Ronald Schwatz, M.D.: Think of diseases when expanding landfills

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Recently I attended a Chiquita Canyon Landfill meeting. The proposed expansion did not take into account the future changes that may occur in the environment.

Recently, we have seen wide swings in moisture, as well as migration of insects, birds, and animals, which can carry diseases.

Unexpected new diseases appear periodically, such as the Zika and West Nile viruses. Governments have been lax in protecting us from unexpected catastrophic changes – for example, the Fukushima tsunami.

The public health hazard from a large landfill should be mitigated to keep it far from any potential populated areas.

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Ronald Schwatz, M.D.: Think of diseases when expanding landfills

A compactor rolls over the exposed trash at a 200X200 foot "working face" site at the Chiquita landfill Fill in Castaic Nov. 2, 2016. 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

Recently I attended a Chiquita Canyon Landfill meeting. The proposed expansion did not take into account the future changes that may occur in the environment.

Recently, we have seen wide swings in moisture, as well as migration of insects, birds, and animals, which can carry diseases.

Unexpected new diseases appear periodically, such as the Zika and West Nile viruses. Governments have been lax in protecting us from unexpected catastrophic changes – for example, the Fukushima tsunami.

The public health hazard from a large landfill should be mitigated to keep it far from any potential populated areas.

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Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • Brian Baker

    “Governments have been lax in protecting us from unexpected catastrophic changes – for example, the Fukushima tsunami.”

    And how, exactly, is government supposed to “protect” anyone from a natural disaster like a tsunami? Make huge waves illegal?

    Good grief.

    • Castaic Clay

      Letting them build in a dangerous zone.

      • Ron Bischof

        Like Chernobyl, CC?

        • Castaic Clay

          I neglected the “Not” at the head of my post.
          Sorry it went over your head.

          • Ron Bischof

            No worries, CC. Nothing you’ve ever written has ever remotely approached that threshold. 😀

          • Castaic Clay

            Yes. I’m sure in your head that is the case 😀

          • Ron Bischof

            A reasonable assumption in light of your body of work on this site.

  • Ron Bischof

    I’m certain you’ll acknowledge that the science of modern sanitation has decreased incidences of disease and increased life spans by orders of magnitude over the last century, Dr. Schwatz.

    Your simplistic letter is a disappointing appeal to emotion that doesn’t address any specific issues.

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor