After a four-month public-comment period, the county is still reviewing hundreds of pages of feedback on the proposed Chiquita Canyon Landfill Expansion, officials said Tuesday.
“Right now, we’re working on formulating the response to comments. That is going to take a little bit of time. We don’t have a public hearing date scheduled as of yet,” said Iris Chi, a regional planner who is overseeing the project for Los Angeles County. “We’re going through all of the hundreds of comments that we received and we’re coming up with responses to those comments.”
The final draft of the environmental impact report on the proposed expansion might be in front of theBoard of Supervisors for approval by summer, officials said.
More than 75 leaders, residents and business owners from the Santa Clarita Valley submitted written comments to county officials. Dozens spoke at various public meetings, including the Sept. 31 Los Angeles Regional Meeting and a January meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Many organizations submitted concerns about the expansion, including officials with the city of Santa Clarita.
“The cumulative impact of the proposed expansion of the landfill will be felt by city residents and businesses,” said Robert Newman, director of public works for Santa Clarita, in a letter from the city. “Both traffic and air quality will be affected.”
Newman submitted comments and concerns on the behalf of the city of Santa Clarita pertaining to hazardous materials compliance, water quality, air quality and traffic. He also submitted requests from city leaders about the landfill’s operation, the proposed Household Hazardous Waste Facility, the mixed organic composting facility and the materials recovery facility.
“The impact on traffic, air quality, future trash rates, availability for solid waste disposal,” Newman said, mentioning a few of the issues addressed in the city’s five-page comment. “Our concern is the impact to our residents.”
The city of Santa Clarita has no official opinion on the expansion, said Gail Morgan, spokeswoman for the city.
Newman, Stevenson Ranch resident Dave Bossert, American Family Funding owner Fred Arnold and Citizens for Chiquita Landfill Compliance Member Erica Larsen are just some of the community members who commented on the landfill expansion.
“As a 30-year resident, I recognize that Chiquita Canyon has been serving the region continuously for more than four decades, and plays an important role in the solid waste management of the Santa Clarita Valley and Los Angeles County,” said Bossert, a resident and community volunteer of the Santa Clarita Valley, in a letter to Chi. “This is especially important given the findings by L.A. County Public Works that point to a potential disposal capacity shortfall beginning this year if there is no expansion of existing landfills, no new landfills, and no additional capacity from alternative technologies.”
Bossert’s statement of approval for the Chiquita Canyon Landfill Expansion is very similar to 25 out of 29 other letters by Santa Clarita Valley community members in support for the expansion, according to documents obtained by KHTS AM-1220.
Residents from all over the Santa Clarita Valley voiced their comments at concerns about the expansion during the public comment period.
“No I don’t want the dump expanded to Val Verde because of the smell, health, traffic,” said Charles Payton, a Castaic resident who submitted a comment card for the DEIR for the expansion. “Who would want to live with a dump in their backyard? My family has been here since 1947. We don’t want to live in trash.”
The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Chiquita Canyon Landfill Expansion began July 10 and ended Oct. 22.
“A public hearing on the DEIR was conducted by the Department of Regional Planning in Castaic in July 2014 and the Regional Planning Commission will hold another public hearing on the project this year in the Santa Clarita Valley. The County of Los Angeles is currently reviewing the hundreds of pages of public comment and will address all questions and concerns in the Final EIR,” said Chiquita Canyon Spokesman John Musella. “In addition, Chiquita Canyon pro-actively provided a presentation to the Val Verde Civic Association a month prior to the public release of the DEIR in order to give the community plenty of time to review the project. We also participated in dozens of community meetings across the Santa Clarita Valley to various organizations and groups before and during the public review process.”
Public comments were submitted to Iris Chi, planner for zoning permits in the north region of the Department of Regional Planning for the Los Angeles County.
KHTS AM-1220 Co-owner Jeri Seratti-Goldman also voiced her support for the Chiquita Canyon Landfill expansion in a letter to Chi.