Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/25/2011 07:03:17 AM PDT

HINKLEY – Think about this happening to your part of the world.

Eight miles away there are plans for a commercial composting facility that would bring 1,100 tons per day of biosolids – the sludge left over after sewage water is treated – plus a like amount of green materials – like wood chips – and mix them in the open air and allow the mixture to cook in the sun.

And oh yes, there will be nearly 50 large trucks delivering the biosolids every day.

On Tuesday, San Bernardino County Supervisors – again – are going to take up an issue related to this project, which they have approved twice before.

This time supervisors are going to vote on whether to approve water supply assessment addendum number two, which

Nursery Products LLC is proposing an 80-acre open-air composting site eight miles west of Hinkley (green point). The site would be used to compost waste solids from water-treatment plants and green materials to produce agricultural-grade compost.

Nearby residents are concerned about dust and other pollution from the site.

The developer anticipates the business will receive 1,100 tons of biosolids daily, arriving on 48 trucks.

The 29-page report concludes that current water supplies are sufficient to meet demands through 2044.

But some Hinkley residents doubt that as does an environmental attorney also opposing the project.

For five years, many Hinkley residents have been fighting this project. They have health concerns about the dust, pathogens, and water usage of the project.

Keep in mind that these folks might have a reason to be suspicious – these are the people who have a large and growing plume of cancer-causing chromium 6 that has plagued their water supply for decades.

Remember the year 2000 hit movie “Erin Brockovich”? That was about Hinkley’s battle with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. over the pollution and its remedy, something which continues.

The type of conflict over Victorville-based Nursery Products proposed Hawes Composting Facility has played out in different ways across Southern California and the nation for decades, said Ed Barnes, chief financial officer for Cal Poly Pomona, who prior to that job was a professor of soil science.

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