[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Shut Chiquita Landfill | 08-09-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
72°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 18
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=


Commentary by Leon Worden
| Tuesday, Aug 9, 2016

LeonWorden_columnmugChiquita Canyon Landfill takes in trash from all over Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

Less than 20 percent of the trash that goes into Chiquita is generated in the Santa Clarita Valley.

If Chiquita only took SCV trash, the landfill in its current configuration probably would have lasted our entire lifetime, and our children’s lifetime.

Nineteen years ago, the last time Chiquita wanted to expand, our community went through hell.

I remember. I was there.

Not just Val Verde, whose residents are the most directly impacted. The entire Santa Clarita Valley, since it meant dozens of trash trucks from all over the Southland would exacerbate our traffic problems and foul our air.

So the landfill owner at the time (Laidlaw) and the landfill property owner at the time (Newhall Land) – said fine. You stop fighting us, Val Verde, and we’ll shut ‘er down when the landfill hits 23 million tons or in November 2019, whichever is earlier. You can read the agreement [here].

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said fine – we’ll issue a permit to the landfill on the condition it shuts down when it hits 23 million tons or in November 2019, whichever is earlier.

After 1997-98, when the supervisors put their seal on those “conditions of approval,” Laidlaw sold the business and Newhall Land sold the property.

They ain’t dumb.

The new owner is bound by those same conditions. It has to close and cover the landfill at 23 million tons or November 2019, whichever is earlier.

It’s like when you buy a house. If the city or county didn’t allow the previous homeowner to turn your house into a bordello, then you can’t turn it into a bordello, either. The change in ownership doesn’t change the conditions, and you knew that when you bought your house.

To be clear, I don’t have a particular opinion about the current landfill owner. It’s doing exactly what large corporations often do (Chiquita’s current owner trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WCN) – they throw money around to local charities with one hand while using the other hand to pressure politicians into changing the rules.

And I’ve got no beef with the landfill’s local PR guy who says the new owner “never promised” to close at 23 million tons or in November 2019. It’s his job to say stuff like that, and he’s pretty good at his job.

Of course the new landfill owner “never promised.” It didn’t have to.

It’s the government that made the promise, via the conditions of approval. The new owner inherited those conditions when it bought the landfill. It doesn’t have to like them. But it knew about them, and it is stuck with them.

Now, the county will tell you that another condition of approval explicitly allowed the landfill owner, whoever that might be, to come back at a future date and request another expansion beyond the 23 million tons. And that’s true. It’s in there. They only  recently started talking about it. It was never mentioned before the current landfill operator applied for the latest expansion. For the better part of 19 years, the community – Val Verde and the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley – were led to believe – by the county and the various landfill and property owners – that it would shut down when it hit 23 million tons or November 2019, whichever is earlier.

Think about it. (Loudly:) The landfill must shut down at 23 million tons or November 2019 … but (sotto voce:) It doesn’t really have to. Shh. Don’t tell anybody.

The landfill hit 23 million tons about a month ago. Shut ‘er down.

It’s time for the rest of L.A., Orange and Ventura counties to take care of their own trash and quit dumping on us.

As for our own comparatively small amount of trash, there are enough brains in this town to figure it out. Load it onto trains and ship it to the Palmdale Landfill. Whatever. Find somebody who wants it. Believe you me, there are other landfill operators who want it.

Point is, a promise is a promise, a deal is a deal, and conditions of approval – especially the ones you trumpet to the community – are sacrosanct if there is integrity in government.

 

Leon Worden is the volunteer president and CEO of SCVTV, a 501c3 nonprofit media company. His commentary reflects his own views and no one else’s – at least not intentionally.

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

15 Comments

  1. Grace says:

    It could not be said better. Thank you, Mr. Worden.

  2. Susie Evans says:

    THANK YOU MR. WORDEN! fACTS ARE FACTS, LAWS ARE LAWS…they got caught and they are not suffering any of the consequences. If you break the law, you bet you are going to pay, but you are just a citizen, not a giant company. BTW PG&E was found guilty in the San Bruno explosion. Do we really have to suffer something that horrendous for big companies to be held responsible and accountable?

  3. Shane Weeks Shane Weeks says:

    From their Web site about their values. Notice it doesn’t mention the community. “Integrity. We define integrity as “saying what you will do and then doing it.” We keep our promises to our customers, our employees and our stockholders. Do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.”

  4. Steve says:

    My email to zoning and the five County Representative today.

    Please make sure that this reply is forwarded to all 5 county supervisors.

    I would like the closing plans emailed to all concerned on this email list. I am worried since we were told by the Landfill representative that there were no closing plans and that the county never had any plans on closing the landfill, or they would have informed them. If that is the case than it does suggest cohersion between the landfill and the county, which imply’s that the expansion was a forgone conclusion for the landfill. I am assuming that since the landfill was so close to tonnage that closing papers are on file and were started in or by the year 2014 and completed when tonnage was reached. I would like this within the next 10 days. If they cannot be supplied because they were never drafted, than please feel free to take the next 60 days to comply and create and send closing plans. This time make sure that the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee and the VAl Verde Civic Association are included in all documents within 5 business days. Another violation of the Conditional Use Permit when they were not included in the supposedly Clean Hands Waiver signed on March 17th, but could not be produced to all involved until Yesterday.

    I would like this request to be included in the administrative record.

    Thank you for you expedient work on this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Lee

  5. Michael Bunch says:

    Thank you Mr. Worden. I as a Val Verde resident am scratching my head as to why this landfill has not been closed. Does that mean that all California contracts are null and void, if CCL does not have to abide by the agreement with Val Verde? The last time I checked, contracts are binding legal documents in California.

  6. Steve says:

    Nicely written Leon.

  7. Ginger Mac Donald says:

    Great Job Leon, keep them to the contract. Move forward doing what has to be done.

  8. Dan OConnell says:

    Thanks for looking out for us, Leon.

  9. Maria Christopher says:

    Well said.. That would also put an end to the hazardous traffic conditions caused by the trucks entering and exiting the facility from Highway 126.

  10. Alan Ferdman says:

    Very well said Leon. Integrity in business and government is the number one issue here. The new owner bought the business knowing full well what their obligations are. What happens with this issue will provide the public insight into what to expect from our elected county officials in the future. I’m hoping they require the landfill owner to abide by the agreement. That will demonstrate we can trust what they say.

  11. Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D. says:

    Thank you Leon for your stance on the Chiquita Landfill.

    Those involved in the Statement of Agreements and Understanding issued in 1997 had the foresight to recognize potential adverse problems with the continued enlargement of this dump site.

    Moving forward to 2016, as a Santa Clarita physician, the health problems associated with Chiquita are increasing. Not just from the massive number of trash trucks polluting our roads and airways, but also the methane coming from the site itself.

    Just recently, the local newspaper had a banner headline of increased ozone for our valley. Is this also related?

    It is time we respect the insight of those 19 years ago who put limits on the Chiquita Landfill. I agree with Leon Worden and ask the County to find an alternative, and shut it down.

    The people of Santa Clarita have sacrificed enough, and now it is effecting our health.

    Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

  12. Julie Olsen says:

    Thank you, Leon. Well said.

    This is a very important issue. If the landfill doesn’t close and instead is granted their request to expand, it will become the largest operating landfill in the COUNTRY, right next to residential neighborhoods with schools, churches, and businesses. This is not good for our community and we should not be “dumped on”, as you said, when other more reasonable options are available for disposal of trash – 80% of which is from outside of our area.

    Thank you for speaking up and helping our community understand the facts of the situation.

  13. Steve says:

    Requesting Documents from Val Verde Community Advisory Committee.

    I am formally requesting the clean hands waiver from your board, and the dates that you received them. I am questioning if the Conditional use Permit was upheld and you received the documents within the 5 days stated it the CUP. I noticed on the email chain that Roselyn Waymanwas aware of such a document so for sure your board must have received the document by March 22nd 2016.

    I am also formally requesting the closing plans from the landfill, which also should be in your files. The landfill reached tonnage in June of 2016, so the process for closure plans should have started in 2014, no later then 2015, and a final copy should have been in your possession by June of 2016. If you do not have it then it suggest that the landfill and the county were never going to hold too the CUP. Please forward all documentation at your earliest convenience.

    Thank you for your expedient response into this matter.

    Steve Lee

  14. Kevan says:

    They have also taken highly toxic materials and sludge in violation of the contract with Val Verde, Materials other land fills refuse to take – Rocketdyne and toxic dirt from Malibu High school.

  15. Richard Hood says:

    This great article, along with your individual views, should be forwarded to all the supervisors via snail and email. Phone calls also.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some really bad outcomes, including kidney problems, glaucoma and other eye disorders, foot ulcers, amputation of feet or legs, stroke, diabetic coma, and even death.
Friday, Aug 11, 2017
There is no doubt the vast majority of Democrats and liberals loathe Trump. Certainly all of the leftists thoroughly hate him, and they have some company. They’re called Republicans.
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017
In his August message to the community, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin details the city's emergency preparedness resources.
Tuesday, Aug 1, 2017
As our first president George Washington said, “We must consult our means rather than our wishes.”
Sunday, Jul 30, 2017
Many shocking surprises have shown up around the world as the ice melts. We’ve found a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, a field of dead reindeer that died of anthrax, and then last year, infected people in Russia, and in Alaska, an Air Force plane that disappeared was finally found in the Colony Glacier. It had crashed in 1952, killing everyone on board.
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017
When President Donald Trump ordered Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review the status of 27 national monuments created by three former presidents, many across the nation took it as a call to action to advocate on behalf of the monuments closest to their homes, and their hearts.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Two local environmental groups filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court Thursday regarding the approved plan to provide water to the Newhall Ranch development, set to break ground in 2018.
Environmental Groups File Complaint Against Newhall Ranch Water Plan
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has provided $143,000 in funding to extend the season of youth and adult swim programs offered at the Castaic Aquatic Center through October 31.
Castaic Aquatic Center Programs Extended to October 31
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Los Angeles County firefighters and government leaders welcomed back the Super Scoopers Friday morning. Plus, the Old Town Newhall Library helped get the community ready for it as well by handing out free eclipse viewing glasses. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, August 18, 2017
CalArts alumna Audrey Chan (Art MFA 07) will host a free, all-ages interactive arts workshop in Little Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, as part of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s 2017 Nisei Week activities.
August 19-20: Nisei Week Arts Workshop with CalArts Alum Audrey Chan
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Toplines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.
Habitat for Humanity Receives $25K Grant from Disabled Veterans
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, August 22, starting at 9:30 a.m..
August 22: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
Caltrans has released "Rail and the California Economy," a research report investigating how the state’s vast passenger and freight rail system contribute to California’s economy, as well as an overview of opportunities for rail to address the state’s needs and challenges in the future.
New Report Details Rail Role in State Economy
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Friday's alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley has been extended through Saturday.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Saturday
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to celebrate the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 with two free events at the Old Town Newhall Library.
August 18 & 21: Solar Eclipse Events at Newhall Library
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground
Sacramento County sued the California Department of Water Resources on Thursday over DWR's certification of the California 'WaterFix' delta tunnels project’s “dizzying” and “shifting” environmental review.
Sacramento County Sues to Freeze California ‘WaterFix’
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=
The storewide remodel of the Walmart Supercenter at 26471 Carl Boyer Drive is complete and, in addition to the many physical changes inside, Santa Clarita residents now have access to Online Grocery Pickup.
Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive Celebrates Grand Reopening Friday
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Under Way
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse
Two people have been hospitalized with major injuries after a collision on San Francisquito Wednesday night.
San Francisquito Road Collision Leads to Major Injuries
Caltrans today announced that 32 major “fix-it-first” transportation projects can be accelerated a year earlier than planned thanks to anticipated funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
More Than 30 Caltrans “Fix-it-First” Projects Accelerated by SB 1