Hazardous Dump Expansion Gets Green Light from County

Fresno, CA Hanford resident Felix Delgadillo was the only person to speak out against the plans to expand the Waste Management Landfill at Kettleman Hills. "Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you." He scolded the commission members.

Delgadillo is concerned that radioactive dirt from an old NASA test site at Santa Susanna in the Simi Valley will be trucked to the Kettleman Hills.

"Why do they want to dump their waste, that radioactive dirt here in Kings County ... I need to find out. I want to know, which way is the money flowing," said Delgadillo.

Waste Management spokesperson Kit Cole says it's up to state regulators to decide whether the radioactive soil can be dumped at Kettleman Hills. "We'll take it if they tell us that it's safe and we can if they tell us it's not safe we won't take it." She said.

Protestors at a huge public hearing held at the county fairgrounds two weeks ago expressed fears the Kettleman Hills site was responsible for birth defects, but that session was dominated by hundreds of Waste Management employees, who praised the company. In the end, at Monday night's meeting the Planning Commission sided with the company and approved the expansion.

Before the vote commission member Louise Drexler said, "I just can't in my heart think of any reason why we should not go ahead with this project."

Opponents of the expansion now have eight days to file an appeal. If they do the matter will be taken up by the Kings County Board of Supervisors.

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