header image

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


Today in
S.C.V. History
June 24
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station

Commentary by Steven Howse
| Friday, Jan 9, 2015

stevenhowseI was at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill the other, day taking a load of construction trash for a customer. Yes, I use the dump, and I would happily drive anywhere else to use a different landfill if Chiquita closed as promised.

I noticed a large pile of really black, wet dirt. What caught my eye was the plastic under the dirt.

In my construction experience, you put plastic in a dumpster before you put your waste in there, if it’s an environmental concern, for containment – which could be nothing, as we put plastic in dumpsters for concrete trucks to wash out. But this was really black, wet mud-dirt-dare I say the “s” word? (Sludge.) No, Chiquita Canyon Landfill doesn’t take that – right? Could it be “inert dirt” or this “stuff?”

I watched as a truck pulled up and dumped another load of the same material. I noticed it was an environmental cleaning company truck. The dumpsters had a steel top, and the inside was lined with plastic, which was dumped with the black stuff.

The truck driver had big rubber gloves and a mask while opening the container to dump. I also noticed the dozer left where the regular trash was being dumped and came right over and spread out the dirt-stuff quickly.

The worker told me they have been getting a lot of this black mud stuff, and according to him, it kind of smells. I did not notice a special smell where I was standing from 50 feet away, other than the regular trashy smell.

I searched the name on the truck; it was Patriot Environmental (http://patriotenvironmental.com), and they provide cleanup services of hazardous and non-hazardous materials, industrial cleaning, and a bunch of other stuff. Based on their website, they clean up a lot of things we wouldn’t want in a Class-III landfill.

Then I noticed a large pile of green waste, which they had me dump my trash next to. The dozer operator got out to tell me not to get the trash too close to the green waste because it has to stay separated. I wonder why? The landfill representatives said they don’t use green waste for covering trash; they say it is buried with the trash, and then it’s covered with dirt or sand at the end of the day.

I asked the ground worker why I had to keep away from the green waste pile. He said they usually save the green waste for the end. He wouldn’t say they covered the trash with it.

I was concerned about this, because a lot of the time we smell green waste odors in Val Verde. Green waste gives off H2S, a colorless toxic gas. It brings on nausea, eye irritation, respiratory ailments and headaches. In high enough concentration, it kills almost instantly. I have had most of those symptoms when I have smelled odors at my house. I have had numerous friends who have experienced the same thing when visiting and odors are present.

On Dec 22, the landfill received a Notice of Violation due to green waste odors. I had 17 family members at my parents’ house nearby who smelled the odors, and most experienced sore throats and headaches within 30 minutes of the odors starting.

Seeing both of these things made me curious. Could it be nothing? Yes. Or could it be something that’s not supposed to be there? Considering the times the landfill has taken in things it was not supposed to and done things it’s not supposed to do, it does make me pause and wonder.


Steven Howse has lived in Val Verde since 1998.



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.


  1. Brandi Howse, your hubs made the news! Go Steve!

  2. John Gilbert says:

    Wonder what someone will make of it thousands of years from now.

  3. John Gilbert says:

    Wonder what someone will make of it thousands of years from now.

  4. JC says:

    No one cares about those “Val Verde” people. If you don’t live in Valencia, Westranch, or Sand Canyon, you are nothing to the legislators of this valley. Truth hurts. Your kids won’t develop the cancer from the toxic (Unchecked) waste dumped in the landfill until every elected official is out of office. Even if they still are in office they will say, “Prove it.” You are all wasting your time. Again, no one cares about you. (Period)….

  5. Where is our city council on this matter. Marsha had based her career on stopping the Ellesmere canyon landfill. Yet she is not saying a word about this issue. How is Newhall Land And Farming going to explain the smell to the people who purchase homes out there. Time to close it.

  6. Sara Sage says:

    The material in the pictures looks an awful lot like dewatered sludge. The fact that a plastic liner was used is concerning. Sludge haulers use liners to protect the inside of their trucks/containers like this one: http://tinyurl.com/ndf96zz

    The Chiquita Canyon landfill has a history of accepting non-permitted sludge and was issued a Notice of Violation from the county for accepting sludge from Santa Barbara: http://www.chiquitalandfill.net/822012-notice-violation-la-county-ccl-sludge-acceptance/

    There are other paper trails that suggest that CCL has been in the sludge disposal business more than once. http://tinyurl.com/q6qpaub

    In 2013, HerSchy Environmental took 111 tons of untreated excavated soil to CCL (2,300 tons)after a Castaic truck-fueling station spilled tons of fuel into Castaic Creek:http://tinyurl.com/o73oety

    In 2012, carcinogenic soil from Malibu High School and Middle School made its way to CCL: http://tinyurl.com/k6dbvmv

    In 2012/2013 tainted soil from the clean-up at Madrona Marsh was sent to CCL: http://tinyurl.com/ltz25p2

    The list goes on and on.

    Where is the VV Community Advisory Committee in all of this? This group is run by Supervisor Antonovich’s office; they are doing nothing to inform residents about issues like this.

    The landfill should be investigated by the County. Someone needs to report this for formal inquiry. Patriot Environmental was a government contractor for Gulf Oil Spill; they take care of cleaning, hauling and disposing of dangerous material. Whatever they dumped needs to be investigated.

  7. They aren’t closing it. There is a proposal to more than double it’s size!

  8. Thank you for sharing this and helping us all continue to raise awareness. I hope more and more individuals will take notice and become concerned. It is clear that this site expansion is not in the best interest of the Santa Clarita Valley — the entire valley, not just those of us in Val Verde.

  9. Greg Kimura says:

    A few months ago, a representative from Chiquita Canyon Landfill made a disturbing comment. Let me hit the details here:

    1. Sludge was being accepted at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill, which is against the contract with Val Verde and their permit with the county.
    2. The sludge was banned from another landfill in Ventura County.
    3. The reason the sludge was banned, was due to the test results – they showed that toxins were in the sludge.
    4. When this was brought up at a meeting, a representative from the landfill admitted that they had not investigated the reason why the sludge could not be taken to the old location.
    5. The representative from the landfill also stated that it wasn’t important to them to find out why it wasn’t allowed at the other landfill.
    6. The representative from the landfill would not look into the matter any further.

    For those who are concerned about the trash that the management of Chiquita Canyon Landfill deem acceptable, I understand your worries. It’s upsetting to find out that they have violated the terms of the contract with us and their permit with the county. The leaders of Val Verde asked the county for and were given an organization called the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee (VVCAC). The management of the landfill attends these meetings and they are required to disclose information such as this to the Board. Based on communications with the VVCAC Board, the management of the landfill has not done so. It’s easy to come to the conclusion that the management of the landfill made the choice and continues to bypass the VVCAC in the hopes that their activities would go unnoticed.

  10. Steven Lee says:

    Is there anything that they will not take?

  11. John Musella says:

    Steve… The solid waste material you have referenced are drill cuttings. This is a non-hazardous solid waste material that is allowed under Chiquita Canyon’s Waste Acceptance Plan. That plan was approved by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. Prior to determining if a waste is acceptable for disposal at Chiquita, a sample of the material is sent to a laboratory for testing. The drill cuttings were analyzed in a laboratory and that data met all the criteria specified in the Waste Acceptance Plan.

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...
Monday, Jun 24, 2024
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Thursday, Jun 20, 2024
Every summer, Santa Clarita’s very own Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, transforms into a premiere venue for live musical performances where friends, families and neighbors come together to sing and dance the night away.
Thursday, Jun 20, 2024
One of my favorite parts about our community is the ability to walk, bike or ride along our trails and paseos.
Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
This weeks Edition of Pilar's Pocketbook focuses on ways to help reduce fees and pay for piling parking tickets. 
Wednesday, Jun 12, 2024
Welcome to this edition of Pilar's Pocketbook. This week, has crucial information to help navigate tax filings and ensure entitled benefits are received.
Monday, Jun 10, 2024
As the temperatures rise and schools are out for summer break, many families and outdoor enthusiasts turn to our 13,000 acres of open space trails to enjoy a day out in nature

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
As a city manager, father and community member — the safety of Santa Clarita residents will always be my top priority - especially on the roads.
Ken Striplin | Enhancing Safety, Efficiency in Our Community
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall estate and his (now West) Hollywood home to the public [story]
Hart dies
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
Vasquez Rocks
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath have sent an open letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to continue funding the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations hand crews who currently help the Los Angeles County Fire Department tackle wildland fires.
Supes Urge Newsom Not to Cut L.A. County Inmate Firefighting Crews
Give the gift of life, an upcoming blood drive is scheduled for Friday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at The Centre, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91350. The blood drive will be held in Cedar Hall.
June 28: City Hosts Blood Drive at The Centre
The city of Santa Clarita invites local schools and nonprofits to submit a proposal outlining a project that can benefit from volunteer support as part of Make A Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Santa Clarita Now Accepting Project Proposals for Make A Difference Day
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. that includes a host of issues including assessments, taxes, fees and budgets in addition to continued hearings on the Town Center Specific Plan.
June 25: City Council Meets on Open Space, Budget, Town Center Specific Plan
Part of the Summer Theatre Festival by Santa Clarita Shakespeare, "An Evening of Absurdity" will run July 12-21 at the MAIN, 24266 Main Street., Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN Presents ‘An Evening of Absurdity’
The city of Santa Clarita has issued a traffic advisory for daytime lane closures at Copper Hill and Rio Norte Drive beginning Monday, June 24.
June 24: Traffic Advisory Lane Closures Copper Hill/Rio Norte Drive
Santa Clarita will celebrate this year's Fourth of July with the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club's pancake breakfast, Santa Clarita Valley Parade Committee's Fourth of July Parade and city of Santa Clarita fireworks show.
Fourth of July Events in Santa Clarita
The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to eat, sell or serve any flavor of Diamond Shruumz brand chocolate bars, cones and gummies, which contain a proprietary mushroom blend. These products, known as microdose products, have led to multiple illnesses and hospitalizations in 16 states, including at least one poisoning in California.
California Public Health Warns Consumers About Diamond Shruumz Products
The Cube – Ice and Entertainment Center, Powered by FivePoint Valencia, will hold the inaugural Girls and Women’s Three-on-Three Hockey Tournament on Saturday, June 22.
June 22: The Cube Hosts Inaugural Girls, Women’s Hockey Tourney
Join Santa Clarita's oldest and largest running event, the 40th annual Independence Day Classic, Thursday July 4, from 7 a.m.- 10 a.m. at Newhall Memorial Park, 24933 Newhall Ave., Newhall, CA 91321.
July 4: Independence Day Classic
A special meeting of the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board will be held Wednesday, June 26, beginning at 8 a.m.
June 26: Hart District Governing Board Special Meeting
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 61% contained. This latest CAL FIRE update was issued at 7:44 a.m. on Friday, June 21.
Post Fire 61 Percent Contained, Pyramid Lake Remains Closed
For die-hard "The Love Boat" fans, the ultimate cruise experience just dropped anchor. Princess Cruises, which is headquartered in Santa Clarita, has announced an exclusive VIP package for its Love Boat themed cruise Aug. 32-Sept. 7 that promises intimate, up-close interactions with the show's beloved characters: Doc, Gopher, Isaac and Vicki Stubing.
Princess Cruises Offers ‘The Love Boat’ Celebration Cruise
The Valley Industry Association will host VIA Cocktails & Conversation: An Evening with CA State Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo on Wednesday, July 10.
July 10: Cocktails & Conversation with Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody) [story]
Ernie Hickson
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest CAL FIRE update was issued at 7 a.m. on Thursday.
Post Fire 47 Percent Contained, Reported 15,690 Acres
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session Thursday, June 27, at 6 p.m., in the Carl Boyer Room at City Hall.
June 27: Arts Commission Study Session
Katherine Dyer has signed her national letter of intent to continue her swimming career at The Master's University.
Katherine Dyer Commits to TMU Swim Program
Every summer, Santa Clarita’s very own Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, transforms into a premiere venue for live musical performances where friends, families and neighbors come together to sing and dance the night away.
Jason Gibbs | Get Ready for Concerts in the Park Summer Soundtrack