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Val Verde community demands closure of Chiquita Canyon Sanitary Landfill

Posted: August 4, 2016 7:38 p.m.
Updated: August 4, 2016 7:38 p.m.
Steve Lee, member of Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, center, reads a statement during a news conference backed by a group of Val Verde residents as they prepare to deliver a letter to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's Valencia office calling the dump to close down. Signal photo by Dan Watson Steve Lee, member of Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, center, reads a statement during a news conference backed by a group of Val Verde residents as they prepare to deliver a letter to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's Valencia office calling the dump to close down. Signal photo by Dan Watson
Steve Lee, member of Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, center, reads a statement during a news conference backed by a group of Val Verde residents as they prepare to deliver a letter to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's Valencia office calling the dump to close down. Signal photo by Dan Watson
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The Chiquita Canyon Sanitary Landfill recently exceeded its 23 million ton capacity, prompting Val Verde community members and others to demand its closure during a demonstration Thursday.

Activists, including the group Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, joined with Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, or SCOPE, in front of the Santa Clarita Valley office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich on Thursday to deliver a letter to Antonovich regarding an operating violation.

The original Conditional Use Permit for the landfill, issued in 1997, stated, “The maximum total capacity of the landfill shall be 23 million tons. Landfill closure shall occur when this capacity is reached or by November 24, 2019, whichever occurs first.”

“They promised in 1997 the landfill would close,” said Bonnie Blackwell Nikolai, a Castaic Area Town Council member and Val Verde resident. “We do not want to renegotiate. We do not want any money. We just want them gone.”

Steve Lee, a member of Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance, said it takes 10 years to find a new landfill and set it up, but he had not seen any effort being made to even begin the search.

Chiquita Canyon Sanitary Landfill is currently in the process of requesting an expansion, which is proposed to double its current capacity, said Edel Vizcarra, planning and public works deputy for Antonovich.

The landfill is allowed to operate until the new permit is either approved or denied by the county Regional Planning Commission because of a waiver that was requested and approved a few months ago.

“It’s essentially acting as a bridge,” he said.

An Environmental Impact Report is being drawn up, Vizcarra said. He anticipates a Regional Planning Commission hearing in early 2017.

The commission can either approve the expansion or deny the permit, essentially closing the landfill.

If the planning commission approves the permit, and it is appealed, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will make the ultimate decision of whether to shut down the landfill.

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