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Barger wants landfill owners to help relocate residents


Have complained for years about foul odors

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger is asking the operators of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill, which has been repeatedly cited for health and air quality violations, to provide relocation assistance services for those who live near the landfill and have been affected by the odors coming from the landfill.

In a letter Barger sent to a landfill executive on Feb. 8, she requested immediate steps be taken to address the impacts on the community members who live near the landfill.

“We are at an important crossroads. Although we have a significant number of organizations involved from the federal, state and county government levels, it has become increasingly clear to me that there is no predictable end in sight,” Barger wrote in the letter addressed to John M. Perkey, vice president and deputy general counsel for Waste Connections, which owns Chiquita landfill and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.

“As you continue working to comply with oversight and odor abatement requirements, the very real and significant impacts to those living near the landfill must be addressed.”

Barger's district includes the Santa Clarita Valley and the communities near the landfill.

Additionally, the letter requests the landfill operators to provide air filtration devices, to contribute more funds to the Utility Relief Program, which she initiated to help pay utility bills, and support a program that is intended to help homeowners make improvements related to the odors from the landfill.

“We are reviewing the recommendations made by Supervisor Barger and how they can be implemented as part of the overall strategy. We will have more to report on this and other mitigation updates at the next Community Advisory Committee meeting,” read a statement from the operators of the landfill.

An independent report on the Chiquita Canyon Landfill was met with calls to close it from the members of the community who attended a meeting at College of the Canyons on Feb. 7, and recommended more studies are needed to determine if the landfill is a health risk.

The report shared during a meeting at the college campus in Valencia by a consultant hired by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department studied the air quality of the landfill and its surrounding areas. The landfill has been issued 100 violations and received more than 7,000 complaints from nearby residents who say odors are causing health problems and polluting the community.

The consultant said the report's data revealed no alarm bells and that his assessments were preliminary.