Where Is Councilmember Huizar on Dump Expansion?

Eagle Rock Dump ExpansionBigger Trash Pile, More Trucks and Air Pollution in Northeast L.A. Unless City Says No, and Means It

This Thursday, July 31, residents of Eagle Rock and surrounding areas will meet to express their concerns about the expansion of the Scholl Canyon Dump at a forum hosted by L.A. City Councilmember Jose Huizar. One question is hanging over the event. Where does Huizar stand?

Huizar represents District 14, covering the northeast corner of Los Angeles including much of Eagle Rock. The dump has loomed over the community for more than 50 years. It lies north of the Ventura 134 Freeway. Main user of the dump is the City of Glendale. Each week, trucks dump more than 33,000 tons of Glendale’s trash in the canyon.

Glendale refused to carve a road to the dump in its southeastern corner when the dump opened in 1961. The only access road for garbage trucks to the massive dump is within L.A.’s Council District 14, off Figueroa Street in Eagle Rock.

All trash to the dump passes through Los Angeles, in dirty diesel-burning dump trucks. Another fact adds insult to injury: For over three decades, the L.A. sanitation district, which oversees the dump, has banned L.A. city from using the dump.

Deliveries of trash to the dump, now at about 800 tons per day, could double or triple under the proposed expansion. A larger dump and more trash will worsen air quality, noise levels, and traffic congestion in Eagle Rock.

When the dump was initially built, Glendale officials pledged its closure within years. But now Glendale wants to move the goal posts once again, prolong its use from would-be closure in 2021 to as many as 19 years more, or 2040. Glendale has proposed two options for enlarging the dump. Each option would increase the height of the garbage pile by 180 feet, the height of a 16- or 17-story building.

Deliveries of trash to the dump, now at about 800 tons per day, could double or triple under the proposed expansion. A larger dump and more trash will worsen air quality, noise levels, and traffic congestion in Eagle Rock.

Residents living in communities on all sides of the dump, in southeast Glendale, southwest Pasadena, and Los Angeles are expressing grave concern about the dump. Glendale’s draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) concludes that dump expansion will inflict “significant unavoidable adverse impacts related to air quality,” meaning that there is no way to prevent the air quality in Northeast L.A. from getting worse if the dump is expanded, even after efforts to limit the scope and severity of pollution, called mitigations.

On July 10, the city of Pasadena filed a point-by-point attack on Glendale’s report, citing repeated woeful deficiencies and demanding responses. Glendale officials have not responded to Pasadena’s detailed criticism.

Eagle Rock residents below the entrance to the dump breathe dangerous levels of diesel exhaust from dozens of noisy, lumbering trucks entering the dump each day. Twenty-five years ago, the Centers for Disease Control declared diesel exhaust a carcinogen. All pollutants from the dump fall heaviest on Eagle Rock, where air-quality measures like ground-level ozone and fine and coarse particles that damage people’s lungs already rank among the worst in California.

Councilmember Jose Huizar pushed to extend the EIR’s public comment period to August 31. Residents and community activists are urging him to do more. He could declare the health of Eagle Rock residents, including the children and seniors most at risk from pollution caused by the dump, to be worth protecting. He could order a point-by-point response by Los Angeles to Glendale’s EIR, as the city of Pasadena has done. And he could oppose the dump, as every major community organization in Eagle Rock has done, including the local Democratic club, East Area Progressive Democrats, The Eagle Rock Association, the Eagle Rock Historical Society, and the Women’s 20th Century Club of Eagle Rock.

lazaro-cuevasThe July 31 community meeting is at the Eagle Rock Recreation Center, 1100 Eagle Vista Drive, in the Community Room at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Get there early. Scores of residents are coming out to stop the dump expansion. Many would be very interested to learn exactly where Councilmember Huizar stands.

Lazaro Cuevas

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Comments

  1. Suzanne says

    When the dump is already in your backyard, you’re no longer a NIMBY. If the dump is expanded, there’s a much greater chance of negative effects on ER than if the dump is closed on schedule. While you make a good point about freeway pollution, we cannot get the freeway relocated. We can, however, try to stop expansion of the dump. If Glendale needs more room for their garbage, they should try looking in the backyards of their own residents, and see how far they get. Talk about NIMBY.

  2. -Nate says

    I used to live right near Scholl Canyon Dump and no, it didn’t affect the neighborhood as you falsely claim ~ much more Diesel fumes and dust etc. come from the 134 freeway going by Eagle Rock even closer than the dump is .

    I think you’re another N.I.M.B.Y. here , let’s see how this all shakes out .

    -Nate

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