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.”