- The first in a series of public hearings was held on Aug. 27 to consider a potential nuisance abatement order around odor issues at Republic Services' Sunshine Canyon Landfill in California, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
- The South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board is considering a proposal that would limit the site's capacity by one-third, cut three operating hours and require more odor abatement.
- Los Angeles residents have called in more than 9,000 complaints since 2009 and local regulators have issued more than 90 notices of violations over the past three years.
After many years of complaints, Republic and the air district reached an agreement in 2011 around odor abatement. Since then, the company has spent $27 million on nearly 600 collection wells, a gas-to-energy facility, 20,000 oak trees, misters and other technology. Residents continue to complain about odors from the 362-acre site, but Republic has said that their collection system is efficient and reducing capacity isn't the answer.
"It'll have absolutely no impact on landfill odors, because the waste in the landfill generates gas for decades," said Thomas M. Bruen, an attorney representing the company, as reported by the Daily News. "The only way to control odor is to have a good gas collection system, which we believe we have."
Representatives of Republic also say that diverting the estimated 3,000 daily tons of waste from Sunshine to other local landfills would increase vehicle emissions and isn't a good solution. Among those potential sites is the Chiquita Canyon Landfill which is technically already past capacity and facing its own local opposition.
If the air district adopts this proposal, Republic will have 30 days to file a report on the feasibility of diverting the waste to other locations and would then work with regulatory agencies on an official plan.