- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a notice of violation to Republic Services for odor issues at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, calling the site a "nuisance affecting the health and well-being of residents," as reported by Montrose Patch.
- Republic maintains that it's in compliance with all permits and has spent $27 million since 2009 to improve the site. Yet complaints have increased and officials say the odors are getting worse. If Republic doesn't respond within 30 days they will be fined $1,000 per day and the site's conditional use permit could potentially be revoked, as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News.
- County staff have also been asked to review the Chiquita Canyon Landfill's conditional use permit due to similar issues, as well as conditions at the Scholl Canyon Landfill.
The county increased pressure on Republic over the summer as complaints continued but this new step is a notable escalation. Republic says that 70% of the nearly 5,000 calls made between 2009 and 2014 were from the same 20 addresses, many of which are involved in an ongoing class-action lawsuit. At one point reducing capacity by sending material to other local landfills, such as Chiquita Canyon, was also discussed.
Yet Chiquita Canyon has surpassed its permitted capacity and residents are eager for it to close after a promise made by the local government nearly 20 years ago. Operator Waste Connections has proposed an expansion which would increase the site's acreage and double its daily intake through 2037. The Scholl Canyon Landfill has been less controversial and local officials recently agreed to conduct a feasibility study on building a yard waste digester to extend the site's capacity.
Despite advances in gas collection technology and landfill design, odor complaints remain an ongoing issue at many sites throughout the country. Though for now, it seems that the potential cost of lawsuits and required mitigation upgrades are still outweighed by the profit from tip fees.