The County of Tulare Resource Management Agency (RMA) will be preparing a Focused Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the environmental effects associated with the development of an Compost and Biomass Conversion Facility (Project) on the existing Visalia Landfill site, an approximately 36.0 acre site located at the northeast corner of Avenue 328 and Road 80 approximately six miles northwest of the City of Visalia. The site is currently zoned as AE-40.
Compost Facility: The County intends to develop and operate a covered aerated static pile (CASP) compost facility to comply with the upcoming SB 1383 regulations. The compost facility will be located on the County’s Visalia Landfill property that encompasses approximately 634 acres, of which the compost facility will occupy 36 acres, located in a soil borrow recessed approximately 20 feet below grade. The compost facility will be designed to accept up to 200,000 tons per year (TPY) in increments of 50,000 TPY technology modules and can store up to 200,000 cubic yards on-site of organic material that would have otherwise been landfilled. The compost facility would include installing processing and composting equipment, a 50,000 square foot processing building, compacted compost pads, and a lined pond. When operational, the proposed Project is proposing to operate Monday-Friday between 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Saturdays. Depending upon demand, summer hours may begin earlier than 6:00 a.m. A majority of the trips will occur between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., and between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. The Project would utilize approximately 15-20 employees and include an approximate 1,000 square foot office.
Biomass Facility: Tulare County Public Works is proposing to amend their CUP application to add a 2.0 mega-watt (MW) biomass conversion facility at their landfill. The facility will produce electricity, heat and biochar using wood fuel that will be provided by local activities to reduce landfill disposal to meet the mandates of SB 1383 to reduce 75% of all organic, which includes wood waste, from landfill disposal by 2025. The facility will utilize approximately 18,000 bone dry tons (BDT) of wood chips per year or 25,000 tons of per year of wet recovered wood waste and produce approximately a net amount (after parasitic load) 2.0 MW of electrical energy per hour. In addition to this the facility will also produce approximately 20-30 MM BTU of waste heat and approximately 300-600 pounds of biochar per hour. The facility is planned to operate 24/7, however given there will be maintenance requirements for the equipment it is anticipated that the gas production equipment and the GE Jenbacher internal combustion engine generator sets (“gensets”) will likely only operate between 7,000 and 8,000 hours per year, or approximately 80-90% capacity