On Thursday, December 14, Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) filed a lawsuit challenging Santa Barbara County’s approval of the Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project. The project was approved without an environmental impact analysis and in violation of the County’s own procedures.
The Tajiguas Resource Recovery Project is a flawed project that is unlikely to meet the County’s financial or environmental targets. China’s decision this summer to ban the import of most recycled materials undermines the project’s financial viability. Moreover, the County’s diversion goals can be accomplished through readily available, less expensive programs. And in a time of rising concerns over the impacts of climate change, the project squanders an opportunity to sequester atmospheric carbon by diverting the use of clean food scraps and organic waste from creating high-quality compost for carbon farming.
GCC’s lawsuit demands that the County prepare a supplemental environmental impact report and provide advance release of all the documents considered by the Board of Supervisors when they consider the project again. More information will be available after the new year.
In the meantime, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy’s board, staff and volunteers thank all the firefighters, first responders, and public employees for their incredible efforts in protecting lives, property and the environment in the face of the Thomas Fire. We wish all of our supporters a safe, healthy and wonderful holiday season.
--- Michael S. Brown, President