As most of you know, Chiquita Canyon has been processing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and new Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application with the County of Los Angeles for more than a decade. As a result of this lengthy processing period we recently reached the permitted disposal limit of 23 million tons that was approved in 1997.
In anticipation of reaching this limit, the Director of Regional Planning granted us a limited waiver that prevents the temporary closure of the landfill before the necessary public hearings for the EIR and new CUP are completed. The wavier includes appropriate limitations and conditions on the landfills continued operation during this period.
This waiver allows the landfill to accept waste beyond the 23 million ton overall cap, so long as the footprint and height of the permitted landfill area are not expanded and other interim operating conditions are met.
The waiver is intended solely as a stop-gap measure to avoid a temporary shut-down of the landfill. The interim operating authority would be superseded by the new CUP, when and if it is approved by the County. If the new CUP is not approved then the landfill will close.
The waiver does not result in new environmental impacts or substantial increases in the severity of environmental impacts previously identified in the EIR certified by the Board of Supervisors in 1997. In addition, all the regular monthly, bi-monthly, semi-annual, and annual monitoring and reporting required by the more than two dozen regulatory agencies that oversee our safe operations will continue as usual.
The letter of waiver to Chiquita Canyon, noted, “We find that the interim continuation of landfill operations is consistent with General Plan Policy PS/F 5.1 which states ‘Maintain an efficient, safe and responsive waste management system that reduces waste while protecting the health and safety of the public.”
Chiquita Canyon provides an essential public service to the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley and the County of Los Angeles. All of us at Chiquita Canyon are proud of our clean, safe and environmentally sustainable waste disposal operation which harnesses landfill gas to create clean energy to power 10,000 homes each year. And we are most proud of the work we do giving back to the Santa Clarita Valley to help make this one of the greatest communities in the nation to live and do business.