- Republic Services has obtained new information on odor complaints made about its Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Los Angeles. The company says that 70% of the nearly 5,000 calls made between 2009 and 2014 were from the same 20 addresses, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
- More than 9,000 calls have been made to the South Coast Air Quality Management District since 2009 and 183 included notices of violation.
- While the company doesn't discount these concerns it also noted that many of these people are part of a 2012 class-action lawsuit and could stand to benefit from their complaints being validated by the air district.
The 362-acre Sunshine landfill is the largest landfill in Los Angeles County, receiving up to 9,000 tons of waste per day. Republic has spent $27 million on a variety of mitigation measures after reaching an agreement with the air district in 2011, but the complaints continue. A second nuisance abatement order is being considered along with a limit of operating hours, though Republic says this is unlikely to make a difference.
The company has said the air district should consider a revised order of abatement to improve gas collection. Michael Antonovich, a member of the county's Board of Supervisors, plans to file a motion on Oct. 4 calling on county officials to look at issuing notices of violations and review the landfill's conditional-use permit for "enforcement tools to eliminate landfill odors."
Community opposition to odor issues is common at sites throughout the country and in many cases this is driven by a small group of highly motivated individuals. Whether that means they're misrepresenting the scale of the problem, or speaking up for neighbors who may not have the time to get involved, is often debated in these situations. Questions of validity aside, this highlights the importance of not taking the total number of complaint calls at face value without more information.