Sunshine Canyon Landfill Needs a Sunset, Says POWER
SANTA MONICA, California The Sunshine Canyon landfill in the San Fernando Valley could expose residents in the region to more trash for a far longer period than they are being told, according to Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER), a coalition of environmental and labor groups dedicated to protecting residents of Southern California from the dangers of landfills. The community surrounding Sunshine Canyon should not be forced to bear the burdens of the landfill for longer than governmental reports previously represented.
A permit proposal for Sunshine Canyon, submitted by BFI/Allied Waste, will be considered at a hearing Thursday at the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission. Area residents should know that previous environmental documents stating that the facility has the capacity to receive 90 million tons and would close after about 26 years are unreliable. This is because there is no provision guaranteeing that the landfill will close when it receives 90 million tons or after 26 years. POWER is requesting that the Commission require a tonnage limit or closure date.
Sunshine Canyon could actually take in much more waste than 90 million tons, according to a new study prepared for the coalition by landfill engineer J.W. Spear, who has more than 25 years of experience in the waste management industry. The study found that 24 million to 57 million more tons of waste could go into the landfill, on top of the 90 million that has been projected.
"Mr. Spear's credentials are impressive and the North Valley Coalition believes his conclusions support our contention that this landfill will be much larger than analyzed in the environmental documentation. Its impacts on the community, indeed the city and county as a whole, have not been adequately addressed," said Wayde Hunter, President of the North Valley Coalition, which represents residents in the area of the landfill.
Because the tonnage determines the closure date of the landfill, this could mean that the landfill would operate far longer than the 26 years now estimated. There is no requirement that will force the landfill to close when 90 million tons have been deposited or when 26 years have elapsed.
"The North San Fernando Valley continues to suffer from the negative effects of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. The time has come to put an end to this environmentally polluting practice and start recovering our waste for beneficial use as described in my RENEW LA plan," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Greig Smith.
The POWER coalition includes the North Valley Coalition, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Law Foundation, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Source: PR Newswire, Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources