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SCVNews.com | Sunshine Landfill Odors Prompt County Inquiry | 10-03-2016
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| Monday, Oct 3, 2016
Sunshine Canyon Landfill in August 2016. Photo courtesy of Sunshine Canyon Landfill Local Enforcement Agency.
Sunshine Canyon Landfill in August 2016. Photo courtesy of Sunshine Canyon Landfill Local Enforcement Agency.

The county is looking to investigate Sunshine Canyon Landfill for continued odor issues after thousands of complaints and nearly 200 violation notices.

A motion by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, which was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, directs the interim director of Public Health and the director of Regional Planning to “investigate actions the Department can take to address the ongoing odor nuisance problems impacting the communities surrounding the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, including, but not limited to, the issuance of a Notice of Violation” and “to review the Conditional Use Permit for the landfill and identify any and all Conditions of Approval and enforcement tools to eliminate landfill odors migrating beyond the property boundary and impacting the surrounding communities,” according to the report.

Findings from the investigation are due back to the board within two weeks.

The landfill has been operating near the communities of Sylmar and Granada Hills for more than a decade with permits from the county and city of Los Angeles, according to the report.

The landfill operator requested, and subsequently permitted, to increase the amount of daily trash in 2009. At the same time, the “landfill began to experience a growing odor problem impacting the surrounding communities,” according to the report.

“Since November 2008 the landfill has generated over 9,300 odor complaints from nearby residents and a local elementary school and received over 180 Notices of Violation from the South Coast Air Quality Management District for emitting noxious odors so as to cause injury, detriment, nuisance, or annoyance to a considerable number of people,” according to the report.

The district has since imposed more requirements to the operator to control the orders but the “community continues to be subjected to
landfill odors to this day,” according to the report. “The landfill operator has had more than ample opportunity to correct the odor problem… and it is important for the County to do everything within its power to alleviate the odor nuisance impacting the community.”

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2 Comments

  1. Andrea Provenzale says:

    The operators of the dump continually point a finger at the community saying these odor complaints and notices of violation come from a handful of people looking for free cash and to shut down the facility. One person or one thousand people, no difference. It smells like landfill gas and rotting garbage outside a lot, those odors are coming from the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, and they ARE a nuisance to me and to this community. Sometimes it smells in the morning evening or both. Mostly garbage in the AM and landfill gas at night. Sometimes in the wee hours after midnight. At times it lasts for several hours or off and on for several days in a row. It ranges in intensity from light to very strong. You know how I know this? Because I am one of the ones that calls these nuisance odors in to the AQMD because I am subjected to what is coming from this mismanaged DUMP. I live in the odor zone. Our politicians pulled a fast one on this community several years after I moved here in 1989. They said that they were sure there wouldn’t be any issues in the surrounding community from this operation. I can’t tell you how many other people have called in odor complaints to the AQMD over the years, or got fed up and stopped calling, moved away, or died. Just the process of calling in and documenting the odors is a major inconvenience and nuisance. It takes a lot out of people to do research and educate ourselves, attend meetings, make calls, prepare testimony, meet with inspectors, etc. This has been going on since 2008/9 and it is no wonder that many have had it, and have stopped themselves from being used in this way. Supposedly, the landfill welcomes our feedback. Hah !!! They say they want to know when it smells so they can check out what was going on at the dump at the time and try to correct it. News flash, what ever they are doing and however they are conducting business and frankly what they HAVE NOT been doing in upgrades, is for the most part causing these odors. Plus, it is located in a wind tunnel for God’s sake. If they could correct that, they would have done it by now, but just like in real estate, location location location, and Sunshine Canyon Landfill is in the wrong location and nothing about that can be changed because of the canyon topography of the area. I for one, am tired of the insinuations that I have been less than truthful about reporting odors for financial gain. NEVER ONCE have I EVER reported an odor to the AQMD when there was no odor. NEVER ONCE, have I asked another person to fabricate an odor complaint. I know of no one that does either of those things. They bought a landfill that had existing problems with inadequate infrastructure, also with today’s recycling programs, much of what is going into the landfill is stinky wet organic materials, and this dump is in the wrong location. That is why the experts are not sure that ANY measures that they impose will correct the issue, but they are giving them the benefit of the doubt to see if reducing the amount of trash they take in and limiting their hours might have a positive impact and give this community some relief while they work on what Republic thinks will alleviate the smells. Republic should want that. They say that they want to be good neighbors. Instead they keep pointing fingers at us. I don’t care how much money has been spent or will be spent. What they are spending is a drop in the bucket of what they are making. Much of it is cost of doing business anyways. And you know what? I say God Bless You. Make healthy profits. Pay yourselves, your employees, and your shareholders well. Just don’t be cheap when it comes to laying out the money you have to to make this right for the community. You bought a distressed property that is still making you a bundle, and you need to bring it up to speed. Even the Notices of Violations from what I have read, are a cost of doing business, so don’t boo hoo about that. Fix the issues and reduce the amount you have to pay for those. Trust me, if it does not smell we won’t be calling…problem solved, win win. Plus a chunk of that money is going to the gas to energy plant, another business venture. Just remember, we all have a moral bank account when we die. Try to remember that.

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