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About 70 turn out to landfill meeting

Some residents in neighboring Val Verde voice concerns over proposed expansion in Chiquita Canyon

Posted: August 1, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 1, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A proposed expansion for the landfill that handles the bulk of the Santa Clarita Valley’s garbage failed the pass the smell test with most speakers during a public hearing Thursday night.

Many of the about 70 people who turned out for Thursday’s hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Report for the Chiquita Canyon Landfill’s proposal voiced their concerns, saying an expansion could have impacts on the environment, the quality of life and property values in the area.

“The neighboring community will not only suffer a great loss in air quality, but a great loss in property values and a loss of quality of life from issues such as odors from the landfill,” said area resident Nancy Carder during the meeting at the Castaic Sports Complex.

Comments critical of the project were met with a mixture of raised arms, clapping and occasional cheers.

Officials from Chiquita Canyon, however, have touted the steps they have taken to reduce the impact of the landfill on the surrounding community and said the expansion is necessary to meet the trash disposal needs in Los Angeles County.

The expansion would double the permitted maximum daily disposal tonnage at the site from 6,000 to 12,000 tons and increase the life of the landfill by 21 to 38 years, depending on how fast the trash comes in, according to the draft EIR.

Expanding the capacity at the landfill means expanding the landfill itself by some 143 acres on its current property off Highway 126.

Not everyone at the hearing spoke against the project, however.

Castaic resident Flo Lawrence reiterated his support for the expansion proposal and his belief that Chiquita Canyon is a good neighbor in the community.

“These are the kind of neighbors we need in Castaic,” he said. “It’s coming, let’s work with them.”

A few other speakers said they have not experienced negative impacts as a result of the landfill.

One of the most common issues raised by speakers during the public hearing was the belief that the landfill was supposed to close down in the coming years.

Many said an agreement made during Chiquita Canyon’s last expansion in 1997 stated the landfill would close by 2019.

“I think we did our time and I think it’s time to move on, it should be someplace else,” said Val Verde resident Dr. Faye Snyder of the landfill.

Landfill spokesman John Musella said the 2019 date is the expiration of the current permit for Chiquita Canyon and that nothing in the current Conditional Use Permit approved in 1997 prohibits the landfill from applying for another permit to continue landfill operations.

Comments on the project are being accepted until Sept. 23. For more information on how to submit comments, visit
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