The NHIS program not only provides the necessary amounts of soil needed to properly close and cap the landfill, but also provides significant financial benefits to the City and its residents. A letter submitted to the City on March 20, 2008, from the Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury stated that, "...NHIS is a win-win for Santa Maria." The City receives the required amount of soil to properly close the landfill and the oil companies pay the City to take it. This arrangement results in the NHIS program offsetting some of the costs of City services. Use of the NHIS eliminates the need to acquire soil materials — saving the City more than $30 million. Since its inception, NHIS revenue has totaled over $21 million. The City has adequately covered its landfill closure costs and has avoided solid waste disposal rate increases for the seventh consecutive year. Revenue derived from this program also offsets budget costs for 16 police officers and 9 fire fighters.
This creative solution to meet mandated closure requirements led to the City being awarded the prestigious League of California Cities' Helen Putnam Award. The San Diego Industrial Environmental Association also gave the City the Environmental Responsibility Award for their cooperative efforts in solving a complicated landfill closure issue.