Stop Los Angeles Landfill Expansion

Target: Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning Board

Goal: To halt the intended expansion of Los Angeles’ Chiquita Canyon landfill.

In 1997, an agreement was reached between the owner/operators of the Chiquita Canyon landfill and the Val Verde Civic Association. According to this agreement, the landfill would cease operations once it reached its total capacity of twenty-three million tons. Though this has already happened, the landfill continues to operate.

Not only does it continue to operate, but now it seeks to double its current daily intake to 12,000 tons.  In addition, the aim is to increase the landfill’s elevation to 100 feet while its “footprint” (surface area) grows by an estimated 65 percent. The landfill operators have also looked into providing for the allowance of hazardous waste and sanitized human waste.

This unacceptable project was approved through the Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning despite complaints from residents through the Hasley Hills area of Castaic. Even without the landfill’s expansion, residents of this community report that they are able to smell the landfill from their homes. This will only grow worse as the landfill is expanded.

This is not the only concern however, as the intended height of the landfill will make it plainly visible above the ridge line, causing nearby residents to have  household views degraded to that of waste and bulldozers.

The odor and aesthetic concerns are secondary to the potential harm this new expansion could have upon the health of surrounding communities. A study conducted over fifteen years ago already found the region to have a level of environmental carcinogens that was unacceptable. There was even a lawsuit against the site for the landfill-related meningitis death of an eighteen-month-old.

Meningitis is only one of a whole host of health concerns related to living within close proximity to a landfill. Incidents of cancer, asthma, birth defects, and respiratory infections are also considerably increased.

It is with this in mind that I ask you to lend your voice in stopping this harmful expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Members of the Board of the Department of Los Angeles Regional Planning,

The Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning expansion of the Chiquita landfill must be reconsidered. This expansion approval process failed to appropriately represent residents of the area and runs contrary to a 1997 agreement in place between the owners/operators of the Chiquita landfill and the Val Verde Civic Association.

That agreement specified that the landfill would cease operations once it reached its total capacity of twenty-three million tons. Despite this mark having long since been reached, the landfill continues to operate.

The proposed expansion not only allows this operation to continue, but expand its daily intake—doubling it to 12,000 tons per day. This would be done by letting the landfill expand to a height of over 100 feet and a surface footprint that is sixty-five percent larger. This is unacceptable for the residents of Castaic who will be forced to deal with a landfill expanded far beyond what was agreed upon at the time when most purchased their homes.

In its current state, residents of the Hasley Hills community already report of being able to smell the landfill from their homes, and at least one lawsuit tied to health-related issues stemming from the landfill has already occurred.

This is not the only concern for residents. There is also the issue of the new intended height of the landfill, which will make it plainly visible above the ridge line which will cause nearby residents to have unsightly views of waste and bulldozers.

The odor and aesthetic concerns are secondary to the potential harm this new expansion could have towards the health of surrounding communities. A study conducted over fifteen years ago already found the region to contain an level of environmental carcinogens deemed unacceptable. This harmful environment led to the aforementioned lawsuit against the site for the landfill-related meningitis death of an eighteen-month-old child.

Meningitis is one of an entire host of health concerns related to living within close proximity to a landfill. Incidents of cancer, asthma, birth defects, and respiratory infections are also considerably increased.

It is with this in mind that I strongly urge you to reconsider this harmful expansion of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill before it becomes dangerous to nearby residents.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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