The South Coast Air Quality Management District recently issued two Notices of Violations to Chiquita Canyon Landfill. One Notices of Violation was issued for the landfill’s failure to maintain the leachate collection and storage system in good operating condition, failure to report the breakdown of equipment and other permit condition violations. The other Notices of Violation was issued for failure to submit a landfill excavation plan.
Leachate is formed when liquid such as rainwater filters through the soil and leaches, or draws out, chemicals when it comes into contact with the buried waste. During a recent on-site inspection, South Coast AQMD inspectors saw leachate seeping out of the ground and out of gas collection wells. The investigation revealed that the facility’s leachate collection and storage system was malfunctioning and that the company failed to notify the agency as required by air quality regulations. Additionally, inspectors determined that the facility did not submit a landfill Excavation Management Plan before beginning excavation activities to remove leachate from the site.
The Chiquita Canyon Landfill is a landfill/solid waste disposal facility located at 29201 Henry Mayo Drive, in Castaic. In April, South Coast AQMD noticed an increase in odor complaints that agency investigators traced back to the landfill. Since then, South Coast AQMD has received more than 5,700 odor complaints and issued about 100 Notices of Violations to Chiquita Canyon for public nuisance in violation of the agency’s Rule 402 and California Health & Safety Code Section 41700.
Notices of Violations can result in civil penalties. In some cases, the company can choose to implement voluntary measures to reduce emissions or, otherwise, prevent further violations. If no settlement is reached, a civil lawsuit may ultimately be filed in superior court.
South Coast AQMD is the regulatory agency responsible for improving air quality for large areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including Coachella Valley.
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