Environmental report goes to judge
July 13, 2010 4:53 PM
By Jessica Cejnar, staff writer

SAN BERNARDINO • Nursery Products won approval from the county a second time to build a sewage sludge composting facility about eight miles west of Hinkley.

Three members of the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors approved Nursery Products’ conditional use permit Tuesday. Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales dissented. Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt was absent.

The Planning Commission awarded Nursery Products a conditional use permit in December. The Board initially approved of the facility in 2007.

Construction can begin on the 80-acre facility as soon as Superior Court Judge John Vander Feer approves of a supplemental environmental impact report Nursery Products completed last year, said Chris Seney, the company’s director of operations. This should take up to six weeks, he said.

Nursery Products still plans to break ground in September. There will be no public hearings between now and then, Seney said.

After the citizens group HelpHinkley.org filed a lawsuit against the project in 2007, Vander Feer ruled that Nursery Product’s initial environmental impact report needed more clarity on water supply and quality and the feasibility of enclosing the facility. The supplemental EIR Nursery Products completed last year looked at those two issues as well as the project’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“All this gets sent to (Vander Feer) to review and make sure we did what we were asked,” Seney said. “And then he signs off on it.”

It’s up to the county and Nursery Products to ask the court to approve of the supplemental EIR, said Ingrid Brostrom a lawyer for the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment, which represents HelpHinkley.

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