Representatives with Val Verde Civic Association, Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance (C4CCLC), Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) released a statement Monday about their decision to appeal the Chiquita Canyon Landfill Expansion. The expansion was approved by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission last week.
Below is a statement made by the three groups:
Val Verde Civic Association, Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance (C4CCLC), Santa Clarita
Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) and individual residents of Val Verde are joining
forces to demand that the County of Los Angeles keep their promise to the Community of Val Verde to close
We are announcing our intention to appeal the approval of this permit and will continue the fight
They have asked, among other demands, that the Chiquita Canyon Landfill Master Plan Revision Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) [Project No. R2004-00559-(5)] be closed as was promised by the landfill operator in 1997.
It is time that the nearby residents be relieved from this detrimental project immediately adjacent to their neighborhood and for the County to uphold the permit made in 1997 regarding closure. Odors and fugitive landfill gases such as methane already impact Val Verde residents and the entire Santa Clarita Valley, causing some nearby residents to suffer from head aches and nausea on a regular basis and contributing to increased asthma rates in the valley.
The expansion will greatly increase these negative air quality impacts on their community for decades to come. 19 schools and more than 13,000 students are within a five mile radius of this polluting project whose waste is trucked in from all over Southern California.
Chiquita Canyon Landfill is located on Highway 126 immediately adjacent to the historic community of Val
Verde. In a contractual agreement made with the residents of this community in 1997, the landfill operator promised this low-income, Latino community that the landfill would be closed in 2019 or when the disposed tonnage reached 23 million tons. The conditional use permit under which the landfill now operates, clearly states.
However, instead of requiring a closure permit, the County agreed to accept a new proposal for expansion which was approved by the Regional Planning Commission on April 19th. This approval will instead make this landfill one of the largest in the nation, tripling truck traffic and adding to unresolved odor violations and local air pollution.
On March 1st, 2017 the Regional Planning Commission held a
hearing in the community. Approximately 500 hundred community members attended the hearing. Many provided testimonials recounting health issues and suffering due to the landfill gasses and odors produced by the Chiquita Canyon Landfill at its current size and also speaking out against an expansion.
Erica Larsen, speaking for Val Verde Civic Association,
“Community members have unanimously voted multiple times to
have us fight this landfill by any means necessary and we intend to. Residents are furious that both the County and Waste Connections blatantly disregarded the 1997 community agreement created during the last Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion. Approving this permit places our community of 2,500, and most important, our over 1,500 kids going to the schools within two and a half miles from the border in high
cancer and chemical exposure areas. The county needs to protect its constituents from known pollution and should be held accountable for exploiting the low income minority community of Val Verde.”
“With the approval of this expansion, Chiquita Canyon Landfill will become one of the largest in the United States, making the Santa Clarita Valley a dumping ground for much of the Southland’s trash. While everyone appreciates the Planning Commission’s decision to raise fees on out of area trash, the health impacts of air
pollution and potential water pollution from this landfill, located immediately adjacent to the Santa Clara River, are enormous. The Commission’s vote failed to acknowledge these serious health issues facing our community as a result of their approval.” said Lynne Plambeck, SCOPE president.