Why We Have A Dump That Should Never Have Been Approved

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Quick Facts 2013 or Why We Have A Dump That Should Never Have Been Approved

On December 8, 1999, the day after Pearl Harbor Day, we experienced our own Pearl Harbor. Our L.A. City Council (under the threat of being excluded from the County side landfill expansion which opened in 1995) passed the expansion reopening of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill on the City side despite the danger to the air, water, families, and natural resources of all of Los Angeles! This was done despite ecologically superior alternatives such as rail haul to other remote sites, better recycling programs, and alternative technologies. The approvals by City Council also included the provision to combine the County side landfill with the propose City side expansion, to the tune of 90,000,000 tons. The City side expansion opened in 2006 and was combined into one giant City/County landfill in 2009.

Your City Council and the Board of Supervisors are making money from tipping fees from every ton of trash deposited at the landfill while poisoning your children, the air and the water.

The facts listed below were made known to both the City and the County in 2009 for a combined City/County landfill and were posted on our website:

  1. Children are in danger, according to the Board of Education City of Los Angeles, BFI’s own experts, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the SAQMD, and some members of the Los Angeles City Council.
  2. With this latest expansion, the Sunshine Canyon Landfill will become the largest dump in the United States, only hundreds of feet from the largest water supplier in the United States, providing water for 19,000,000 people living in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This is next to the totally open and exposed DWP reservoir which holds our treated drinking water! This dump is within 500 feet of an earthquake damaged tunnel that carries the DWP’s water from the California Aqueduct to its water treatment plant.
  3. The dump will receive up to 66.000 tons of commercial, industrial, and household wastes each week, including sewer products and contaminated soil. Over 300 tons of this weekly inflow will be toxic or hazardous.
  4. There will be at least 2,600 diesel truck trips per day, delivering trash to the dump, many from other cities.
  5. There is no way to mitigate the degradation of the air quality — this is according to BFI’s own experts, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the AQMD, and other agencies. At least 351 tons per day of emissions are released from the 3 flares not counting any surface emissions.
  6. The dump is in a seismic-hazard area, located next to the Santa Susana fault line, in a geologically unstable area. Landslides are a common occurrence. Several earthquakes have been recorded within the dump most notably in 1971 & 1994. This dump is located in an Alquist-Priolo Study Zone (Seismic and Earth Movement) There will be continued movement potentially causing tears in the dump liner system and compromising its leachate collection.
  7. The air impacts which cannot be mitigated cause health problems, due to the relationship between diesel emissions and cancer, as well as particulate emissions of PM2 and PM1O
  8. The Los Angeles Unified School Distinct has found children in the surrounding area to be at risk.
  9. Winds in the area have been clocked in excess of 100 miles an hour; these winds carry pathogens from the dump into our water supply and spread the dust, odors and filth as far as the wind can carry it and into our homes.
  10. Toxic, chemical and human wastes contaminate birds that wander through the trash looking for food. The birds then go back to the open reservoir to drink and rest in the water, and yes, defecate in the same water that comes out of your faucet.
  11. This dump is slowly polluting the groundwater.
  12. At the 1999 City Council hearing when the dump was voted in, BFI admitted to problems in one of its test wells.
  13. There was no need for this dump. At the hearing several competitors of BFI came in with estimates less than BFI to haul the trash away to areas that would not be impacted by the refuse or the particulate and diesel emissions. This would cost (by the City’s own admission at that time) 50 cents per person per month in Los Angeles City. Remember that these were high estimates and that the City was refusing to ask for bids!
  14. The City torn out hundreds of oak trees and destroyed streams and wetlands in order to put in this dump, as well as ruining the habitat for many species of Wildlife.
  15. The City wanted this dump for revenue purposes and franchise fees it would generate.
  16. The City was the responsible agency for investigating the Validity and the safety of the SEIR (Subsequent Environmental Impact Report). The City abdicated this responsibility to consultants hired by BFI, and have never verified the results! BFI had a record as known criminals and polluters!
  17. The City refused to enforce the law protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of Los Angeles. Our only recourse was the law and political pressure.
  18. With the combining of the City and County dumps the daily operations have moved ever closer to our homes and we are now experiencing more and more odor complaints from residents. In 2011 and 2012 the Sunshine Canyon Landfill the number of complaints from Granada Hills represented 20% of all the calls to the SCAQMD, and was a magnitude greater (actually 23 times greater) in complaints than all of the other 15 landfills combined within the SCAQMD’s 10,500 square miles.

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