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El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpio v. Kings, County of

ELR Citation: 22 ELR 20357
Nos. No. 366045, (Cal. Super. Ct., 12/30/1991)

The court rules that the final environmental impact report that resulted in issuance of a conditional use permit for the construction and operation of a hazardous waste incinerator at the Kettleman Hills site in Kings County, California, was inadequate as an informational document under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The incinerator could burn hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic waste each year and is a proposed addition to an existing hazardous waste disposal facility in a town whose population is predominately Latino. The court finds that the report inaccurately reasoned under CEQA that the air quality impacts of emissions from incinerator operations would be mitigated to a level of insignificance through use of best available air pollution control technology. The court also finds that the strong emphasis in the CEQA on publicly informed environmental decisionmaking by public officials would have justified the Spanish translation of the report and public hearing documents.

[Pleadings in a related federal action are published at ELR PEND. LIT. 66173.]

Counsel for Petitioners
Ralph S. Abascal, Luke W. Cole
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
2111 Mission St., Ste. 401, San Francisco CA 94110
(415) 864-3405

Sharon Duggan
380 Hayes St., Ste. 1, San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 861-1401

Counsel for Respondents
Denis Eymil, Jim LaPorte
County of Kings
1400 W. Lacey Blvd., Hanford CA 93230
(209) 582-3211

Anthony Garvin, Sanford Svetcov
Landels, Ripley & Diamond
350 Steuart St., Hills Plaza, San Francisco CA 94105
(415) 788-5000