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Panel Delays Vote on Sunshine Canyon Probe

March 30, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A state legislative panel postponed a vote Wednesday on investigating the city's expansion of Sunshine Canyon Landfill, after city officials complained they had not been given a chance to defend the decision to lawmakers.

While saying he is committed to seeking the state audit, Assemblyman Scott Wildman (D-Los Angeles), who chairs the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, said he agreed to a request by city officials to meet and allow them to try to answer questions he might have about the expansion.

"I felt that if the city of Los Angeles has something it wants to say to me, that I should sit down with them and hear them out," Wildman said.

Some backers of the landfill expansion said Wildman was also motivated to delay the matter because he does not have the eight votes needed on the 14-member committee to order the audit.

Only eight committee members attended Wednesday's session in Sacramento, and one landfill supporter said only two of those present are firmly committed to the audit.

The City Council voted in December to permit Browning Ferris to expand the landfill into Granada Hills, drawing a lawsuit by neighbors of the landfill claiming that the city failed to adequately consider the health impacts of the expansion as well as alternatives.

The state audit proposed by Wildman would look at those issues.

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