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January 26
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell


Val Verde Civic Association bannerThe Val Verde Civic Association, Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, and the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) filed litigation late last Thursday challenging Los Angeles County Supervisors’ July 25 approval of the landfill’s expansion.

The three groups are demanding the County of Los Angeles keep their promise to the community of Val Verde to close this landfill as was promised in 1997. It is time the nearby residents are relieved from this detrimental project immediately adjacent to their neighborhood.

The groups’ petition, available at www.vvcivic.com, states among other things that the environmental document:

 fails to adequately disclose or analyze all of the Project’s potentially significant direct, indirect, cumulative and growth-inducing impacts, including but not limited to impacts on air quality, climate change, biological resources and visual resources;

 fails to adequately analyze the Project’s potentially significant impacts on minority and/or low income populations;

 fails to adequately describe the current landfill’s air quality impacts because it relies on monitoring data from monitoring stations that are located too far away from the landfill to be reliable indicators of the landfill’s actual emissions;

• fails to adequately analyze the efficacy of proposed mitigation measures, particularly mitigation measures intended to address the Project’s air quality emissions and odor;

• fails to adequately describe and analyze the Project’s predictable health impacts;

• fails to consider a reasonable range of alternatives.

The expansion will greatly increase these negative air quality impacts on their community for decades to come. More than 10 schools and 13,000 students are within five-mile radius of this polluting project whose waste is trucked in from all over Southern California.

Background
Chiquita Canyon Landfill is located on Highway 126 immediately adjacent to the historic community of Val Verde. In a contractual agreement made with the residents of this community in 1997, the landfill operators promised this low-income, majority Latino community that the landfill would be closed in 2019 or when the disposed tonnage reached 23 million tons.

The Conditional Use Permit under which the landfill operated until the recent approval clearly states: “The maximum total capacity of the landfill shall be 23 million tons. Landfill closure shall occur when this capacity is reached or by November 24, 2019, whichever occurs first.”

However, instead of requiring closure, the County agreed to accept a new proposal for expansion which was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on July 25.

This approval will instead result in this landfill taking in more trash than some of the largest in the nation, nearly doubling the landfill footprint to 400 acres, increasing truck traffic and adding to unresolved odor violations and local air pollution.

On March 1, 2017, the Regional Planning Commission held a hearing in the community. Approximately 500 community members attended the hearing. Many provided testimonials recounting health issues and suffering due to the landfill gasses and odors produced by the Chiquita Canyon Landfill at its current size and also speaking out against an expansion.

School children will be directly impacted by the expansion. In an area already located in a Federal non-attainment zone for PM2.5 dust pollution, more than 13,000 children attend schools within five miles of landfill expansion borders.

A new school less than 500 feet away is slated in the Newhall Ranch development immediately across from the landfill.

Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School has nearly 1000 students and will be less than a mile from the landfill border.

The Environmental Impact Report found that PM2.5 pollution is a significant umitigatable impact.

Live Oak Elementary was also identified as a cancer risk impact site in the Environmental Impact Report as well.

“The County needs to protect its residents, especially children, from known pollution,” said Jeremiah Dockray, member of C4CCLC. “Approving this permit places the 2,500 residents in the community of Val Verde, and perhaps also important, the over 1,500 kids going to the school within two and a half miles from the border in high cancer, chemical and pollutant exposure areas, according to the EIR.3.”

Erica Larsen, speaking for Val Verde Civic Association, said: “Residents are furious at the County’s and [landfill operator] Waste Connection’s blatant disregard of the 1997 agreement created during the last Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion and officials disregard for hundreds of firsthand accounts of health issues. The VVCA community members voted to have us fight this landfill by any means necessary and we intend to. The County should be held accountable for exploiting the low-income minority community of Val Verde.”

“With the approval of this expansion, Chiquita Canyon Landfill will take in as much trash as some of the largest landfills in the United States, making the Santa Clarita Valley a dumping ground for much of the Southland’s trash,” said Lynne Plambeck, SCOPE president.

“While everyone appreciates the Board’s decision to raise fees on out-of-area trash, the health impacts of air pollution and potential water pollution from this landfill, located immediately adjacent to the Santa Clara River, are enormous,” Plambeck said. “In its approval of a motion obviously written before public testimony was even heard, the Board failed to acknowledge these serious health issues facing our community.”

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6 Comments

  1. Randy Worth Randy Worth says:

    Chiquita Landfill has been open since ’72. If we close it now, where will the existing trash go? What is the alternate site for those proposing we close it?

    If the dust and air pollution is the main issue why can’t we invest more capitol in fixing that problem?

    • Ed Basura says:

      They have had 20 years from their contractual agreement to figure it out. It’s suppose to close at 23 million tons or 11/24/2019, not keep it open and expand. Come by Val Verde and smell the “fresh air” on a good day or wait in 126 traffic because of multiple trucks waiting to enter the dump.

  2. cbrown says:

    @Mr. Worth There is another landfill that is available that is not being used, however the problem seems to be that the trash companies do not want to spend the money required to drive farther

  3. Now there will be homes downwind! Expansion and costs😣💲

  4. John Weigelt says:

    Let those civic groups keep their own garbage. See how long that lasts before they find lawyers to get the landfill back. Why can a few malcontents dictate what’s good for the majority?

  5. lighttech says:

    “Why can a few malcontents dictate what’s good for the majority?” John?? ahh US laws that say so? That is what America was founded on…to bad that is inconvenient for you!

Leave a Comment


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