John Musella: The lies from the left

John Musella

Since the November election came to a close, the lies and misinformation keep coming from the fringe left-wingers in the Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment.

First we had the group challenging the planned joining of the Newhall County Water District with the Castaic Lake Water Agency. All sorts of lies and misinformation were provided in an attempt to mislead the public against creating a single water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley.

I mean, why wouldn’t you want one agency working on a holistic approach to water in the SCV, all while saving ratepayers $14 million?

Then we discovered that landfill opponents were deliberately misleading the public to believe there were cancer clusters around the landfill.

Yes, opponents of the landfill took a county environmental document and made it their own calling it a “Cancer Risk Map” and falsely claiming the map was from the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Unfortunately, many people fell for their ploy and began to panic. To quell the growing concern, the landfill quickly responded with the following statement:

“Chiquita Canyon takes seriously the health and safety of our employees and neighbors. The DEIR included a detailed forensic analysis of all possible impacts to public health using the newest, most stringent standards set by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

“The results conclude that cancer risk/health risk for neighbors, workers and other sensitive receptors fall below the threshold of significance as established by the AQMD.”

Yes, that’s right, nothing to worry about here – except the fact that the landfill opponents play fast and loose with the numbers to make false claims against a well-run local business which has been safely disposing of our waste in the Santa Clarita Valley for more than 40 years.

I’m all for differences of opinions and respectful discourse and civil discussion, but when did deliberate lying and falsehoods become the norm?

If you can’t make your argument using factual information, then please don’t join the debate.

And while we’re on the subject of SCOPE and landfill opponents’ lies, let’s clear the air on the odor myth.

Last year, in response to a growing public perception regarding odors, Chiquita Canyon, on its own initiative, hired a nationally recognized firm specializing in odor analysis to conduct an independent odor survey at Chiquita Canyon. That firm concluded Chiquita does not create significant odor impacts to the surrounding community.

Three trained specialists collected 2,025 sampling data points over a 25-day period in the community surrounding the landfill. Only five of the 2,025 data points (only 0.2 percent) were potentially associated with landfill odors in the Val Verde community.

These findings support the records of the AQMD, which has record of only three verified odor complaints in a five-year period between August 2007 and July 2012. No verified odor complaint has ever been associated with landfill gas emissions from Chiquita Canyon.

When verified odors have occurred, they appear to be correlated to light winds blowing toward the community of Val Verde, which only occurs approximately 6 percent of the time.

Now here is where the real interesting part of the lying of landfill opponents comes in. In July 2015, the Val Verde Community Advisory Committee hired an environmental consultant to conduct air sampling to determine the air quality in Val Verde as it relates to the landfill.

When the report came back showing the air in Val Verde was clean, the advisory committee hid the report from Val Verde residents. That’s right, members never shared the truth with their neighbors.

They were convinced a problem existed, and when they were told otherwise by their own report they tucked it away.

So, in the spirit of truth and transparency, Chiquita Canyon published it on its website for the public to see. Take a look at the report yourself at

It’s time to hold these fringe groups on the left accountable for their words and actions. We deserve the truth and we deserve a respectful discussion and debate of the issues.

John Musella serves on the 38th Assembly District Republican Central Committee representing the Santa Clarita Valley and is a public relations executive who represents Chiquita Canyon landfill.

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