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Landfill operators are not allowed to expand site


Residents complain of ground, air pollution

The Chiquita Canyon Landfill operators have been denied a request to expand, the latest in a series of setbacks for the landfill that has been producing toxic chemicals and polluting the air, water and land on site and in neighboring communities for months.

The L.A. Regional Water Quality Control Board denied the landfill’s request to expand operations in its East Canyon Project. The landfill applied for the expansion on Jan. 4, 2022. The water control board sent a letter dated March 1 informing the operators of the rejection.

Chiquita Canyon Landfill requested to expand the facility at cells 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12 in the East Canyon area and northeast of the cells in current use.

The landfill operators have been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Toxic Substance Control recently for violations.

The Department of Toxic Substance Control cited the operators on Feb. 21 for transporting toxic waste pumped from soil from the landfill to a facility in Gardena not permitted to accept it.

The EPA issued a statement stating the landfill presents an “imminent and substantial endangerment” to air and water pollution in February.

In response to the violations and from thousands of complaints from residents who live near the landfill, Supervisor Kathryn Barger sent a letter to the landfill operators asking to provide relocation assistance for those affected by the pollution coming from the landfill. She also asked the landfill operators to provide compensation for nearby residents to make improvements to their homes because of the pollution. Furthermore, she set up a service to help nearby residents pay for high utility bills resulting from the air pollution the landfill created.

The landfill operators agreed to Barger’s requests, but did not provide a timetable for offering the requested services and assistance.

The State Water Board, in its letter to the landfill, stated because of an increased temperature event, increased volumes of leachate is being generated and is overwhelming the landfill’s containment systems.