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SCVNews.com | Chiquita Landfill Maxes Out; County Issues Waiver | 08-04-2016
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Roughly 80 percent of the trash in the local landfill is trucked in from outside of the Santa Clarita Valley.
| Thursday, Aug 4, 2016
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The county planning director has issued a waiver allowing the Chiquita Canyon Landfill to continue accepting trash beyond its approved capacity while the landfill’s expansion plan works its way through the approval process, an official confirmed Thursday.

Under its 1997 conditions of approval, the county required the landfill in Val Verde to close once it hits 23 million tons or on Nov. 29, 2019 – whichever is earlier.

Edel Vizcarra, deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, said the county planning director approved a “clean hands waiver” earlier this year. The waiver allows Chiquita to continue normal operations until the Regional Planning Commission makes a decision to approve the expansion or close the landfill.

“They have reached their capacity of 23 million tons,” Vizcarra said Thursday. “They anticipated they were going to hit this tonnage limit sometime in late 2016, so they applied for a new conditional use permit for an expansion.”

The landfill crossed the 23 million-ton threshold this summer – which was no surprise.County documents for the period ending Dec. 31, 2014, showed that the 23 million ton limit was only 2 years and 1.83 million tons away. From January 2015 to Jan. 7, 2016, more than 1.408 million tons of waste was taken to Chiquita Canyon, leaving the facility with only about 400,000 tons of remaining capacity at the beginning of 2016.

Based on county documents, the the facility’s 2015 daily average of solid waste tonnage was 5,896.05 tons. It is allowed to take in 6,000 tons per day. Roughly 80 percent of its trash is generated outside of the Santa Clarita Valley.

If the Planning Commission approves a new permit – which could happen early next year – the landfill would be able to expand both its footprint and its capacity limit. If the permit is denied, the landfill would have cease operating, but it could appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

“We were promised in 1997 that the landfill would close,” said Bonnie Nikolai, a Val Verde representative at the Castaic Area Town Council. “It is now time to close, and we want to hold them to their promise. We do not want to renegotiate. We do not want any of their money. We just want them gone.”

Although the Board of Supervisors set the capacity limit at 23 million tons of solid waste, the landfill, as currently configured, can actually hold 29.4 tons, according to its environmental documents. Vizcarra said the county expects the expansion permitting process to be completed before it reaches its actual capacity.

The new conditional use permit process has begun, but it was put on hold for some changes that needed to be made and information that needed to be circulated in the environmental impact report, Vizcarra said.

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23 Comments

  1. Patty Ann Patty Ann says:

    And where should the trash of SCV residents go? Another city?

  2. Steven Lee says:

    If the cleans waiver permit was granted and asked for then why was the landfill representative not forth coming with that information. Why was the county not forthcoming with that information. And why has zoning still not sent a copy to anyone. Is it possible that it is still be written. How come the Val Verde Community Advisory Committed has nothing on file, they are supposed to be kept up to date. I think that the county will have to go back and do some quick paper work and maybe doctor up some permits to make this part of their story logical.

  3. Steven Lee says:

    Here is zoning’s reply to my email, why did he not mention the clean hands waiver permit since he is the enforcer of the Conditional use Permit?

    RE: Making sure that it was sent on
    Oscar Gomez
    Mon 6:08 PMYou;ogomez@planning.lacounty;

    Mr. Lee,

    We received your email concerning operations of the landfill.

    Let me look into the issue and I will get back to you.

    Oscar A. Gomez

    Supervising Regional Planner

    Zoning Enforcement North

    Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

    (213) 974-6483

    (213) 217-5108(Fax)

    From: STEVE LEE [mailto:artsteveSTEVE6@msn.com]
    Sent: Monday, August 01, 2016 5:50 PM
    To: ogomez@planning.lacounty; Robert Glaser ; Gerardo Villalobos
    Subject: Making sure that it was sent on

    Section 46 of the CUP states. “The maximum total capacity of the landfill shall be 23 million tons. Landfill closure shall occur when this capacity is reached or on November 24, 2019 which ever occurs first.

    During the month of June in the year 2016 the landfill had reached a capacity of 23,042,298.89. Those present at the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee were informed that the landfill has no plans to close or to hold to the cup.

    I am requesting from your office a shut down of the landfill on the grounds that the cup is a legal document and needs to be adhered to.

  4. Grace says:

    Money — headed to Chiquita and in turn to LA County — is obviously more important than integrity. More important than keeping one’s word (and legal contract for that matter), and more important than the health and wellbeing of human beings.

  5. Paul Cupp says:

    So Orange County has three landfills…two open for commercial and public use. Olinda and Prima Deshecha. The latter will accept limited amounts of dehydrated sludge and isn’t scheduled for closure until 2067.
    WHY is it they are permitted to use Chiquita LF when they have three facilities of their own?

  6. Ok. Who let those women out of the kitchen?

  7. Chris says:

    The further trash is taken away to, the higher the cost! Closing the landfill will drive up the cost of trash disposal for ALL SCV residents and businesses.

    There will always be a landfill there whether it de opened or closed….that is never going to change.

    The added cost per ton to truck to AV will be about $15.00. There is about 800 tons per day….do the math and open your wallet.

  8. Steven says:

    Chris if the cost was the issue then as Paul has pointed out that would be a huge factor in the trash that is delivered Chiquita Canyon landfill all the way from orange county. They pass how many landfills to get there?

    • Chris says:

      Steven & Paul,

      If the local haulers have to direct haul to AV they will have to add more trucks to cover all the routes, which will drive up the cost for ALL.

      We do not have a transfer station which if built will cost money. I spent 18 years in the business do I understand the numbers.

      I assure you, cost will go up and ALL of SCV will be paying.

  9. Susie Evans says:

    They are supposed to give running totals on their reports and they never have. One of our residents crunched the numbers and Monday, July 25th it was brought to the attention of Steve Cassulo, who is the head honcho at Chiquita Canyon Landfill, that the dump was over the limit. He did not know that and said the dump has no plans to shut down. So who is covering for who? They could have made phone calls to their customers (of which they won’t let Val Verde see) to tell them they have to shut down because they are over the limit, and given like oh I don’t know a two week notice. Whose safety are they really concerned with. Not Val Verde residents who live 800 feet from the landfill, unlike other landfills who are 1 or more miles away from homes. The supervisors must really want their cut of the fees paid by customers and they don’t care about the violations, just the money.

  10. Steve says:

    actually according to the website train is much cheaper, so the plan of the past to put trash on trains is much cheaper than the current method. http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/questions/which-is-more-efficient-for-freight-truck-or-train
    Our cost should actually go down to send it farther, plus trucks will not be traveling such huge distances to dump trash, roads would suffer less damage.

  11. Land fill was there when you moved in!

  12. jim says:

    There’s a reason Chiquita Canyon landfill reached it’s maximum so early. That is the profit motive, and a non-caring County Board of Supervisors. If that “regional” landfill had been limited to North LA County use, it wouldn’t have reached it’s contractual limit so fast. There would have been plenty of space for SCV waste for years to come.

    And while the landfill might seem to be a “local” facility, you might want to take a look at the pages on the SCV History site to see who is really dumping their crap in our valley.

    If you really care, go here: http://www.scvhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/page/12036/ChiquitaSourceReport2013.pdf

  13. Steve says:

    Mary the town was there before the landfill, the conditional use permit stating that they would close no matter what was also there. It was how some homes got sold in the last few years, realtors promised that it was closing. Mary are you saying that big business and government should not keep their promises or agreements they make with people. There are generations here from when Val Verde was started.

  14. Susie Evans says:

    Marty Stoeckel Stelow, No it came after the residents!

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