The Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills has an odor problem--it's become so smelly that homeowners near the site have filed a lawsuit against the landfill's owners for letting the decomposing trash stink up the neighborhood. The Daily News reports that "residents are forced to keep their windows shut and forgo use of their lawns ... They say they're unable to entertain because of embarrassment over the odor, and the smell has caused their home values to plummet." Republic, the landfill's operator, won't comment on the suit, but in 2011 they did admit they had a problem, while confessing they weren't quite sure of the cause. But now, after 55 citations and fines totaling $450,000, the South Coast Air Quality Management District says that Sunshine Canyon is staring to clean up their act, tackling the source of the noxious gas causing the odor, and working to trap more of the gas at the site. But the pace of progress is too slow for the residents, who have filed thousands of complaints with AQMD. And the residents' suit might just be the start of Republic's legal troubles.
A deputy City Attorney calls the dump "one of the most significant environmental problems in Los Angeles," and has let his "feelings be known [to AQMD] that we have experience prosecuting environmental crimes." AQMD says they aren't "aware of any criminal conduct on the part of landfill operators," but that there's nothing stopping the city from pursuing civil charges. Sunshine Canyon is one of the largest dumps in the country, formed in 2009 when two landfills--one within the Los Angeles city limits and one under the county's jurisdiction--merged operations. Sunshine Canyon takes in 9,000 tons of garbage each day. [Image of landfill via Sunshine Canyon Landfill-
·Sunshine Canyon Landfill stink prompts lawsuit by Granada Hills neighbors [DN]
·What's Dying in Sylmar's Sunshine Canyon Landfill? [Curbed LA]