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Residents Urge Independent Monitoring of Landfill

November 13, 1998|SUE FOX

After meeting with federal and local officials this week, some residents said they still would like to see independent environmental monitoring of the Calabasas Landfill.

Representatives from the National Park Service and several environmental agencies met with residents at a Tuesday meeting arranged by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) in response to community concerns.

Some residents who live near the 505-acre dump said independent monitoring of ground water--in addition to what is done by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, which runs the landfill--would give people "a greater degree of confidence in the data," said resident Janice Lee, an environmental consultant to the city of Calabasas.

Sherman called the meeting--attended by about 25 people--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 county a five-year operating permit for the landfill, which sits on national parkland.

Last month, the Park Service released a lengthy environmental assessment of the dump and concluded that it had no significant impact on the environment. Evidence that chemicals had been found in ground water outside the landfill, however, sparked concern among residents. None of the area's ground water is used for drinking, but some feared that it could contaminate the Malibu watershed.

The meeting was closed to reporters because participants said they believed that the media would hamper open discussion, said Susan Little, an aide to Sherman.

After the meeting, Calabasas Mayor Pro Tem Robert Sibilia said he felt better after hearing from the various local, state and federal regulators with jurisdiction over the landfill.

Sherman said, "We, as a community, need to keep monitoring the monitors."

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