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Sunshine Canyon Dump Needs to Be Stopped

January 23, 1994

* Don P. Mullally's Jan. 9 commentary on the Sunshine Canyon Landfill is filled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and omissions. For instance, the expansion Mr. Mullally speaks of is, in reality, a new landfill. The old landfill closed in 1991. The new one will not be contiguous to it.

The wilderness Mr. Mullally says will be lost is a forest of over 20,000 trees (8,000 of which are oak) and 11 acres of wetlands. His claim that this area is already degraded is wrong. It is intact except for the sections Browning Ferris Industries, the landfill's owner and operator, saw fit to violate. Mr. Mullally would be able to see this for himself, except that the land is privately owned. Visitors are not allowed.

The Sunshine Canyon Landfill will uproot thousands of animals and stop animal migration between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Sunshine Canyon will be operated by BFI. It has one of the worst violation records in the United States. What makes Mr. Mullally think they will adhere to the mitigations agreed upon? To date, the violations in the closed dump are still outstanding, and the agreed-upon mitigations remain on the printed page.

Sunshine Canyon will contaminate ground water and probably the nearby reservoir that holds the drinking water for 3.5 million people.

For these and other reasons, this landfill is opposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sierra Club, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Citizens for a Better Environment, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Park, Heal the Bay, LASER, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment, the Los Angeles City Council, the North Valley Coalition and other associations and environmental groups.

Like other associations battling BFI landfills across 11 other states, the North Valley Coalition will continue to fight Sunshine Canyon Landfill.

ESTHER SIMMONS

North Valley Coalition

Granada Hills

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