Archive for the ‘Master Plan Revision’ Category

Signal: Chiquita Canyon Landfill Gets 30 Year Extension

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County planning commissioners gave Chiquita Canyon Landfill a 30-year extension Wednesday, several hours after a public hearing.

The decision was made an hours-long meeting in which the Los Angeles County Planning Commission held a second public hearing on the issue. This time they held the meeting in downtown Los Angeles but live-streamed it for the public at the Stevenson Ranch Library.

At the end of the public hearing and after questions from commissioners to county staff, the commission approved Chiquita Canyon Landfill’s contract, authorizing them to operate for another 30 years.

John Musella, spokesperson for Chiquita, said the organization was pleased with the approval of the project.

Chiquita has valued working with community members in the past and hopes to reform a relationship with the community action committee in the future, he said.

“We hope that going forward, will be able to resume a cooperative relationship with that community group,” Musella said.

During the course of the hearing, community members were given two minutes each to speak, where 10 speakers in Stevenson Ranch and 15 in L.A. addressed the commissioners. Speakers were limited to those who did not speak at the first hearing on March 1.

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CHIQUITA CANYON PLANS DOWNSIZING FROM STATUS QUO

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At the Regional Planning Commission Hearing tonight, Chiquita Canyon will put the proposed project in the context of existing operations at the landfill.

“Chiquita Canyon landfill operations will actually be smaller in the future than what is currently happening today,” said Mike Dean, Division Vice President for Waste Connections.  “As a result, the impacts will be less.  Opponents cite our request to dispose of 12,000 tons per day of trash, however, in 2016 we had a peak day for all in-bound materials of 15,125 tons,” said Dean.

That same year, Chiquita Canyon handled more than 12,000 tons on 46 days.  The EIR analyzed impacts for a peak of 13,182 tons which is smaller than Chiquita’s current operations.  The peak in the proposed Conditional Use Permit is 12,000 tons per day.  As such, future landfill operations will be smaller than what presently exists today.

“Basically, if you are not impacted now you won’t be in the future,” said Dean.

By comparison, Chiquita Canyon is operating at higher volumes than Sunshine Canyon, with polar opposite compliance records.

  CHIQUITA CANYON SUNSHINE CANYON
NOTICES OF VIOLATION 1    (in 10+ years) 180  (in 8+ years)
CLASS ACTION LITIGATION NO YES
ORDERS OF ABATEMENT NO YES

 

“Chiquita Canyon Landfill is a well-run facility as evidenced by the cleanliness of the site and its excellent compliance record,” said Neal Bolton, the nation’s leading expert in landfill operations.

FACT CHECKER: LANDFILL OPPONENTS MISREPRESENT INFORMATION ON FLYER

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Leading up to the scheduled LA County Regional Planning Commission Hearing on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, opponents of the Chiquita Canyon landfill have been distributing a flyer with more false information, a similar tactic employed prior to the last public hearing in December 2016.

The following are claims made by landfill opponents:

  1. “Due to our civil rights complaint alongside our community, the Regional Planning Commissioners have to be there to hear your voice…”
    1. FALSE: CalEPA concluded that it had no jurisdiction to consider the complaint.  Holding the Regional Planning Commission meeting in the community has always been a part of the process and is required by County policy, and is not the result of the civil rights complaint.  The civil rights complaint closure letter issued by the State in January 2017 noted that the Department of Regional Planning advised the state that there would be a hearing in the community, but this was already required and already planned.

  2. “If you are not impacted now… you will be.”
    1. FALSE: Opponents state we will “double in size”, which is FALSE. The fact is our future landfills operations will be SMALLER than what we currently do therefore the impacts will be less. Opponents cite our request to dispose of 12,000 tons per day of trash. In 2016 we had a peak day for all in-bound materials of 15,125 tons, and we also exceeded 12,000 tons on 46 days. The EIR analyzed impacts for a peak of 13,182 tons which is smaller than our current operations. The peak in the proposed conditional use permit is 12,000. So any way you cut it the future landfill operations will be smaller. It is more appropriate to say that “if you are not impacted now you won’t be in the future.”
  1. “Sunshine Canyon Landfill… received 90 notices of violation (NOV) in the past 3 years.”
    1. TRUE: Chiquita Canyon, which operates a similar sized landfill, only received 1 NOV for odors in the past 10+ years because Chiquita does things right. Our performance history contradicts the opponents’ logic that more NOV’s will occur.

“These additional misrepresentations by opponents only demonstrates again that they do not care to properly educate the public but will do and say anything against us,” said Mike Dean, Division Vice President.

These misrepresentations are part of a pattern.  Prior to the December 2016 public hearing, opponents re-created a map from County’s Environmental Impact Report calling it a “Cancer Cluster” map in effort to mislead the public in advance of the public hearing.   County officials responded that if there was a record of past health concerns directly linked to the project, it would have been an “immediate red flag.”

More specifically, County of Los Angeles health experts have replied confirming, “No such evidence of cancer clusters or documented health concerns exist,” said Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Director of Toxicology and Environmental Assessment for the County. “Arrows on the map that was spread on social media indicate sites where evidence was collected, not areas where any risks have been documented or proven.”