The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has proposed an order of abatement for Sunshine Canyon Landfill to reduce the odors emanating from it.
Among the options for regulatory agencies to consider are to divert waste to sites like Chiquita Canyon Landfill.
Two major provisions of the abatement are that Sunshine Canyon Landfill is to curtail its waste by up to 3,000 tons a day, which is roughly one-third of its current intake, and delay the start time of refuse deliveries.
“Sunshine Canyon is the number one source of odor complaints in our entire air quality district,” said Sam Atwood, a spokesperson for the SCAQMD. “The number is in the thousands.” The air quality district he is referring to takes in parts of L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
A hearing on the issue begins Saturday whereby a SCAQMD Hearing Board, made up of five independent people, will decide whether the reduction measure is to be adopted.
On Saturday, the board will listen to opening statements from SCAQMD and Republic Services, the company that owns and operates Sunshine Canyon Landfill and 300 other active and closed landfills in the country, as well as testimonials from the public.
According to Atwood, the hearing is expected to last several days before a decision can be made over whether the order of abatement will go through.
And the proposal may not even solve the problem.
Armando Saleh, a consultant with Sunshine Canyon Landfill, says the proposed curtailing of refuge is not an effective method of reducing the odor.
“It is not going to magically disappear,” said Saleh in reference to the curtailed waste. “It’s got to be addressed somehow.”
The curtailed refuge would presumably be diverted to another location according to Atwood.
Chiquita Canyon Landfill and Simi Valley Landfill are each in close proximity to Sunshine Canyon Landfill. Saleh says that if the abatement is accepted, Republic Services will try to divert the refuse to Chiquita Canyon Landfill and Simi Valley Landfill because they are the closest and therefore have the lowest cost of transportation.
Chiquita Canyon Landfill, however, is unable to take in any more waste if the decision was made to divert there, said Chiquita Canyon Division Vice President Mike Dean.
“We are at the limit,” Dean said, “We just don’t have room.”
If the proposal is adopted, Republic Services will have thirty days from that date to file a report accessing the feasibility of reducing refuge received by 3,000 tons a day.
Republic would then have 45 days from when the proposal is adopted to appear before the Hearing Board to report on the feasibility of curtailing incoming refuge.
At this point, after hearing from SCAQMD, Republic Services and likely other regulatory agencies, the Hearing Board will decide on whether the proposal is to be adopted. If it is adopted, Republic Services and regulatory agencies will make a decision on where the curtailed waste should go.
According to Atwood, the Hearing Board will amend the abatement before choosing to adopt it.
The hearing is scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Saturday at the Valley Academy of Arts and Science, multipurpose room in Granada Hills.