Susan Evans | A Travesty in Enviromental Justice

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I have lived in Val Verde for over 22 years. I cannot believe the L.A. County Regional Planning Department is going ahead with this 200-plus-home development with the issues that exist in this area. 

The Chiquita Canyon Landfill is having major environmental and health problems with its operations. The Air Quality Management District had a hearing about these problems on Sept. 6. It is apparent to me that you want to go ahead with adding over 200 homes to this historical area with this major problem that has no solution in sight. I understand this air is full of methane, dimethyl sulfide, and who knows what other chemicals since no one has told us what else is escaping from the dump.  

I do know we are all suffering from numerous ailments and diseases that I believe are a direct result from these fumes and toxic air.  

These new residents won’t be able to get homeowners insurance because Cal Fire has designated this town as a high fire hazard. Don’t forget there is a lack of water for California. And their trash will be put into this dump that spews toxic gas.  

If you add over 200 homes, how many more people and children are you putting at risk? Is L.A. County willing to take responsibility for those people? They haven’t taken responsibility for the current residents’ safety and health.  

This development will make our town more susceptible to traffic, dust, air pollution and light pollution. And I understand there is a plan to remove 14 oak trees, one of which is a heritage oak. These trees are an integral part of the ecosystem in Val Verde as are the hillsides that will be destroyed by this development.  

I understand that our secondary road, Del Valle, will be compromised, making one road in and one road out, even if only temporarily. This puts our lives and homes at more risk.  

No one seems to listen to this town. In 2014 we tried to stop the dump expansion, telling L.A. County that these toxic fumes are what would happen if the dump expanded. And we were right. L.A. County wanted the money, so they approved the expansion. In 2020 there was another hearing about this dump and again it was allowed to operate. Now there are several neighborhoods in the Castaic area being affected by these toxic fumes.   

Again, you want to get the money, so you will add homes to Val Verde. It isn’t just L.A. County that wants the money, it is the developer, too.  

Going forward with this project at this time I believe will further impose segregation and discrimination upon a historical town that was created as the Black Palm Springs, if you didn’t know the history of Val Verde.  

Susan Evans  

Val Verde

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