OCEANSIDE — Community groups are voicing opposition to the location of Waste Management’s proposed 24-7 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) pump station that will fuel environmentally friendly CNG garbage trucks.
Friends of Loma Alta Creek and ACTION community groups say the noise from Waste Management’s current operations is already too loud and the pump station will make noise levels “unbearable” for hundreds of homes in the Loma Alta neighborhood.
Noise complaints include negative impacts on sleep, health and quiet enjoyment of residents and lower property values.
“The new compressor is gigantic and it will run all night,” Nadine Scott, founder of Friends of Loma Alta Creek, said.
The planned pump station will be installed on the Waste Management site on Oceanside Boulevard. The location borders the Loma Alta Creek, home of the endangered gnatcatcher bird.
“It’s a very sensitive area,” Linda Walshaw, ACTION vice president, said. “Remaining wildlife and ecology are a huge part of it,”
The site also sits at a lower elevation than neighboring homes. Scott said this causes the sound to rise and increase in volume.
Scott, who is also an attorney, said she has requested a neighborhood meeting with Waste Management to find an alternative location for the pump station, but Waste Management has not met with residents.
Friends of Loma Alta Creek has voiced complaints about Waste Management operations since 2011.
“At this point we don’t want them down there anymore,” Scott said. “The neighborhood is up in arms. It’s horrible and this will be worse.”
Eloisa Orozco, Waste Management area communications manager, said Waste Management is aware of community noise and environmental impact complaints.
In an official e-mail reply she wrote, “Waste Management is surprised that any environmental group would oppose a CNG project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, each additional diesel truck we replace with natural gas will reduce diesel use and cut annual greenhouse gas emissions.”
Orozco added that the project has been studied extensively for environmental and noise impacts.
“The environmental document concluded that the CNG fueling station project will reduce noise and will comply with applicable environmental regulations,” Orozco said.
City Council gave unanimous approval to renewing a 13-year waste hauling contract with Waste Management and adding CNG trucks in October 2010. The renewed contract began in January 2011.
Council will vote on approving the pump station March 27.