LA County residents file lawsuit over landfill expansion

Community organizations say board of supervisors and landfill owners violated conditional use permit.

September 7, 2017
Waste Today Staff
Landfills Legislation and regulations Municipal Solid Waste
Three community organizations filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court saying that the Los Angeles County board of supervisors and the owners of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Val Verde, California, violated a condition use permit issued in 1997, a report by The Santa Clarita Valley Signal says. Attorneys with the law office of Babak Naficy, San Luis Obispo, are representing the Val Verde Community Association, Citizens for Chiquita Canyon Landfill Compliance and Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE).

The civil suit is a petition for writ of mandate and a compliant declaratory and injunctive relief, according to the report, meaning that residents want to hold board supervisors accountable for a specific condition in the permit. That condition was to shut the landfill down in November 2019 or when it reaches 23 million tons of waste.

In summer 2017, the county board of supervisors approved the landfill’s expansion despite reaching it’s 23-million-ton cap, the groups involved in the lawsuit say. In 2016, the landfill took 2.8 million tons of waste after the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning granted a conditional use permit by setting an annual dumping cap of 2.1 million tons of waste.

The original permit from 1997 allowed 6,000 tons of waste to be dumped at the landfill per day, and the landfill owners wanted to increase that rate to 12,000 tons per day. The board permitted it, the report says.