Cortina landfill project nearly dead
After more than 13 years of fighting to prevent a landfill project from moving forward at Cortina Rancheria in Colusa County, the Board of Supervisors has reason to celebrate.
Recently, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs rescinded its lease agreement with Cortina Integrated Waste Management Inc. for failure to abide by terms, some of which included the company maintaining financial solubility and the ability to move forward with the project. That decision makes a huge blow for the remaining proponents of the project, which no longer includes the tribe itself.
"I was so happy I wanted to jump out of my chair and do a cheer routine," Supervisor Kim Vann said after the meeting.
Standing in the way of that project's termination is an appeals process through the Internal Board of Indian Appeals, which has been filed by Cortina. Should that appeal be denied, it would likely mark the end of the long fight for Colusa County. With that in mind, on Oct. 22, Colusa County Supervisors unanimously authorized Stoel Rives LLC to act as an intervener in that process on the behalf of the County.
"They're on the ropes right now, to use a boxing analogy," said Timothy M. Taylor, Colusa County's outside counsel with Stoel Rives, during his presentation to the board. "This project is very much teetering. So the hope is, that last little push ..."
"This kills the deal, hopefully," Supervisor Mark Marshall finished.
"Madam chair, I personally have been fighting this fight for more than 13 years, not just because it falls within my district, but because the potential environmental impacts of the project would be devastating on the ground water and the aquifer that provide water to the city of Williams, the town of Arbuckle, and all the western portion of our county," he said.
"I think we would be remiss if we did not continue the fight, and I would move that we would give outside counsel authority to intervene on behalf of the county," Marshall said before the supervisors voted.