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April 11, 2024

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Approves Audit of Sunshine Canyon Landfill

Tuesday, April 9, the Board of Supervisors directed an audit of Sunshine Canyon Landfill through a motion authored by Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath and Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The audit will study odor mitigation measures following historic rains that have increased odor issues, impacting the neighboring Granada Hills community.

“Odor issues at Sunshine Canyon have persisted for too long with too little improvement,” said Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “Los Angeles County is calling for an independent study to hold the operator accountable for making the changes the residents deserve, and that make this site resilient to the new normal of intense storms made worse by climate change.”

“At its heart, this motion is about getting an objective assessment of how we can mitigate and eliminate the odors impacting the community surrounding Sunshine Canyon Landfill,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “This County is no stranger to having to help communities impacted by landfill odors emitted by these privately run facilities. In my experience, having an independent root cause analysis performed as quickly as possible is key. We need that information to both hold landfill proprietor accountable and involve relevant State agencies to monitor and make corrections as quickly as possible."

Sunshine Canyon is Los Angeles County’s largest landfill by annual tonnage, located in the West San Fernando Valley, and operated by Republic Services. In 2023, the number of complaints received by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) increased by 163% year-on-year, leading the SCAQMD to issue nearly 63 odor-related violation notices. This trend has continued with more than 678 complaints and 26 violations issued in the first quarter of 2024.

The goal is to build on mitigation efforts underway, including installing larger drain pipes, gas wells, and odor-suppressing misters while identifying long-term, permanent odor mitigation measures before the end of 2024 and the traditional wet weather season.

Through the motion, the Department of Regional Planning, Department of Public Works, and Department of Public Health, as part of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Technical Advisory Committee, will:

  1. Engage an independent technical expert to provide an assessment of the odor issues that occurred at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill between 2023 and 2024, a diagnostic of which remediation actions worked, and which did not, and recommendations for the near- and long-term, operations of the landfill to ensure these odor issues are effectively addressed.
  1. Coordinate with the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Local Enforcement Agency and South Coast Air Quality Management District to seek the independent review and expert opinion of CalRecycle on lasting solutions to resolve odor issues.
  1. Report back to the Board within 30 days with a strategy to procure this external technical review, ideally through an existing contracting mechanism where costs are borne by the landfill operator or state regulators.
  1. Report back to the Board within 150 days, and before the start of the traditional rainy season, with the findings and recommended operational changes at Sunshine Canyon Landfill.
  1. Continue to regularly convene the Sunshine Canyon Inter-Agency Working Group until odor issues are resolved.

Click here to read the motion.

Mailing address:
16911 San Fernando Mission Blvd, PMB 137
Granada Hills, CA 91344-4250
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