Scholl Canyon landfill

A worker keeps an eye on incoming vehicles while a bulldozer works trash into the Scholl Canyon landfill on Saturday, October 25, 2008. (Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer / April 11, 2014)

Eagle Rock residents near the access road for the Scholl Canyon Landfill, who felt they had been kept out of the loop regarding a possible expansion of the facility, will now have until July 31 to give their input on a draft environmental impact report.

The 535-acre Glendale landfill will reach capacity in 2021 if 1,400 tons of trash are trucked in daily. Glendale officials are analyzing two options, which would expand the landfill’s life by 13 to 19 years and increase the height of the landfill by about 12% to 1,705 feet above sea level.

For Eagle Rock residents, though, the main concern is how the expansion will affect the area near Eagle Rock Canyon and what the city of Glendale plans to do to mitigate those impacts, two concerns some feel aren’t properly addressed in the draft report.

“This was slipping right through without any input from Eagle Rock,” said Eric Warren, president of the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society, who along with others encouraged Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar to lobby for an extension to the comment period, which was originally set to close in early May.

Eagle Rock residents have long been frustrated by the Scholl Canyon Landfill, dealing with the negative effects of trash trucks driving through their canyon to a dump that doesn’t serve their city. Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and several unincorporated areas use the landfill, which brings the city of Glendale roughly $7.5 million in revenue a year.

In an email to the Historical Society listserv sent a few weeks ago, Warren called the Scholl Canyon access road a “dangerous, filthy, and ugly trash conveyor.”

“The conveyor of trash runs right through a neighborhood that is culturally and environmentally impacted,” Warren said by phone Friday, stressing he was speaking as an individual and not in any official capacity.

The environmental impact report, in Warren’s opinion, doesn’t do a thorough job detailing the impacts of the alternatives on Eagle Rock nor the mitigation steps Glendale would take to fix them.

The report does note, however, that the alternatives could increase traffic noise for residences near Scholl Canyon Road between the Ventura (134) Freeway and the Eagle Rock Substation if tonnage exceeds 2,600 tons per day. If the noise exceeds 65 decibels, which is about the sound of a washing machine, then an acoustical analysis to determine the source and impacted areas should be done, followed by the establishment of noise barriers, structural upgrades or traffic controls, according to the impact report.

The first alternative involves an approximately 11.5-million-cubic-yard vertical expansion, while the second includes both horizontal and vertical extensions equaling about 16.5 million cubic yards. About 9 acres of hillside would be cut if the second option is selected.

The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council also plans to submit a comment about the proposed alternatives, but is waiting to hear from community members first about the expansion plans. The neighborhood group may discuss the environmental impact report at its July 1 meeting at 7 p.m. at Eagle Rock City Hall, 2035 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles.

The city of Glendale hosted a community meeting about the proposed expansion last month in which Scholl Canyon residents shared their concerns. Some suggested Glendale close off the landfill to other clients to extend its life without an expansion project. Residents also advised the city review new trash disposal methods other than storing. Glendale officials have been reviewing alternative trash disposal methods for several years, but have yet to implement a new process.

The environmental impact report is just one of many steps before any action to extend the life of the landfill can be taken. Glendale officials are not seeking to pull permits for the project in the near future and they have been discussing the expansion for more than seven years.

The cost of the expansion, and how it will be funded, has yet to be determined.

Comments must be sent to Debra Bogdanoff at 1955 Workman Mill Road, Whittier CA 90601 or emailed to sclfeir@lacsd.org. Bogdanoff can also be reached at (562) 908-4288, Ext. 2734.

To read the report, visit bit.ly/OLuTGz.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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