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Pittsburg: City Council approves solar power project on former landfill site

PITTSBURG–City Council members approved a proposal for a 20-megawatt solar facility that would sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., one week after the owner of a recycling center raised environmental questions about the project.

The 3-0 vote clears the way for Columbia Solar Energy, a subsidiary of New York-based LS Power, to build the facility on a leased 115-acre grassland parcel owned by USS-Posco Industries.

Garaventa Enterprises, which operates the Mount Diablo Recycling Center on Loveridge Road next to the project site and provides garbage service in several East County cities, raised concerns about the project at last week’s council meeting, but has since withdrawn its opposition.

At the April 8 council meeting, Garaventa officials submitted a letter that questioned whether the project’s negative declaration adequately addressed environmental issues associated with the project, such as visual impacts on nearby residences.

The city stood by the negative declaration, saying it provided an “appropriate level of environmental review” and that the project would “generate electric output from the sun during daylight hours without air, water or noise emissions.”

The city did not require the project developer to prepare an environmental impact report as part of the approval process. City staff determined the project would not have a significant impact on the environment, provided the developer follows mitigation
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