The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion Tuesday afternoon with some amendments.
The project expands the landfill waste area from 257 acres to 400 acres and doubles the daily disposal limit to 12,000 tons per day.
A majority of Chiquita Canyon’s waste comes from outside of the Santa Clarita Valley. In 2015, 13 percent of waste came from the city of Santa Clarita, 5 percent came from unincorporated Los Angeles County, 6 percent came from Santa Monica, 19 percent came from other cities within the county, 2 percent came from outside of the county and 55 percent came from the city of Los Angeles, according to the project findings.
The project includes higher tipping fees for trash coming outside of the Santa Clarita Valley to “encourage development of future alternatives to landfills and to serve as a disincentive to those who bring trash originating outside of the Santa Clarita Valley,” according to the board letter attached below.
Tipping fees are paid for by waste haulers and anyone bringing waste to the landfill. Until Tuesday, everyone paid the same tipping rate.
The added fees will fund “environmental, educational, and quality of life” community programs and research.
The county’s Regional Planning Commission approved the Conditional Use Permit in April of this year but the project was appealed by several parties including Chiquita Canyon, sending it before the BOS.
The previous CUP was set to expire in November 2019 or when the landfill reached 23,000,000 tons of waste. The landfill reached the waste limit in July 2016 but was given a Clean Hands Waiver, allowing it to continue operation while the new CUP was going through the approval process.
The new CUP is set to expire in 30 years or when the disposal limit of reaches 60 million tons with reviews to be conducted after 10 and 20 years.
Press release from Supervisor Kathryn Barger:
With amendments submitted by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Chiquita Canyon Landfill. Included in her amendments were requirements to perform continuous air quality monitoring in locations surrounding the landfill in the community of Val Verde, employment centers and schools within a 5-mile radius. Additionally, within one year, an independent consultant will be approved by the County Department of Public Health to conduct a community health assessment study. Each of these efforts will receive considerable oversight by a newly-formed Community Advisory Committee.
“Reflecting the culmination of thousands of hours of community meetings, input and engagement, my amendments provide a balanced approach that protects air and water quality and addresses community health concerns,” said Barger. “This will be the last CUP for the Chiquita Canyon Landfill which allows for the continued — but limited — use of the landfill while it winds down its operations over the next few decades.”
By 2025, landfills, including Chiquita Canyon, will be required to divert 75% of their organic waste – presenting a unique opportunity to move beyond 20th century waste burial techniques and adopt green conversion expertise and alternative landfill technologies.
The amended CUP also contains significant community protections and benefits, including: groundwater protection, odor monitoring, traffic and road improvements, and dedicated open space.
For a full list, please follow the link below for the Community Protections and Benefits document, in addition to the approved motion by Supervisor Barger.
Below is Barger’s motion from Tuesday’s meeting, the board letter and Regional Planning’s approval package.