Court asks Chiquita Canyon to pay fees, penalties

Chiquita Canyon Landfill. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.
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The courts sided with Los Angeles County, dismissing a portion of the proceedings in a lawsuit filed by Chiquita Canyon earlier this week, county officials announced Thursday.

Part of the legal dispute is expected to be continued in June 2019 at a future court date.

“The court also ordered Chiquita to pay the county $11.6 million in Bridges and Thoroughfares (B&T) fees in addition to $83,746 in penalties for its failure to pay one of the CUP traffic and road mitigation fees in a timely manner,” according to a statement by county officials released Thursday.

The operator of Chiquita Canyon Landfill filed two lawsuits against Los Angeles County, one challenging the terms of its conditional use permit, another in response to a notice of violation given to the landfill claiming its operators are in violation of the county’s operating terms, county officials said Thursday.

“This is good news for the community as the court has determined that the landfill must comply with the operating conditions set forth in the CUP,” said Barger, in a news release.  “Additionally, the $11.6 million in fees will be used to bolster the county’s ability to provide critical operations and maintenance for our region’s vital arteries, streets and roads.”

A spokesperson for Chiquita Canyon LLC declined comment Thursday.

Landfill representatives disagreed with conditions set forth in their new permit after being granted an extension of 30 years in July 2017. They subsequently filed a suit in October 2017 challenging 29 of its new CUP’s conditions of approval, including $11.6 million in bridge and thoroughfare fees, according to court documents.

The county subsequently issued a notice of violation in December 2017 that claimed the landfill failed to comply on four of the CUP’s conditions, said Dušan Pavlović, senior deputy county counsel, in a previous story by The Signal.

The county’s notifications alleged: a failure to heed a prohibition of auto shredder waste; a failure to post bilingual signs regarding unacceptable wastes; a failure to pay fees for waste originating out of the area; and the landfill’s non-payment of the $11.6 million, according to lawsuit documents. Additionally, there were penalty fees of $83,000 and a noncompliance fee of $746.

The remaining portion of the case is set for trial on June 18, 2019.

Crystal Duan contributed to this report.

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