The Golden Hills Community Services District board of directors unanimously approved a measure to certify an environmental study that says a new trash hauler in Golden Hills will have a very small environmental impact, which can mitigated to the point that it will be as if there were no impact whatsoever.
In a 5-0 vote, the Golden Hills CSD adopted a Mitigated Negative Declaration at a special board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Under the California Environmental Quality Act, a "mitigated negative declaration" is basically a statement that the district has found some environmental impact, but that it can be "mitigated" to the degree that it will be as if there were no environmental impact.
A 269-page report detailing the environmental review was released by the district on Jan. 15.
Benz Sanitation of Tehachapi currently has a contract for solid waste collection and recycling in the Golden Hills area with Kern County. Golden Hills, desiring lower costs for its residents and a percentage of the revenue, gave Benz a five-year notice in 2013 that it was going to contract for the services.
Benz elected not to bid on the Golden Hills contract and can continue to service accounts in the area, which means that two trash trucks may be driving through neighborhoods, one of the issues discussed in the environmental review.
The other issue discussed in the environmental review was the impact of construction and retrofitting of an old wastewater treatment site that will be used by the J. Torres Company Inc. as a drop-off facility.
President Ed Kennedy said until the Benz's contract is up, the two companies will be working concurrently and residents will have the choice of which trash haulers they prefer to use.
Kennedy said the earliest J. Torres Company would begin operations is April.