County Prevails in Complaint over Trash Facility Permit

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(Santa Ana, CA) — The director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) this week upheld a review by County regulators of the operating permit issued to Rainbow Environmental Services’ trash facility in Huntington Beach.

CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline vacated orders issued earlier this year by an administrative hearing officer who faulted the County’s permit review process for the facility. A comment letter had been submitted by officials with the Ocean View School District concerned about the trash operation’s impact on nearby Oak View Elementary School.

Smithline ruled that the evidence did not support the school district’s allegations. Contrary to the district’s claims, Smithline wrote, the County did consider the district’s written concerns about the Rainbow facility and complied with all statutory and regulatory obligations in reviewing operations at the facility for the preceding five years.

Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose district includes Huntington Beach, said she will continue to monitor complaints of dust, noise and odor from the Rainbow facility. Health Care Agency staff will continue weekly inspections to evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures, including dust screens, odor misters and a falcon handler to ward away birds from the trash site.

“We will continue to work with the school district and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to address concerns,” Steel said. “We share the same desire to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for the students at Oak View.”

The County’s appeal was handled by Senior Deputy County Counsel Nicole Walsh. A copy of the CalRecycle decision can be found here.