By Deb Murphy

Inyo County’s five unhappy Supervisors voted to approve the new Bishop landfill lease that ups the cost, in the third year of a three-year lease, from $4,900 to more than $22,000 annually and positions the landowner, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, as the County’s babysitter in what appears to be all matters having to do with trash.

The lease requires LADWP approval on all matter of minutia, including signage.

“I can see CalRecycle (the state agency in charge of landfills) requiring a new sign,” posited Supervisor Jeff Griffiths. “DWP drags its feet; CalRecycle says we’re not in compliance with our permit and we’re back in the same circle.”

Griffiths’ remark was in reference to the landfill’s current permit non-compliance status for exceeding weight limits. The fix is simple, amend the permit; but LADWP wouldn’t sign-off without a lease, a lease Supervisor Dan Totheroh described as “ridiculous.”’

Supervisor Rick Pucci weighed in: “DWP seems to forget it’s a public agency. Dumps aren’t conveniences, they’re public health issues…. This isn’t a money maker. We can’t move it. They’re not mean people over there. I can’t understand why they can’t work with us.”

Remarking on his constituents input, Supervisor Matt Kingsley said the consensus is the lease has to be signed. Amending media headlines referring to rocks and hard places, Kingsley said “this is more like between the devil and the deep blue sea. We have to deal with the devil.”

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