This rapid health impact assessment (HIA) sought to inform the permitting process for a “material recovery facility” (MRF), which collects waste from different sources and collects and sells the recyclables. A special permit would allow NMRT, LLC to construct the facility in the current zoning for the area.
Residents of the San Jose and Mountain View neighborhood associations worry that the proximity to an elementary school, residences, and the East San Jose Elementary School will be a blight on the neighborhoods' futures and quality of life. Residents expressed concerns about increased disease from exposure to environmental hazards, including childhood asthma. Residents also expressed concern over receiving accurate information from NMRT, LLC about the full scope of operations at the facility after learning that waste may be shipped in from cities as far away as two hours.
The HIA examined the impacts of the facility on neighborhood livability, employment and economic development, traffic congestion, air quality, noise, and odors. The HIA found that there are cumulative health risks associated with traffic congestion, diesel emissions, noise, and odor from the proposed facility. The HIA also found that while the proposed facility would create 90-120 jobs, there are no provisions to ensure residents of San Jose and Mountain View have access to these jobs. The HIA estimated that an additional 826-2,684 heavy trucks would travel to and from the facility on Broadway Boulevard and that this additional truck traffic would likely increase crash injuries and fatalities. Overall, the HIA recommended that the special permit use be denied.