Thursday, March 6, 2014

3:00 p.m. until 5:00* p.m.
Knollwood Country Club
12024 Balboa Boulevard, Granada Hills, CA 91344

Maria Armoudian,   Ken Ashford, Becky Bendikson (Chair),   Jeanette Capaldi,   Gale Gundersen,

Wayde Hunter (Vice Chair & TAC Representative),   Josh Jordahl (Treasurer & TAC Alt.), Joe Vitti


A.  Call to Order, Roll Call, and Approval of January 9, 2014 Minutes.

B.  Old Business.  Discussion and possible action:

  • Outstanding administrative matters (Chair).
  • Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer).
  • Conduct election of CAC Officer for Secretary.

C.  New Business.  Discussion and possible Board motions & action to address the following:

1.     Browning-Ferris Industries/Republic Services Inc (BFI/Republic) report on Sunshine Canyon

Landfill (SCL) activities and operations (20 mins).

2.     South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) report on SCL odor complaints received including charts of year-to-date including, any other matters within their purview  Board motion: To request SCAQMD open proceedings for a new  Order of Abatement (20 mins).

3.     Sunshine Canyon Landfill-Local Enforcement Agency (SCL-LEA) to report on SCL inspections carried out, and other matters within their purview (15 mins).

4.     City & County Planning Departments to report on SCL matters within their purview (5 mins each).

5.     Other persons representing the City, County or State who wish to report any additional information or subject matter relating to SCL that is within their purview that has not been agendized for this meeting.  If necessary, discussion and action will be agendized for another meeting (5 mins).

D.  Public comment on items Not on the Agenda.

*Note: Speakers cards will be available at the meeting.  Each person wishing to address the Committee is asked to complete the form and submit it to the Vice Chair at the beginning of the meeting.  Speakers will be given three minutes each, time permitting.  Time may also be reduced if there are additional uncarded speakers wishing to speak at that time (maximum 10 mins).

E. Set next meeting date (May 1, 2014), & adjourn at 5:00 p.m. (followed by a 5 min. break).

F.  Special Overtime Discussion of Budget, Banking & Financial Matters (5:05 p.m – 5:35 p.m).

  • If necessary. Staff or public presence optional (30 mins).


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Meeting handout materials are provided to the public at the meeting, and any underlined written reports or documents referenced above can be accessed online by title at one of the following websites: then click on the About Us on the top of the home page.  Next click on the Documents tab, and then on the related document.  Alternatively, select Departments on the top of the home page, then click on the appropriate Agency tab, and then on the related document. then click on the Special Projects link on the left side of the home page.  Next click on the appropriate document in a list of documents presented at the bottom of the page.

If you require special accommodations, please contact Maria Masis at the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning at (213) 974-6435 or via e-mail with at least three business days notice.

For further information contact Becky Bendikson at 16911 San Fernando Mission Blvd,

Box 412, Granada Hills CA 91344 or call Wayde Hunter at (818) 363-3597


plasticbagThe City of Los Angeles is proposing to adopt and implement an ordinance to ban single-use plastic carryout bags, charge a fee on paper bags, and promote the use of reusable bags at specified retailers in the City of Los Angeles. The Final EIR is available at City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, 1149 S. Broadway, 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015; at under What’s New…; and at the following public libraries:

  • Central Library, 630 W 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071
  • Van Nuys Branch Library, 6250 Sylmar Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91401
  • West L. A. Regional Branch Library, 11360 Santa Monica Bl., Los Angeles, CA 90025
  • San Pedro Regional Branch Library, 931 S. Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
  • Granada Hills Branch, 10640 Petit Avenue, Granada Hills, CA 91344
Posted:   12/19/2012 11:14:59 PM PST

A group of Granada Hills neighbors has filed a lawsuit against Sunshine Canyon Landfill, accusing the operator of allowing noxious trash odors to stink up the community.

Landfill neighbors say an unbearable stench of decomposing trash and gas fumes is coming from the trash site, which takes in more than 9,000 tons of garbage a day.

Residents are forced to keep their windows shut and forgo use of their lawns, according to the complaint, which was filed last week. They say they’re unable to entertain because of embarrassment over the odor, and the smell has caused their home values to plummet.

The lawsuit, which seeks damages, states the community is being exposed “to pollutants, horrific odors, and air contaminants.”

The legal action comes after residents had already filed thousands of complaints with the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Continue reading


The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will hold a public consultation meeting to discuss:

The proposed Renewal and Revision of Titie V Permit, including installation of a new flare at Sunshine Canyon Landfill, and

The proposed Title V Permit to Construct for a landfill gas to energy project proposed by Sunshine Gas Producers, LLC, for which a public notice was distributed in February 2012.

Click here for the meeting agenda.

The place and time of the public consultation meeting are as following:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences, Theater
10455 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344


In the face of numerous complaints and violations, Sunshine Canyon Landfill has organized an ‘odor patrol team’ to sniff out olfactory offenses in the Granada Hills North neighborhood. But its efforts haven’t always passed residents’ smell test.

Dennis Montano stood on a corner in Granada Hills one recent brisk morning, lifted his nose to the sky and sniffed.

“Right now, I don’t smell anything,” Montano said.

That was good news for the embattled Sunshine Canyon Landfill. The disposal site operates roughly a mile away in Sylmar but has roiled the Granada Hills North neighborhood with a potpourri of foul smells. In the face of numerous complaints and dozens of public nuisance violations, the company has organized an “odor patrol team” in an effort to improve community relations and comply with state regulations.

As a member of the company’s team, the 32-year-old Montano has found himself on the front line of a pungent conflict. Sunshine operators insist that odor patrols will help fan the quality of life downwind, but some residents charge that they are simply for show and accomplish nothing.

“As far as neighbors are concerned, it’s a sham,” said Wayde Hunter, president of North Valley Coalition of Concerned Citizens Inc., a nonprofit group that has been fighting the dump for more than two decades. “They have zero credibility in the neighborhood. If you ask anyone in the community about the team, they’ll tell you that what they’re doing is basically B.S.”

Formally launched in 2010, the patrols are intended to head off complaints by detecting problem odors early.

If an odor is sensed, the monitor notifies site staff who conduct an on-site odor survey to determine the source and identify what immediate steps can be taken to mitigate it. They check the environmental control systems for any disruptions, and sometimes contractors are called in to make temporary fixes ahead of permanent repairs, operators say.

“We want to be good neighbors,” said Patti Costa, environmental manager for the landfill, which is operated by Republic Services Inc. a Phoenix-based solid waste collection and disposal company. “We want to solve this issue. We don’t take it lightly.”

Working five-hour shifts that typically begin at 5:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. and cover between five and 10 miles, Montano stops at 13 locations in the Granada Hills North neighborhood.

His first location for gauging odors is in front of Van Gogh Elementary School. He uses an anemometer to determine altitude, latitude, longitude, relative humidity and the direction and speed of the wind.

On this particular morning, the wind was blowing from the north at 3.3 mph, the temperature was 55.5 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity was 23.6%.

Montano entered the information into an iPad before again taking a whiff. He then employed a “Nasal Ranger,” a portable odor detection and measuring device that resembles a bullhorn. Pressing the instrument to his nose, he inhaled a few times and twisted a dial at the end of the device, which is embedded with carbon filters. The higher the number on the dial, the more distinct the odor, Costa explained.

Montano, who used to work in inventory control for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said he applied for the odor management team job after being tipped off by a friend. He took the prerequisite “sniff test,” formally known as an Odor Sensitivity Test Kit, and passed with flying colors, Costa confirmed.

“I actually didn’t know about my nose until I interviewed and took the test,” Montano said.

But Montano isn’t the only one with a keen sense of smell.

In 2011, 1,565 odor complaints against Sunshine Canyon were lodged with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, up from 613 the year before and 310 in 2009, according to state statistics. Last year’s figure represented around 20% of all air quality complaints the agency received from operations under its jurisdiction. So far this year, at least 182 complaints have been made against the landfill, which disposes of up to 10,000 tons of trash per day on 363 acres.

The smells were primarily from rotting garbage or landfill gas — “a sickly sweet type of odor” — said Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the air quality management agency.

To comply with an abatement order issued in 2010 and most recently amended in December, the landfill is taking several actions before a February deadline. Among them: instituting a robust gas collection and destruction system, including installing a temporary gas flare to destroy excess landfill gas; conducting a 12-month study to analyze potential air toxins; hiring an independent consultant to do environmental monitoring and take corrective action; and designating staff to be on call 24 hours a day to investigate and, where feasible, immediately remediate the source of odors.

The company is also taking other mitigation steps, such as installing “dust bosses” that spray a fine mist into the air to trap odor particles before they can disperse, and planting scores of oak trees to help block smells, Costa said. She urged residents to utilize a 24-hour complaints hotline.

Though the landfill operator was taking odor complaints seriously, Costa said it was possible some of the scents were caused by other non-landfill sources, such as skunks, fertilizers and sewers.

But resident Ralph Kroy scoffed at that notion. Kroy, whose house sits across from Van Gogh Elementary, said he had no doubt where the stink was coming from.

“It’s a darn nuisance,” said Kroy, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1968 and lodged dozens of odor complaints over the years. “You go outside … and oh my gosh.”

Nor was he impressed by the new odor patrols.

“They can’t collect anything,” Kroy said. “The smell is still there.”

Click here to download the entire recording (over 4 hours)(63 Mb)

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[audio:|titles=Dec 3 2011 – Part 2 of 6]

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Sunshine Canyon Landfill could take in up to 57 million tons more trash than officials have predicted, potentially extending the life span of the Granada Hills dump far past the 26 years that are expected, according to a consultant hired by dump opponents.

At the request of attorneys hired by local activists, Wisconsin-based landfill engineer J.W. Spear analyzed trash decomposition and compression to show that Browning Ferris Industries underestimated the dump’s 90-million ton capacity and 26-year life span. Longtime Granada Hills activists in the North Valley Coalition now have the backing of national environmental giants, the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council, plus the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents BFI’s workers, in their fight over Sunshine Canyon.

Spear’s report was submitted to Los Angeles County officials this week. The county’s Regional Planning Commission is considering a new land-use permit for Sunshine Canyon Landfill today.

The newly formed coalition of residents, environmental groups and organized labor is pushing for a guarantee that the landfill will close when it reaches 90 million tons or after 26 years – as officials have always estimated. Currently, the permit allows BFI to keep adding trash until the dump is full – even years longer than anticipated.

“A closure date would be advantageous and give an end point to the agony that surrounding communities have suffered,” said Jan Chatten-Brown, an attorney representing Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources, or POWER.

The Teamsters local, whose contract with BFI expires in 2007, decided to join to coalition because its members are residents of the community, said spokeswoman Leigh Strope.

“They are concerned about the impact this landfill is having on the health and safety of their families and their children.”

In Sun Valley, the Teamsters have rallied to support BFI competitor, Waste Management, which has proposed to expand Bradley Landfill and build a transfer station.

BFI District Manager Greg Loughnane said the POWER coalition’s request is misguided. The closure date is an estimate. The landfill’s permit regulates the footprint of the dump, not its capacity or life span.

“Market conditions will dictate when the landfill will close,” he said.

Carlos Ruiz, with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ Environmental Programs, said his group’s previous analysis conflicts with Spear’s report. County analysts found Sunshine Canyon Landfill can take about 92 million tons and last an extra year or two at the most.

BFI is seeking a new land-use permit to combine two separate dumps – one in county jurisdiction and one in city jurisdiction – into one massive landfill. The joint landfill could take in up to 12,100 tons of trash per day, generating an estimated 2,500 truck trips a day.

A judge Friday temporarily halted the beginning of construction on the expansion of Sunshine Canyon Landfill into 200 acres of Los Angeles County-controlled land above Granada Hills.

Construction was set to start Monday–two weeks before a lawsuit opposing the dump expansion is scheduled to be heard.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald M. Sohigian issued a temporary restraining order halting the project at the request of the city of Los Angeles, which is suing Los Angeles County and Browning-Ferris Industries, the landfill’s owner.

The city of Los Angeles will receive more than $500,000 for environmental and community programs and pay “competitive” trash disposal rates under an agreement finalized Friday to reopen the controversial Sunshine Canyon Landfill above Granada Hills.

The agreement also calls on the owner of the dump, Browning-Ferris Industries Inc., to drop a $400-million lawsuit against the city, according to sources and city reports. Continue reading