In the Los Angeles Times article “BKK Proposes ‘Benign’ Arcadia Quarry Dump” (San Gabriel Valley section, Sept. 5), BKK spokesmen spoke of a landfill within six months under a 10-year agreement that would fill the quarry pit before development there. The plan sounds so innocent and envisions such a good land use. Why is it that it reminds me of the BKK dump in West Covina? A sanitary landfill once sounded like a clean operation.
What happened? Why did it end up as the largest toxic waste dump in the country, leaking and emitting toxics into the community? It, too, was supposed to be safe. It was to be closed in 12 years (10 years ago) and we were to have a golf course, bird sanctuary, etc. Instead, we ended up with toxic spills, dangerous trucks, harmful emissions, horrible odors, evacuations, recalls, meddling by BKK in city elections--all because of two small dump sites in 1963 which were quickly going to be filled and developed.
Mayor Forrest Tennant is mistaken to say that BKK’s problems in West Covina have arisen because homes were built near the dump, not because the dump was poorly run. The truth is that before BKK’s cash registers started ringing, there were already 55,000 residents in West Covina plus thousands in nearby Valinda who would be affected by BKK. I doubt anyone is happy with the “well-run” dump’s horrible chemical odors or leaks.
Contracts, promises, words of safety from BKK sound great. Reality is different.