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Decision on Landfill Expansion Delayed

Water panel wants more time to review possible health hazards at the Sunshine Canyon dump.

September 12, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Amid concerns about potential public health hazards, a local water board agreed Thursday to delay a decision on a planned expansion of Sunshine Canyon Landfill into Granada Hills.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board voted to delay a decision for 60 days after a marathon meeting at the Metropolitan Water District headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

During the session, the board heard testimony from 35 community residents and numerous local officials asking the board to deny Browning Ferris Industries permission to expand its trash-dumping operation by 450 acres from unincorporated county property.

Chairwoman Susan Cloke said that the board had decided to wait for the results of preliminary data surveys regarding incidences of cancers and the high rate of low birth-weight newborns, respiratory diseases and other health issues among community residents and their possible relationship to the existing landfill.

Greg Loughnane, district manager for Browning Ferris' Los Angeles operations, said that concerns regarding hazardous materials were addressed in two environmental impact reports issued in 1993 and 1999.

"We are somewhat baffled" by the board's delay in making a decision, he said.

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