One injured after hydrogen peroxide hose bursts at Chiquita Canyon Landfill

An aerial view of equipment along dirt hills.
The rupture of a hydrogen peroxide line appears to be unrelated to an ongoing environmental cleanup effort at Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic, an official said.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A burst hydrogen peroxide line at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill injured one person Friday evening, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether there was any resulting damage at the Castaic facility, but hazardous-material teams from the Fire Department were continuing to clean up as of shortly before 10 p.m., according to agency spokesperson Craig Little.

Firefighters initially responded to reports of an explosion at the landfill at 7 p.m. Friday, but Little said it was soon determined there was no blast. The issue was a mechanical failure of a small high-pressure hose during normal operations.


One landfill employee was taken to a hospital after the hose burst, Little said, but the extent of the worker’s injuries was unknown.

He said no one else was injured in the incident.

The U.S. EPA orders Chiquita Canyon landfill to take immediate action to safeguard the public. Meanwhile, nearby residents have filed suit to close the facility.

Feb. 23, 2024

Little said the burst hose didn’t appear to be related to ongoing cleanup for a fire burning inside the landfill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday ordered Chiquita Canyon to take immediate steps to protect the environment and human health, saying the smoldering facility poses an imminent danger to nearby communities due to hazardous liquid waste and noxious odors.

Scorching temperatures within the dump have increased and expanded since as early as May 2022, when a heat-generating chemical reaction is estimated to have started deep in the landfill. The reaction has caused pressure to build within the 639-acre facility at times, forcing contaminated, piping-hot water to burst onto the surface.

Federal environmental regulators have said this polluted water has contained cancer-causing benzene above federal standards.

Unusual chemical reactions at L.A. County’s two largest landfills raise serious questions about the region’s long-standing approach to waste disposal.

Dec. 12, 2023

Officials and residents have also raised concerns that toxic fumes are drifting from the landfill to nearby communities and that polluted water has been discharged into nearby waterways.


Waste Connections Inc., the landfill operator, is trying to slow and eventually stop the chemical reaction by removing excess gases and liquid, according to landfill officials.

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents communities surrounding Chiquita Canyon, said continued incidents at the landfill like Friday’s “clearly signal that a major change in management and leadership is needed immediately.”

“I have lost faith that the ongoing issues with the landfill will ever be resolved unless those long overdue changes are made,” she said in a statement.

Chiquita Canyon is only one of the county’s dumps facing increased scrutiny.

Sunshine Canyon in Sylmar, the only landfill larger than Chiquita Canyon in Los Angeles County, is dealing with a different environmental crisis: Water intrusion has fueled bacteria growth. The situation has brought months of putrid odors to surrounding communities.

Times staff writer Tony Briscoe contributed to this report.