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 Canyon Landfill 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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