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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Ensuring the Money Keeps Flowing | Commentary by Steve Lee | 11-18-2016
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steveleeAfter nearly 3 years and a large reply from concerned citizens, the Chiquita Landfill and the Los Angeles County have released their revision to the Draft Environment Impact Report.

The report is over 1,000 pages long. The county being aware at how long it is has given all interested parties a 60 day chance to reply. They feel that what took their lawyers nearly 3 years to revise could be answered in 60 days by the average person. That is correct 60 days to reply over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holliday when most people are busy with large families gathering or completely out of town.

The New Draft EIR is greatly flawed. I have only read the first 20 pages and replied to some of it. That took 2 days because the wording is so vague that almost any definition could be derived from the wording. For example when dealing with endangered species on the New Draft EIR they rely on the words, “Whenever feasible.” The problem with “whenever feasible” is that it is up to interpretation. What I would consider feasible might cost more than my neighbor would consider feasible.

If your remember correctly this is the same County Offices that were not able to produce a Clean Hands Waiver that they claimed they had given Chiquita Canyon Landfill. The Clean Hands Waiver gave the landfill the permission to violate the contract they had with the Town Of Val Verde. In that contract they agreed that at 23 million tons they would shut down and nothing in that contract would allow them to continue. The county’s stance is that they did not sign the contract. The contract was signed after Chiquita Canyon Landfill signed their contract with the county. All contracts were then incorporated into the final contract. Just the fact that the last contract signed, was with Val Verde suggest that the final contract should be the one that overrides the county contract. The hard truth for most of the residents of Val Verde is that the contract with them was drawn up to silence them.

After nearly two weeks a Clean Hands Waiver was produced. It is the writer’s opinion that all agencies involved were busy creating the waiver and backdating it to try and make it look as legit as possible. Having worked in a big corporation for many years I have found documents fairly easy to find on the computer. The title of the document is typed in, and then it pops up. The county for some reason could not even do this. Are they not following the same protocol? Are they changing the rules as they go? It would appear so.

People that want to respond to the New 1,000 page Draft EIR and the Antonovich Landfill have written in for an expansion. The reply is as follows;

Subject: Request for Extension of public review period

Good afternoon,

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a public review period of not less than 45 days when a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is submitted to the State Clearinghouse for review by state agencies. 

The County has extended this public review period to 60 days to allow additional time for the public and state agencies to review and comment on the partially recirculated draft EIR (PRDEIR) for Chiquita Canyon Landfill.  Section 15105 of the CEQA Guidelines says the public review period for a draft EIR should not be longer than 60 days except in unusual circumstances. 

The 60-day period provides sufficient time to review the PRDEIR for this project, as only a part of the original DEIR from 2014 is being revised.  The review and comments are to be limited only to the revised parts of the DEIR.  All comments on the PRDEIR need to be received by January 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm in order to be considered.  The County needs adequate time to be able to review the comments and respond to them before the Final EIR is prepared.  The Final EIR is expected to be published in February 2017 and a public hearing of the Regional Planning Commission on the Project and the Final EIR is tentatively planned for March 2017.  We appreciate your interest in this project and your participation in this process and look forward to your comments on the PRDEIR. 

Thank you.

Richard Claghorn
Principal Regional Planning Assistant
Zoning Permits North Section
Department of Regional Planning
320 W. Temple Street, Room 1348
Los Angeles, CA  90012
Phone: 213-974-6443

The same group of people that were in charge of the Clean Hands Waiver are also overseeing the Draft EIR.  

It would appear that the money will keep flowing for the county; it is roughly 700,000 a month now. It would appear that the county will continue to look the other way when the average citizen finds dangerous substances being taken in by the landfill. The last response from the county said that they could take the dangerous substances that they were taking because those substances are not found in the Conditional Use Permit. Some of those substances were not even created 20 years ago, and it would be impossible for the average citizen to individually list each and every substance that is dangerous to man and can easily become airborne.

If you would like to respond to the Draft EIR you can find it online at http://planning.lacounty.gov/assets/upl/case/project_r2004-00559_partially-rdeir.pdf

Remember that questions are thrown out or get a simple reply of beyond our scope. So, when responding make all responses statements.

Steve Lee is an asthmatic resident of Val Verde

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2 Comments

  1. Susie Evans says:

    So, they have years to go over what you guys/we had days to go over. OK, so they may have changed 6 chapters but still, that is allot of intense reading in a very short time for the lay person. It is all about the money not the health of the citizens!

  2. Steve says:

    Reading the document, they cannot meet air quality standards and in some areas they will exceed the highest level on the cancer chart from SCAQMD, and yet the county will push it through no matter what. Santa Clarita could not even get within the limits for green house gases, for so many days, and yet they are pushing it though. The city of Santa Clarita wants to test the air for the gas leak, when in reality they should be fighting the landfill based on the samples they are getting from the air quality for the past 10 years or more.

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