of turning the pile of sewage sludge the required 15 time they may do it twice. Static pile composting has not been approved by the EPA as a viable alternative. Just because Nursery Products says so does not make it a legal, valid or even a scientific process.

And lastly on to politics. The first proponent for this site was Bill Postmus, who received $16,000 in campaign donations from Nursery Products. Now we are represented by Brad Mitzlefelt, who was the chief of staff for Postmus when he received the donation. My question is how much has Mitzlefelt received from Nursery Products? Mitzlefelt probably doesn't remember, heck he forgot that he was Postmus's Chief of Staff for six years. Just look at his official biography online.

I imagine you have plenty of other questions about Nursery Products and their sludge dump, to read the Supplemental EIR go to or look at the copy that is at the Hinkley Senior Center or at the Barstow Branch Library. Deadline for comments and questions is September 13. Comments should be sent to Carrie Hyke, the project's principal planner, at the Land Use Services Department, Advance Planning Division at 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, first floor, San Bernardino, Calif., 92415-0182.

Steve Smith, Barstow