L.A. to Pay $1,000 a Day for Dump Emissions

The city of Los Angeles has agreed to pay a $1,000 penalty for each day it fails to meet deadlines in installing an expanded system to control methane gas emissions at Lopez Canyon Landfill in Lake View Terrace, city and regional air quality officials said Wednesday.

That amount will be included in a civil agreement between the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the City Bureau of Sanitation to be presented to the City Council next month, AQMD chief prosecutor Diana Love told a community meeting at the office of Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Sylmar). Love said the civil agreement will contain the same provisions as a proposed settlement that will be presented to an AQMD hearing board, which has been investigating noxious fumes at the landfill.

Both the agreement and the order include gas-control measures added at a meeting set up by Katz last week between AQMD and city officials and the public.

Already included in the agreement with the city is a provision that the city pay a $5,000 fine for each day it violates state laws on gas emissions at the landfill. This money would go into a community fund that would be administered by Councilman Ernani Bernardi, Katz told about 25 members of the public at Wednesday night's meeting.

The separate $1,000 payment for each day of violations would go to the AQMD.

Love called the agreements the most stringent imposed on any dump in the AQMD's jurisdiction.

Rob Zapple of Kagle Canyon, who has led the neighborhood fight against the landfill, questioned the $1,000 amount, saying "it's not even chump change to the City Council." But Love said that at $1,000 daily, "That's $30,000 a month, folks. And that's a lot of money."

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