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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Continued Monitoring of Landfill Encouraged

November 12, 1998

CALABASAS — After meeting with officials from the National Park Service and several environmental agencies, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) said the key to ensuring the safety of the Calabasas Landfill was careful monitoring.

Neighbors of the 505-acre dump said independent monitoring of ground water--in addition to testing by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, which runs the landfill--would give people "a greater degree of confidence in the data," said Janice Lee, a resident and an environmental consultant to the city of Calabasas.

Sherman called the Tuesday meeting to discuss community concerns about the landfill, which accepted hazardous waste for 15 years, until 1980. The park service is on the verge of granting the Sanitation Districts a five-year operating permit for the landfill, which sits on national parkland.

Last month, an environmental assessment of the dump concluded it had no significant impact on the environment. Evidence of chemicals found in ground water outside the landfill, however, sparked concern among residents.

None of the ground water in the area is used for drinking, but some people feared that it could contaminate the Malibu watershed. Robert Sibilia, the mayor pro tem of Calabasas, said he felt better after hearing from the various local, state and federal regulators with jurisdiction over the landfill. Nonetheless, he said, "I still feel, deep down inside, that we need some independent verification of what they're telling us."

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