Abigail DeSesa | Time to Protect the Citizens

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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During 2023, the Chiquita Canyon Landfill has been experiencing a meltdown – an underground chemical reaction, and is under an abatement order from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. This is not the first time under this owner that Chiquita Canyon Landfill has been in violation of its conditional use permit and under an AQMD abatement order. Just three years ago they received 19 notices of violation in four months. This year, 2023, they are already up to 94 NOVs and counting.

Large portions of the Castaic area are experiencing nasty sickening gases all over their neighborhoods, businesses, schools and parks. This is not just in the neighborhood of Val Verde Canyon this time, so people are actually taking notice. Over the years I have had people insult me for living in Val Verde Canyon with comments like, “You knew it when you bought it,” and, “You should expect it to smell living near a landfill.” My favorite lately is, “Be honest Abigail, it’s all you could afford.” Well, that is not really true because there are many ways the smells gets hidden from you when you are house shopping and the law actually says otherwise about having it smell on your private property. What I can afford is no one’s business, and this historical canyon is beautiful. I think the people we vote into office, who hire the staff to work for the people, with the people’s money, need to start doing their jobs, to protect the taxpayers.

We need to demand, from our representatives, laws to do just that, protect us. As a citizen of L.A. County and the state of California, we should not have to do a forensic background check of an area, when we purchase or rent a new home. Our voted-in, tax-paid-for officials and government workers should do that job for us. We are paying for this service.

It is time to get a statewide health protection zone established and it should be a basic fundamental right for the people of this state. Currently, there is Senate Bill 1137 for oil and gas wells offering to do just that, but not for landfills. This bill needs to be amended to include landfills. Both subjects are important and need to be passed. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors just approved a new 222-home development directly in the shadow of the gas-spewing Chiquita Canyon Landfill – within a half-mile by air to this monster. We need to get our legislators working on new legislation to protect things like this from ever being able to happen. We should be putting lots of pressure on the actual lawmakers and support them for doing the right thing. Clearly, the money-hungry county won’t stop putting people’s health at risk until the state stops them. We are in District 40 and our Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, is our legislative representative. Please consider reaching out to her — a40.asmdc.org/contact — and let her know how you feel about this ongoing environmental catastrophe happening with Chiquita Canyon Landfill and how a health protection zone around all landfills should become a mandatory law.

That is my hope for every family.

Abigail DeSesa


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