Ventura County government will earn royalties from methane gas products sold by the operators of Simi Valley Landfill under an agreement approved Tuesday.
Waste Management Inc. agreed to share up to 3% of gross revenues earned through the sale of methane-generated electricity to Southern California Edison. Landfills create methane gases, which can be captured and used for energy.
Waste Management is building a facility that will convert the gases and expects to be in business by the end of the year, said Kay Martin, the county manager who negotiated the deal. The firm plans to eventually expand its operations to include liquefied natural gas for use as a transportation fuel.
The county's share of revenues will be used as seed money to encourage conversion of waste by other businesses in the region, Martin said. Waste Management agreed to donate an initial $100,000 to the fund and to kick in a percentage of sales.
It's uncertain how much revenue will be generated. That will depend, in part, on demand for methane-created products, Martin said. The agreement will be in place for 60 years.
A majority of supervisors lauded the deal as a win for the environment and the county's treasury. But two supervisors, Linda Parks and Steve Bennett, voted against the agreement.
Parks said she believed the county should try to negotiate a bigger cut of the royalties.
Bennett agreed supervisors should hold off on a vote to investigate Parks' concerns. The three other board members rejected a delay, saying Martin had investigated all options.