The impact of waste-to-energy projects on air quality will be the subject of a South Coast Air Quality Management District committee hearing at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8 at the district office in El Monte.
The hearing by the district's Inter-Governmental Affairs Committee, headed by Ontario City Council member Faye Myers Dastrup, was prompted by requests from U.S. Rep. David Dreier (R-La Verne), West Covina Mayor Forest Tennant and the Miller Brewing Co., all of whom oppose plans by Pacific Waste Management Corp. to build a plant in Irwindale that would burn 3,000 tons of trash a day to generate electricity. James Birakos, spokesman for the air quality district, said the hearing will look at waste-to-energy plants generally and not focus on the Irwindale proposal. He said the hearing could help the committee formulate a board policy on waste-to-energy plants. Some board members, he noted, believe that even though the plants could harm air quality, there may be off-setting environmental gains from burning trash instead of burying it in landfills.
The district will make a recommendation on the Irwindale plant to the state Energy Commission, which has primary permitting authority.