Chiquita Canyon announces recirculation of portions of draft EIR

A compactor rolls over the exposed trash at a 200 x 200 foot "working face" site at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic in 2014. As soon as the the trash is spread and compacted it is immediately covered with dirt and the working face site moves forward. This view looks south-west towards the new proposed expansion site, and In the distance is the tall ridge which blocks the land fill from view of surrounding communities. Dan Watson/Signal
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Following an extensive public review process which began more than five years ago, Chiquita Canyon today announced the County of Los Angeles has released a Partially Recirculated Draft EIR for the proposed expansion of the landfill and Master Plan Revision.

The revised sections of the Partially Recirculated Draft EIR are ready for public review from the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning beginning today, for a 60-day period. The recirculation is an effort by the County of Los Angeles and by Chiquita Canyon to provide further information to the public regarding the Master Plan Revision.

The partial recirculation of the Draft EIR includes updates and additional information to the Project Description and analyses of Biological Resources, Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change, and Project Alternatives, as well as supplemental information on traffic and visual resources.

“Chiquita Canyon has been in continuous operations in Castaic for more than 40 years,” said Division Vice President of Chiquita Canyon Mike Dean. “As part of the continued environmental review process, Chiquita Canyon is providing updated analysis and reports on our future operations. Our basic operations remain the same as they have for more than four decades with oversight and reporting by more than two dozen environmental and regulatory agencies.”

In addition to updates to the Introduction and Project Description, the following four sections of the Draft EIR are being recirculated:

Biological Resources (Chapter 8)
The Biological Resources chapter has been revised to clarify potential impacts to plant and animal species and to revise mitigation measures for those potential impacts.

Air Quality (Chapter 11)
The Air Quality chapter has been revised to incorporate new guidance from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change (Chapter 12) The chapter evaluating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been updated to reflect recent developments and updated analysis methodologies.

Project Alternatives (Chapter 18) The Project Alternatives chapter included in the Original Draft EIR considered five alternatives. Three alternatives were analyzed, while two alternatives were considered but eliminated. The recirculated Alternatives chapter considers six alternatives: the three alternatives analyzed in the Original Draft EIR, the two alternatives previously considered but eliminated, plus one new reduced-size project alternative.
Also, included with the Partially Recirculated Draft EIR are two supplemental analyses regarding visual resources and traffic.

“A partial recirculation of a Draft EIR is often a normal part of the environmental review process,” said Steve Cassulo, District Manager of Chiquita Canyon. “Often applicants and the County determine that additional information will assist in the public review process which results in a recirculation of certain sections prior to the release of the final document.”

As part of the recirculation, the County of Los Angeles will open the environmental review process again for public comments on the chapters that are being recirculated. As with the public review of the original Draft EIR, the recirculated chapters will be made available online and in public libraries with proper legal notifications to local residents as required by California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and County of Los Angeles requirements. The County will then prepare a Final EIR that responds to the comments on the original Draft EIR as well as the Partially Recirculated Draft EIR.

A public hearing on the Partially Recirculated Draft EIR will be held by the County Hearing Examiner on Thursday, December 15, starting at 6:00 pm and ending at 8:30 pm at West Ranch High School Theater.

About Chiquita Canyon
Chiquita Canyon has been in continuous operations for more than 40 years and is located in Castaic, California, approximately 3 miles west of the Interstate 5 on State Route 126 in the Santa Clarita Valley. Chiquita is owned and operated by Waste Connections, an integrated solid waste services company. Chiquita Canyon provides the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding Los Angeles communities with environmentally safe and efficient waste disposal services.

Chiquita Canyon, like other solid waste landfills, over time generates a greenhouse gas, methane, which can be safely converted into a valuable source of clean energy. Chiquita deploys a gas recovery system to collect methane which is then used to generate clean energy for nearly 10,000 homes each year.

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