- Residents living near the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Los Angeles are demanding legal action against Sunshine’s operator, Republic Services, after odor complaints and violations hit a record high in 2015. Through November, 39 citations were issued according to Sunshine Canyon Landfill Community Advisory Committee member Wayde Hunter, as reported in the Los Angeles Daily News. There were more than 1,700 formal complaints.
- Hunter wrote to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer in April asking him to take action, which has not happened, according to Feuer spokesman Rob Wilcox. He said in an email last week, "We continue to closely monitor the situation and have left all our options open, including litigation."
- If criminal charges were brought, which the former city attorney’s office thought were warranted, the case would require a referral from the state. This protocol would not be necessary in a civil suit.
For months, residents who have dealt with the offensive odors of the nearby landfill have pressed Feuer to take legal action against what they call an environmental injustice.
Former Chief Deputy City Attorney Bill Carter, who investigated the landfill situation in 2012 following residents’ complaints, said at the time criminal charges appeared to be justified.
"If the violations remain, Republic should be prosecuted criminally," Carter said last week
Sunshine Canyon General Manager Rob Sherman said the landfill is running more efficiently than earlier due to upgrades.
"BFI [Republic] of California has completed significant infrastructure improvements over the past few years, upgrading the gas collection and management system at the site," Sherman wrote. "As a result, we have seen improvement over this time period, and any odor issues were identified as faint." He suggested the odors may be coming from other sources, including an earlier gas leak at another site.