Activists from three Santa Clarita Valley groups attended Tuesday’s Los Angeles Board of Supervisors meeting to ask for another public hearing on the Environmental Impact Report for the expansion of the Chiquita Canyon landfill.
During the public commentary multiple community members asked that the Chiquita Canyon Landfill master plan revision draft EIR be allowed a public hearing with all Regional Planning Commissioners present before the final report is released.
“The project is to go before the planning commission this year, where there is public comment and public testimony,” said county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, in response to residents’ concerns.
Antonovich also said more hearings were planned regarding the landfill expansion, and county staffers are working to be responsive to public input.
“The commissioners don’t have any time to change anything and we don’t have the opportunity to make suggestions to say this is a really good idea, “ said Lynne Plambeck, SCOPE president. “Legally, we don’t even have the opportunity to respond to what they would say. The Final EIR gives the community only 10 days.”
The landfill is currently bringing in about 6,000 pounds of garbage per day, and Chiquita Canyon is seeking to eventually double that number with its expansion plan.
Residents expressed opposition to the landfill due to health and environmental concerns, with many residents citing serious health problems due to the landfill’s proximity to their homes.
“Our children play 900 feet from that landfill and our town starts 900 feet from that landfill,” said Steve Lee from the Val Verde Civic Association. “Val Verde had a vote, 100 percent of residents voted against the expansion the way it is written.”
The Chiquita Canyon Landfill is located on Highway 126 and a current contract with the city of Val Verde held plans to close the landfill in 2019, but new expansion plans would make it the largest in the nation.
“A public hearing on the DEIR was conducted by the Department of Regional Planning in Castaic in July 2014 and the Regional Planning Commission will hold another public hearing on the project this year in the Santa Clarita Valley. The County of Los Angeles is currently reviewing the hundreds of pages of public comment and will address all questions and concerns in the Final EIR,” said Chiquita Canyon Spokesman John Musella in a previous statement. “In addition, Chiquita Canyon pro-actively provided a presentation to the Val Verde Civic Association a month prior to the public release of the DEIR in order to give the community plenty of time to review the project. We also participated in dozens of community meetings across the Santa Clarita Valley to various organizations and groups before and during the public review process.”
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I’m glad that the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley were able to go to the Board of Supervisors meeting this afternoon. This is a very important issue for not only Val Verde, but the entire area.
People should not have to put up with the nuisance of odor problems (some so bad that they can’t have guests over), to experience the health effects from pollution and toxins from the landfill and to have the constant fear that these chemicals and gasses are doing permanent damage to their family. We save money to buy a home. We sign the loan documents and agree to 30 years of payments. So, when our quality of life is threatened from huge corporations, we look to our government representatives to protect our rights.
I am hopeful that Supervisor Mike Antonovich will do what he can to insure that the residents of the entire Santa Clarita Valley will be protected.
I was at two of the presentations. When the presentation was in Castaic the presenter pointed to the wall with an red laser light, and said, “Here sits Val Verde.” Well the residents of Val Verde quickly corrected him and pointed to the houses 900 feet from the landfill. These houses were on the map, but somehow they thought we would miss entire neighborhoods, or they were not expecting Val Verde to be present. The other presentations Val Verde was not present. So the viewers were mislead to where Val Verde is in relationship to the landfill.
I am guessing the Supervisors would not want their children or grandchildren sleeping only 3 football fields away from the countries larges dump (300 yards). Some homes start as close as that to this giant trash can filled with who knows what. Children can’t play outside, elderly can’t go for slow strolls down the street or sit outside on a pleasant spring day and read book, people can’t go for a jog in their own neighborhood all because of the risk to their health and often the horrible smells.
Val Verde is a historical area and has had to live with this for decades. Now, other regions of Castaic will become affected by this – LiveOak, Hasley Hills, and the local businesses. Our children go to school within one mile of this dump – less than 5280 feet away. There is always breezes and winds that carry all these odors, and the odors are chemicals.
It is very sad that in the modern age we live in that we cannot do a better job with our trash. Many European countries are amazing – America should be ashamed being this far behind. When did we start making it acceptable to have disposable people. The residents, workers, and consumers of the areas surrounding the dump are just that – disposable people.
More than 80% of what goes to this dump is not even from the greater Santa Clarita Valley area. Sad, Santa Clarita Valley has become everyone’s dump.
Bravo to those speaking up for Val Verde and the surrounding areas. The supervisors should be informed about all the illegal toxic substances that the landfill has been accepting, the odors they can’t control, the residents’ health that is at jeopardy….
This is a big decision that will affect the community for the next 30 years. Having a landfill in the same location for 70 years is a lot to ask of the residents of Val Verde, not to mention that the landfill will become the largest in the country. If the landfill expansion goes through as planned, it will double the current footprint, add 400 trucks and cars per hour into the area, expand over 13 stories higher, … There will be a huge impact to not only Val Verde, but the surrounding areas as well.
Why are the landfill owners allowed to keep expanding when the original agreement was to close either at capacity or 2019, whichever comes first?? Is it because they are a billion dollar company and can buy support? I simply cannot think of another reason. If any of them actually lived near it I doubt this would be happening. Close the landfill and start one somewhere else in a more remote area. This is ALL about money, and screw the health and well being, and property values of the locals.
They currently take in 3,000 tons a day. It will be 4 times the trash. They cannot control the odor plumes now, how will they do it at 12,000.