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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | Countywide

County Board Hears Landfill Complaints

April 08, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

A group of Santa Paula-area farmers and residents fed up with the stench, dust and ravens coming from the expanded Toland landfill aired their concerns Tuesday before the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

County planners noted during a status report on the landfill that it has been meeting all permit requirements. And officials of the Ventura Regional Sanitation District, which runs the dump, said it is already intensely scrutinized.

"We think Toland is a model landfill, one of the most inspected landfills in the country," said Bill Smith, the sanitation district's general manager.

But some who live nearby pleaded with county leaders to try to do more to control the birds, debris and odors from the dump.

"We still continue to experience problems in the farms around the landfill," farmer Gordon Kimball told the board. "We have ravens flying around our ranch and defecating on our orchards."

After his presentation, in which he also complained of finding wind-scattered old checks and records from the dump strewn about his property, Kimball picked up a black garbage bag and laid it at Smith's feet.

"We believe this belongs to you," he said.

Supervisor Kathy Long, who represents the landfill area, said afterward that she wants county officials to continue monitoring the landfill. She said she also wants officials to look into what could be done to better control dust, which farmers say contributes to the spread of crop-damaging mites.

And with the raven population near the dump expected to increase, Long said she would like to see more efforts made to keep the birds out before they breed and introduce their offspring to the dump.

"We don't want a coot shoot here," Long said, "but we don't want the situation to worsen."

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