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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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castaic2: Posted: August 1, 2014 2:49 p.m.

I wanted to say to all those who spoke out against the landfill expansion good job! It should be pointed out that the CATC president and the other two that spoke in favor of the expansion, all live in North Castaic and belong to organizations that receive money from the landfill. How can they make the claim that the landfill has been good neighbors, since they don't live anywhere near it. The stories of what the residents of Val Verde have been enduring were appalling, and for the County and the landfill to take away the hope they were given that the landfill would be shutting down in the near future is disgraceful. The signed contract that the landfill would be closed by 2019 was given to the county in public. A number of those who signed this document and witnessed it also spoke, confirming the promise of closure that is being broken by LA County and the landfill company.

SenseInCastaic2: Posted: August 1, 2014 3:05 p.m.

I would like to point out that Nancy Carder, wife to Lloyd Carder - lives WAYYYY back in Hasley Canyon, so the proposed expansion, doesn't personally affect her/them either.
So you have people in VV who are against (- its a known fact that primarily only people come to these hearings to speak out in opposition of anything... not to support.)
There are also people in VV that don't care if it expands and want the mitigation funds to continue, maybe they dont live on this Lincoln street everybody talks about... maybe they do.
Then you have people in Castaic, Hasley Canyon, Live Oak & Hasley Hills, or Hillcrest - some are going to be FOR, and some are going to be AGAINST, some wont have a care one way or the other.
Some people, no matter where they live, are Community Involved and know first hand of the good works the dump (oooops Landfill, we really shouldn't use Dump), does every year, in and around town. Supporting festivals, Community Awards events, our annual 5K race at the lake... they do, do A LOT. The do a good job at trying to make up for whatever inconvenience they may cause those closest to them. I wonder what, if anything, that Sriracha factory in Irwindale ever did for their surrounding neighborhoods?!?
Anyway... You are always going to have some for something, and some against something - whether it be a Landfill or a CHURCH! or a SCHOOL... it's always NIMBY (Not in my backyard) Always. And I don't use that words ALWAYS, lightly.

VanessaBrookman: Posted: August 1, 2014 3:07 p.m.

@Castaic2 - HEY you never came over to say hi and reveal yourself, not to me and Flo said not to him either. Why is that? hmmmm?

flolawrence: Posted: August 1, 2014 5:18 p.m.

castaic2 - What are you afraid of? Why not introduce yourself? 'Cause you call me out in every post, and hide behind an anonymous name. Let's have a real dialogue. I won't hurt you...

VanessaBrookman: Posted: August 1, 2014 6:17 p.m.

User Removed Comment.

CastaicClay: Posted: August 1, 2014 7:07 p.m.

*The signed contract that the landfill would be closed by 2019 was given to the county in public. A number of those who signed this document and witnessed it also spoke, confirming the promise of closure that is being broken by LA County and the landfill company.*
If there is documentation of this that should be the end of the story. No expansion.

SCVCitizen661: Posted: August 4, 2014 1:11 p.m.

I have to admit the thought of the Chiquita Landfill expanding comes to great disappointment to me. I remember being a teenager when the first expansion occurred and I remember thinking, “what why here? But we live here expand it somewhere else!” That was 20 years ago and since then my siblings and I have become educated, built homes, and raised our families in Val Verde area mainly because we enjoy living there so much (even though we can choose to live elsewhere now). The question that comes to my mind is: what are the major benefits to the local community and are these benefits worth accepting the expansion of the landfill? Is it only funding for the community? The possibility of creating future problematic issues with our air & water quality, and traffic flow (I now see more landfill WM trucks displace when driving into the town) cannot possibly be worth it! Common people wake up most of it is not even our local trash to begin with it comes from all over the LA County. YES I know environmental/traffic studies have been done supporting no possible negative consequences from this expansion BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH. I worked in the private industry and currently work for the government (at the local and county level) and you CANNOT possibly believe everything we say. We are trained to talk “out of our behinds” (even if were not well informed) just to keep residents happy requiring us often to be dishonest and not up front with all the issues. This environmental study does not tell us the whole story and unfortunately when that’s finally realized sometimes it’s too late.

Another disturbing topic that relates to this is has to do with the lack of Latino support with controversial issues like the expansion. I’m Hispanic and proud of it but it appalls me how un-informed and un-educated we are and how we tend to look the other way on so many controversial aspects. I know for a fact if this were in the City of Santa Clarita (Stevenson Ranch or Valencia area) this expansion would not be happening. Since Val Verde is still mostly Latino decent then the expansion will most likely occur with little or no fight. I know this topic is offline a bit but I just had to include it. Just overall, this expansion is not good and I don’t care what anyone else has to say on this post.

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