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Kaiser Steel's Dump Plan Wins Some Official Favor

October 06, 1987|NANCY RIVERA BROOKS | Times Staff Writer

Some officials from the area around Kaiser Steel's proposed solid waste dump said Monday that they have no objections to the possibility of a landfill at the abandoned Eagle Mountain iron ore mine in Riverside County.

Ailing Kaiser Steel formally announced Monday that it will undertake a feasibility study of whether Eagle Mountain, located half way between the desert cities of Indio and Blythe, can be used as a regional center for the management and disposal of non-hazardous waste. The Times first reported about the study on Saturday.

Kaiser Steel said Monday that its partner in the project is San Diego-based Mine Reclamation Corp., which will also pay for the study.

"Should the project prove to be environmentally and economically feasible, we foresee new jobs for the desert community, additional revenue for Riverside County and a new business opportunity that would benefit Kaiser Steel and, in particular, Kaiser's more than 7,000 retirees," said Gerald Fawcett, director of operations and development of mining properties for the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company, which is operating under bankruptcy law protection.

"I really wouldn't have any problem with it," said William R. Martindale, mayor of Blythe. "It's quite a ways from any major city or populous area."

Indio city officials were out of town at a conference and were not available for comment.

Riverside County Supervisor Patricia (Corky) Larson said she had initially opposed the idea of a dump but had changed her mind after talking to Kaiser officials and property owners in the area, who have been suffering economically since Kaiser Steel closed the mine. Mine Reclamation Corp. is composed of Herzog Contracting Corp. of St. Joseph, Mo., which manages San Diego's five landfills and is helping build the Long Beach-Los Angeles light rail system; Edco Disposal of Lemon Grove and Metropolitan Disposal of Montebello, both solid waste disposal companies; Lester A. Haug, described by Kaiser Steel as "a nationally recognized landfill authority," and James H. McCall, an investment banker.

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