There is something going on in our valley that needs the attention of all residents, as all of us either are, or will be, affected by it, in a way that is not pleasing. Here’s the problem in a nutshell:
You may remember that several years ago the operators of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill worked with L.A. County to keep the landfill open beyond the agreed-upon date of closure. Besides the annoyance of having a landfill so close to our homes, there were agreements made to increase the number of truckloads of trash to arrive from distant parts of the county, as well as from other locations, adding not only to the already overcrowded freeway traffic, but also to the pollution of our air, which was already at a very unhealthy level. This new agreement was reached over the protests of residents of Val Verde, where the landfill is located, as well as many citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Part of the agreement between the county and the landfill was that they would provide continuous monitoring of the air, and a time was agreed upon for that to begin. Another item in the agreement was that the methane produced in the landfill would be burned off, thus providing additional income for the operators. Gas odors are among the frequent complaints of residents.
To date, the air monitors are still not in operation, which is a conditional use permit violation. There have also been many complaints of “discharging such quantities of air contaminants to cause injury, detriment, nuisance, or annoying to a considerable number of persons,” which have been verified and recorded by a number of notices of violation issued to Chiquita Canyon LLC by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. There have also been other CUP violations. Additional information is available at: http://planning.lacounty.gov/agenda/cclcac.
At the Community Advisory Committee for Chiquita Canyon Landfill meeting (Sept. 15), a great number of residents living near the landfill spoke out, saying members of their families have become sickened by the contaminants in the air, and children are no longer able to play outside. This is a serious problem! As the various county agencies involved responded to questioning, most had an excuse about “difficulty getting a permit to install an air monitor,” or a question could not be fully answered because of ongoing legal discussions and issues, etc. All in all, it seemed that everyone faulted someone else for the failure to comply as agreed to.
I dare say, if these folks were living near the landfill, and their children, and they, themselves, were exposed these highly troublesome, unhealthy, life-threatening conditions, they would quickly figure out a way to solve the problems!
So, the challenge we face as residents of this fair valley is to put L.A. County on notice that we are NOT willing to let our residents be forced to live under such conditions, with the knowledge that these issues could slowly but surely spread into the entire valley. Get your thinking cap on, and your computers out; visit (online) a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, and/or write to 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, kathrynbarger.lacounty.gov.
Let’s meet this challenge head on!