CASTAIC (CNS) - There have been more than 1,200 complaints and 42 violation notices about odors from the Chiquita Canyon Landfill near Santa Clarita, and it has prompted the South Coast Air Quality Management District to address the cause Wednesday.
The agency's hearing board will meet Wednesday and discuss ways for the landfill operators to stop the odors from escaping the landfill or how to take steps to reduce the impact of the odors to the nearby communities.
The landfill's odors are most likely the result of an unusual sulfur compound. The odors from the 639-acre landfill have been increasing in potency and frequency in recent months, leading to complaints from those in the neighboring communities of Val Verde, Castaic, Live Oak and Hasley Canyon. The AQMD issued violation notices to the landfill upon receiving complaints and conducting investigations.
The AQMD and West Connections, the owners and operators of the landfill, have concluded the odors are a product of dimenthyl sulfide (DMS) and coming from an older part of the landfill.
Gas removal systems are ineffective in removing or treating DMS, the AQMD has reported. West Connections says it is testing other ways to stop the chemical reactions and release of the gas, according to reports in the Daily News.
The odors were causing a nuisance to a "considerable number of persons," the AQMD filed in a report for abatement on Aug. 14.
The AQMD told the Daily News the landfill operators do not know how to stop the release of DMS, or how to treat it, and reported the gas is not commonly found in landfills.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger opened a $2 million fund this week for affected households to apply and receive cash assistance to buy swamp coolers to swap for air conditioners, install weather-proof doors and windows and add insulation.
The Chiquita Canyon Landfill Grant Program, administered by the Los Angeles County Development Authority, is offering instructions for affected residents and how to apply starting next week. Those interested in applying can visit chiquitacanyon.com.
"There is no doubt in my mind that residents who live near the landfill are suffering," Barger said in a statement released Friday. "My hope is that these funds will begin to provide some immediate and much deserved relief."
The landfill is permitted to accept 6,200 tons of solid waste per day and operates from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.