Reid blasts California trash plan as ‘threat to Nevada’s sovereignty and dignity’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday urged Gov. Jim Gibbons to withhold environmental permits for a proposed dump for California trash near Winnemucca.

In a signed letter, Reid called the dump a “threat to Nevada’s sovereignty and dignity.”

Under the proposal for the landfill by San Francisco-based company Recology, 4,000 tons of garbage would be hauled to the site five days a week from Northern California for the next 95 years.

The landfill would be 28 miles west of Winnemucca, where residents are split over the proposal. For accepting Bay Area trash, Humboldt County might receive $1 million a year and gain 25 jobs for workers at the dump.

Reid said in the letter that the site would be in an active seismic impact zone and would endanger an aquifer that would be less than 100 feet away from the dump.

Gibbons’ spokesman Daniel Burns said the governor also opposes the dump, but that if the company meets the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s requirements, the division will have to grant it the permits.

The Humboldt County Planning Commission has already granted Recology the permit that allows it to take the steps needed to obtain the state permits.

Burns said the hauling of trash over state lines falls under interstate commerce, which is regulated on the federal level. He said Reid should be trying to work the issue out with California’s elected officials.

“The easiest and fastest thing to do … would be to handle it at a federal level and get California to handle their trash problems,” Burns said.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at or 702-383-0440.

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