By Bill Hendrickson
Some 65 residents of Glendale and Eagle Rock protested this week at Glendale City Hall against the plan by Glendale Water and Power to build a biogas power plant at Scholl Canyon in the hills above Eagle Rock.
The protest, on Nov. 23, came in advance of a crucial meeting on Nov. 30, when the Glendale City Council will decide on whether to give GWP a go-ahead to proceed with the plant, which would convert methane from decaying garbage into electrical power.
In recent weeks, both the Planning Commission and Sustainability Commission in Glendale have voted to reject the proposed biogas plant. Only the Glendale Water and Power Commission has voted to proceed.
Public comment at commission meetings and other public forums has been uniformly against building the proposed plant.
“The biogas plant proposal is preposterous from every angle” said Hans Johnson, president of the East Area Progressive Democrats, a leading organization in the protests. “Glendale has to devise a safe way to handle the methane gas emitting from the dump.”
Among their objections, opponents cite air, ground and noise pollution from a biogas plant at Scholl Canyon, as well as increased wildfire risk. They also suspect that building a biogas plant at Scholl Canyon would lead Glendale to extend the life of the dump because the $40 million price tag for the power plant would hardly be worth it if the dump closes as scheduled in coming years.
Opponents have also pointed out that from a climate change point of view, there are better ways to process methane than building a biogas plant, such as using the latest flaring technology to burn off the gas. They say that GWP has not adequately explored alternatives to a biogas plant for dealing with the dump’s methane.
The issue for the five-member Glendale City Council boils down to this:
The Planning Commission, the Sustainability Commission and the public have made the case that a biogas plant at Scholl Canyon would be bad for the climate and bad for the health and safety of people living in Glendale and Eagle Rock – and that alternatives for dealing with the dump’s methane must be thoroughly explored.
GWP has made the case that a biogas plant would help to meet Glendale’s power and revenue needs because the plant would generate electricity that could be sold for millions of dollars a year. If the plant is not built, Glendale has to figure out another way to generate power and make money.
Here’s how you can watch, listen and comment at the Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m:
Meetings are broadcast live on Glendale TV, viewable on Spectrum Cable, channel 6, and AT&T U-verse, channel 99. Meetings are also streamed live in high definition (HD) on the city’s webpage, glendaleca.gov/live, on YouTube.com/myglendale, and on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire devices using a free app called Screenweave and choosing “Glendale TV” from the menu.
For public comments and questions during the meeting, call (818) 937-8100. Public comments on a specific agenda item will be taken when that agenda item is discussed.
The Boulevard Sentinel broke this story in 2017 and we’ve been keeping you up to date on it since than. Please support the Boulevard Sentinel. [give_form id=”10189″ show_title=”true” show_content=”none” display_style=”button”]
Bill Hendrickson, MBA, publisher of the Boulevard Sentinel, has extensive small business management, marketing and sales experience in corporate finance and real estate development and plays a not terrible game of golf.