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CalRecycle update discussed

Tehachapi City Council Update

Organic Waste Collection

In September 2016 California Senate Bill 1383 established methane emissions goals in an effort to reduce certain climate pollutants in parts of the state. It is to be the goal of the regulatory authority, CalRecycle, to set state organic waste reduction targets and implement a residential organics collection and recycling program by January 1, 2022. Additionally they are charged with a goal that not less than 20 percent of currently disposed edible food is recovered for human consumption by 2025.

With COVID-19 creating economic hardship for many and the January 2022 deadline coming closer, the Tehachapi City Council sent a letter of comment in May 2020 to CalRecycle asking for a deferment of the program until 2024 citing hardship of the potential rate increase for local customers. In a letter received by the City on August 21, 2020 CalRecycle denied the appeal. However, when CalRecycle sent out their Compliance Process guideline, it did include guidelines with discretionary measures whereby CalRecycle can delay penalty enforcement on communities that are making significant progress toward but may not be able to implement the new collection service by the 2022 deadline.

In their guidelines submitted to Tehachapi City Council on September 21, CalRecycle stated they were thankful for the input of the City of Tehachapi and claimed it was the City letter that helped them form their subsequent compliance and enforcement discretion policy. Since that time City staff, members of Waste Management (our contract hauler) and CalRecycle have been in communication to set easily attainable goals to produce an affordable solution for compliance. The Council will continue to receive periodic updates.

Keene Water Agreement

For more than 40 years, Union Pacific Railroad has been transporting water by truck to supply water for the residents of Keene. The water comes from UPRR’s pumping rights to 65.33 acre-feet of water annually from the Tehachapi Water Basin Adjudication that allows for the transport to Keene. For many years UPRR has been transporting between 25 and 30 acre-feet to the residents annually.

The City of Tehachapi provides a water meter on H Street exclusively for the UPRR service. Historically the Tehachapi Cummings County Water District (TCCWD) has debited the City for the water and not UPRR. On September 21 the City Council approved a formal agreement that establishes the H Street water meter solely for the purpose of extracting water for Keene and authorizes TCCWD to credit the City’s water allocation. Additionally, the TCCWD will credit the City’s allocation for the water withdrawn by UPRR during the years 2015 through 2019 – approximately 106.96 acre feet.

Per the State of California Executive Order N-29-20, this meeting was held telephonically. City Council meetings may be observed (or heard) online at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh0HOSFazMT27ynDXhkUQ0A.