Assemblywoman Schiavo Calls for State of Emergency Over Chiquita Canyon Landfill Health Crisis


Mar 13, 2024 - Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo has requested Governor Newsom declare a state of emergency due to the severe environmental and public health crisis at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill. This follows ongoing concerns about harmful emissions impacting surrounding communities.


Since 2023, underground chemical reactions within the landfill have released hazardous substances, affecting residents in Val Verde, Castaic, and nearby schools. Community members have reported headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and even heart palpitations. A survey by Assemblywoman Schiavo's office found nearly all respondents experiencing health issues.


The Los Angeles County Public Health Department declared the landfill a public nuisance, highlighting the situation's gravity. Elevated levels of benzene and carbon tetrachloride further underscore the public health risks.

Despite efforts by the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Los Angeles Regional Water Control Board, the landfill's containment problems persist. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a mandatory order citing the imminent threat to public health and the environment.


While a multi-agency response team addresses the situation, the community's need for immediate support remains critical. Assemblywoman Schiavo's request for a state of emergency emphasizes the need for:

Relocation assistance: Residents directly affected by the pollution require support in finding new housing.

Additional mitigation measures: Further actions are necessary to minimize the ongoing environmental impact of the landfill.


This request serves as a call to action for the state to prioritize the safety and well-being of the impacted community. Assemblywoman Schiavo stresses the urgency of immediate and effective solutions to safeguard public health and protect the environment.


Recent Developments:

  • The landfill's permit expansion request was rejected by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control cited the landfill for improper handling of leachate.

  • The EPA highlighted the dangers the landfill poses to surrounding air and water.

  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger requested relocation assistance for affected residents.

  • The landfill launched a website offering relocation aid and other programs to address the pollution.


The Chiquita Canyon Landfill situation demands a swift and comprehensive response to alleviate the health risks faced by the surrounding communities and ensure long-term environmental protection.