Dan Watson A trash truck dumps it's load at the Chiquita Land Fill in Castaic.

Val Verde residents concerned about landfill heard in court Friday

Lawyers representing members of the Val Verde Civic Association were in court Friday over the county’s decision to approve permitting for the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

The association is suing Los Angeles County officials for having made what it says was a bad decision in granting the landfill an operating permit since their decision was based, allegedly, on an inadequate assessment of how the project would affect the environment.

The group filed the lawsuit almost two years ago to the day and, on Friday, some were expecting a tentative decision from the judge.

Group members assert the environmental impact report presented to county decision makers on the impacts of the landfill was inadequate and failed to properly and fully disclose many impacts to the decision makers.

Lennie LaGuire, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, said she was able to reach County Counsel lawyers working on the Chiquita Canyon case. 

“We are declining comment pending the judge’s final ruling,” she said.

Lynne Plambeck, president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, or SCOPE, was in court Friday.

“Extensive arguments are still going on,” she said late Friday afternoon, noting a tentative ruling had not been reached.

“It is always an uphill battle for a community group to challenge a huge multinational corporation,” she said. 

“Val Verde has had health, air quality and odor issues from that landfill for decades… Yet the health assessment, which was conditioned to be conducted within a year, has still not happened, and now the county says they will not do continuous monitoring for VOCs as required,” she said.

Volatile organic compounds are commonly released through the breakdown of plastics.

However, the biggest concern for members of the Val Verde group, based on memos sent to county supervisors voicing official opposition to the decision made regarding Chiquita’s permit, is that air monitoring for the air quality analysis was gathered at distant monitoring stations, some even outside the Santa Clarita Valley, they claimed.
[email protected] 661-287-5527 On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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