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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
68°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 21
2009 - Castaic resident Gidget, the Taco Bell commercial Chihuahua, dies at 15 after major stroke [story]


steveleeI sat through a fascinating meeting of the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee as I listened to a scientist, A.J. Atkins, sing the praises of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

I have to be honest. I was thinking: Man, they are really working hard to ensure our safety.

I personally think they are trying. I also think they are trying harder now because of the resistance from the residents of Val Verde.

During the presentation, my mind started to spin. Why? The scientist was presenting his findings from the wells surrounding the landfill. Atkins stated they were all clean. He raved about how clean they were, and how he had never run across such immaculate wells.

His entire report based on documentation given to him from the landfill. That is when my head started spinning. I know the landfill presented different documentation online – documentation that shows the exact opposite of Atkins’ findings. Shouldn’t those documents be looked at? I even remember Darryl Manzer expressing his concerns about the contaminated wells, based on the findings released online, as he wrote here.

After the long praising from this scientist, he got to a concern: Odors.

The landfill is not going to be able to control the odors as its massive growth increases. It was not that they MIGHT not be able to control the odors, but that they WIILL not be able to.

He also referenced the 21,000 homes coming in from The Newhall Land and Farming Co. They would be tremendously impacted by those odors.

So now it is not only the 2,400 residents of Val Verde, but the possible 63,000 residents in the new development. (Conservatively. I multiplied each residential dwelling by 3, two adults and one child.)

He briefly mentioned that these smells were prohibited and then moved on.

The second concern pertained to the containers at the landfill that are set up to control contaminants from escaping the landfill during rainstorms.

The last four years of drought made it possible for contaminants to stay within the borders of the landfill, which also affected any testing that this scientist might have done. But a moderate rain would cause significant environmental damage to the Santa Clarita River and to its inhabitants. Yet, we have been recently warned of a major El Nino year, and there will be more.

The environmentally protected Santa Clarita River will be severely compromised. The health of the children and families who will be living in the 21,000 homes will be compromised.

Imagine the anger of a parent when they find out their child was slowly being poisoned while they were laughing and enjoying the expression on their young child’s face as that child jumped in leftover contaminated pooling puddles from a heavy rain.

All of that poison that will destroy the river will be the same poison in the puddles at the 21,000 homes that Newhall Land and Farm would have provided them.

I can imagine a class-action suit waiting to happen. The families will first try to sue Newhall Land to recover some of the medical costs they will be entangled with, in the desire to get justice for the deception they feel was present when they bought their environmentally safe home or condominium or rented their apartment.

Then these families may attempt to sue the landfill – which was previously owned by Newhall Land. The landfill is a limited liability company, which would shield the company from liability for medical costs.

Now the families have to go after the county. The county will claim it had no idea there were dangers. Much like they say they are not part of the contract with the landfill and Val Verde today.

But the county is on the same CUP. They were well aware of the contract and are in fact part of it. Supervisor Antonovich and his staff are aware of the landfill. I can only assume they are also aware the river is protected; they are aware of the contaminated wells.

In the future, when people rightfully decide to sue the county for the injustices that befell them, they will hopefully do some Internet searches and stumble across the many articles making the public – and the public officials – aware of the dangers and outright violations and contaminants being delivered to its residents by air and water. Unfortunately, the officials now in charge will no longer be in office.

The county and all those involved should be held liable now. The landfill is a large profit-making corporation. The landfill should not have the right to be a limited liability company. If it poses a danger, then it should be forced to pay for the damage that danger caused on individual lives and the environment.

Parent companies should not be able to set up companies they plan to bankrupt in order to protect themselves from future lawsuits. Protecting these corporate structures looks like government collusion to me. It looks like the parent company knows of the dangers. This should be absolutely illegal.

The county will not be able to claim ignorance. If I go to court, I cannot claim ignorance. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Ignorance of dangers of landfill and the companies that are permitted by the county is not an excuse. The county needs to be held liable for any violations from these companies.

The culpability for poisoning our communities does lie with the county that allowed it. Los Angeles County is well aware of the dangers now and the future dangers to its residents and to its protected river.

 

 

Steve Lee is a resident of Val Verde.

 

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.

7 Comments

  1. Linda says:

    Very well stated!

  2. jim soliz says:

    If you are right, Steve, and I chose to believe that you Are right, then culpability would rest on the County and the Supervisor sitting in the seat Representing the Fifth District which would Supervisor MICHAEL ANTONOVICH.
    Not to be dismissed are State Senators and State Assembly Representatives and on a Congressional level it would be the Congressman for the 25th Congressional District.
    Gee, that strange. Why, they are all Republicans. I’ll be darn, what a coincidence!!

  3. Josh says:

    I’d hate to live my life convinced that “everyone is out to get us” and no matter who it is, if it contradicts my thoughts “they must be lying” it must be exhausting!

    I hope it really is alright, I hope that having faith (not blind faith mind you) in our leadership and their decisions is still an acceptable avenue to take in these kinds of things.

  4. Susie Evans says:

    I wrote to our State and Federal senators and congressmen no matter what party they belonged to and they never cared to respond other than, contact your local county representative.

  5. Erica says:

    Thanks for bringing up Newhall’s mega development! It is quite a head scratcher that this combination of developments would ever be a good idea. Oh and the scientist’s name is B.J. Atkins. :)

  6. Steve Lee says:

    Josh, thank you for your reply. I too do not believe in blind faith, but I do believe in holding big corporations and our elected officials accountable. I am sure that when the agreement with Val Verde, Chiquita Canyon Landfill, and the county was signed the feeling of the landfill and the county was that Val Verde would forget the promise/contract. After all 19 years is a long time if it is day one of the contract, looking back 19 years, it is just a blink of an eye.
    It seems that memories are very short for big corporations and for some politicians. I am aware that when the civil complaint was filed Antonovich’s spokesperson said it was the first time they heard of such complaints. But, on January 5, 2015 Scope and others went to the County Board to make them aware. Maybe what they should have said, “It is the first time we are listening.”
    Faith in our leadership is one thing, speaking up when that faith has been compromised is another. I am not rich and I can not donate tons of money in order to hold politicians and big corporations accountable, but,what I can do is write.
    I have been informed in private email that parent companies can be sued when they are overseeing their smaller companies that are LLC.
    This is great news. When the people know this in the future, they will have much more choices then was once thought.
    Once again Josh, thank you for your comment.

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...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, Jul 2, 2018
In her July message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July, and recaps a bit of local history.
Sunday, Jul 1, 2018
The Mojave rattlesnake or “Mojave green” is a highly irritable and unpredictable pit viper. By comparison, the Pacific rattlesnake you might be accustomed to is fairly tame.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Our state leaders are finally working together to address one of the greatest inequities in higher education – funding for California community colleges that serve high need students.
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
Not every decision on the table must be made within the next week. When it comes to deciding how to fund community colleges, it would be wise to hit pause and devote more careful consideration to the discussion.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2009 - Castaic resident Gidget, the Taco Bell commercial Chihuahua, dies at 15 after major stroke [story]
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has announced $4,518,000 in two-year grants to 216 nonprofit arts organizations through its Organizational Grant Program, and the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival are among the grantees.
Santa Clarita Philharmonic, Shakespeare Festival Win County Arts Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
College of the Canyons men's basketball player Robert Moss will continue his playing career at University of Saint Katherine after committing to join the Firebirds program.
COC Hoopster Robert Moss Commits to University of Saint Katherine
When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income, according to new Census Bureau research.
Census Research: Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
University of California Cuts Tuition for First Time in 20 Years
The William S. Hart Union High School District and Spirit Holding, developers of Castaic High School, will host a community kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. celebrating the one-year countdown to the grand opening of the new school, currently under construction.
Aug. 3: ‘Countdown to Castaic High’ Public Celebration
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Heat Alert Called for Monday, Tuesday
The Lancaster JetHawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but two late home runs from Stockton's Sandber Pimentel led the Ports to victory in a 5-4 final on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Lancaster Can’t Stop Pimentel, Ports
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Justice have made public the government's plan for the court-ordered reunification of children ages 5 years and older who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Feds Detail Plan to Reunite Immigrant Children with Parents
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman who allegedly spray-painted walls on a city park building in Saugus early Tuesday morning, also discovering she was allegedly in possession of forged checks.
Woman Charged with Defacing Park Building, Check Forgery
The Paramount Network has set Aug. 11 as the premiere date of 'I Am Paul Walker,' a new film documentary tracing the life of the late actor, who was killed in a 2013 car crash in Valencia.
Aug. 11: Paul Walker Film Doc to Debut on Paramount Network
Marston's Restaurant in Valencia is helping raise funds for Carousel Ranch, Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit organization that provides equestrian therapy for disabled and special needs children and adults.
July 15-Aug. 15: Marston’s Restaurant Fundraising for Carousel Ranch