Chiquita Canyon hosting in-person sessions to provide help for relief fund Friday, Saturday  

A sign points to the entrance of Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic. Dan Watson/ The Signal
A sign points to the entrance of Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic. Dan Watson/ The Signal

Chiquita Canyon Landfill officials announced community meetings for Friday and Saturday intended to give information about its relief program, which was the source of much discussion at the recent Community Advisory Committee meeting

The landfill is approaching 15,000 complaints since January 2023, according to Larry Israel, supervising inspector for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the problems have worsened in recent months, based on the number of complaints. 

The landfill is now averaging about 2,000 substantiated complaints per month, a figure Israel called “staggering.” 

To try to help residents while the landfill works to mitigate its stench, a community relief fund has been created that residents can apply for online, but there have been questions about its transparency and whether residents’ data might later be used against them in a lawsuit.  

As of the most recent count from Chiquita Canyon Landfill in mid-May, the fund has helped just over 120 people with a total distribution just shy of $227,300 in about two months of operations. 

Chiquita Canyon Landfill is hosting the in-person informational sessions “aimed at providing local residents with comprehensive details about the Chiquita Landfill Community Relief program and to assist with the application process,” according to the landfill’s release. 

The landfill is still trying to figure out the root cause of the problem, a subsurface reaction that has been creating smelly toxic chemicals and nauseating gases for more than a year in Castaic and Val Verde. 

Residents have said they’re awaiting answers on basic questions like, “Are our children safe?” from several task forces that include everyone from L.A. County Public Health officials to state environmental regulators to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

“Funding is currently available for residents of the neighborhoods identified in the below map, which includes the neighborhoods of Val Verde, Live Oak, Hasley Hills, Hillcrest Parkway, Hasley Canyon and Stevenson Ranch,” the release states. “The scope of the program is under continuous evaluation. If you believe you are impacted, but do not live in an area identified on this map, please fill out the application.” 

The first session will have someone available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Val Verde Community Center at 30300 Arlington St. 

The second session will have someone available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Castaic Library, which is at 27971 Sloan Canyon Road. These sessions will be available in both English and Spanish. 

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