SOURCE SOUGHT AS ODIOUS ODORS PLAGUE SCHOOL.Byline: Beth Barrett Staff Writer
GRANADA HILLS - Noxious noxious adj. harmful to health, often referring to nuisances. odors Odors
Medicine. the absence of the sense of smell; olfactory anesthesia. Also called anosphrasia. — anosmic, adj.
bad breath; an unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth. have beset Granada Hills repeatedly in the past month, raising residents' concerns about nearby Sunshine Canyon Landfill - although the most likely culprit is a city green waste recycling plant.
On Monday, the smell of decomposing vegetation from the recycling plant, where more than 300 tons of green waste from the west San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. is processed daily, prompted widespread complaints.
Air quality officials inspected the city plant and said citations might be issued as early as today.
At Van Gogh Elementary School elementary school: see school. , just a half-mile from Sunshine Canyon, three incidents of an unidentified gaslike smell have been reported in the past month.
Landfill operators said the odor was not related to their operation, although they acknowledged that four regulatory agencies cited them for violations recently, including for failure to monitor subsurface sub·sur·face
Of, relating to, or situated in an area beneath a surface, especially the surface of the earth or of a body of water.
Adj. 1. probes for seven months.
``We're going to end up having a gated community gat·ed community
A subdivision or neighborhood, often surrounded by a barrier, to which entry is restricted to residents and their guests. . You'll have to pay to get out,'' sniped North Valley Coalition spokeswoman Mary Edwards, among residents who protested Saturday at Sunshine Canyon Landfill for rigorous inspections and oversight at the dump.
Residents questioned whether various regulatory agencies are adequately dealing with their concerns, which have been heightened by scheduled massive expansion this summer of the landfill operated by Browning Ferris Industries of California Inc. Expanding the dump to 451 acres and 90 million tons of waste will eventually bring it closer to nearby homes.
BFI BFI - brute force and ignorance spokesman Arnie Berghoff said Monday that while there's no excuse for the new violations, they were of a ``minor nature'' that posed no danger to residents, and were corrected as they were identified.
Meanwhile, the city's green waste recycling plant above Rinaldi Street currently takes in 300 to 350 tons of household clippings and municipal tree trimmings per day, saving the city $2.5 million per year, officials said.
But savings weren't the first thing on the minds of Van Gogh Elementary students, parents and teachers, who have reported a gaslike smell on three occasions, beginning March 21 and most recently Wednesday and Thursday. Neither district officials nor South Coast Air Quality Management District The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), formed in 1976, is the air pollution agency responsible mainly for regulating stationary sources of air pollution for most of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside County, and all of Orange county. officials have been able to pinpoint the source.
The school, despite its proximity to the landfill, has no air monitoring system. Berghoff, BFI's spokesman, said the dump is not the source of the odors, and does not have a ``smell problem.''
Wherever it comes from, the smell is nasty, said Principal Donna Zero, who opened classrooms early one day so the students wouldn't have to remain outside. ``You didn't want to sit out there and voluntarily breathe it,'' she said.
``I would like to find out if this is something I should be concerned about with the kids. The safety of the kids is our first priority. If there's danger, we want to know it.''
Dick Torchia, elementary director of school services http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Schools_Collection_May_2007_2.JPGSchool Services are a business unit of the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa). They provide curriculum and advisory services to support New Zealand schools. , said the district is looking into acquiring a monitoring system, but said he didn't know the details or how quickly one might be installed.
AQMD AQMD Air Quality Management District
AQMD Action Quake Map Depot supervising inspector Mohan Nagavedu said, however, that the gas needs to be identified first because monitoring systems are designed to detect specific gases.
``We need to find first what's coming in over there,'' said Nagavedu, who said he responded with another inspector to the school, but that the odor had dissipated by the time they arrived.
Zero said she has been instructed by district officials to keep a log of future incidents, and has a list of phone numbers so she can call inspectors immediately if the gas smell reoccurs. On Monday, residents living in southeastern Granada Hills - a community that abuts open space used by utility plants and the city's recycling program - complained of a strong odor.
An AQMD inspector pinpointed the source as the city's green waste recycling facility after receiving more than a half-dozen complaints from people living in the vicinity of Danube Avenue School.
Matt Wood, green waste recycling coordinator, said the facility was shut down early Monday after a southerly wind carried the smell of decomposing vegetation over a ridge line and into surrounding communities.
Equipment operator Mike Kaufman said crews were spraying the site with biodegradable deodorizer deodorizer or deodorant, substance used to absorb or eliminate offensive odors. Disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and chlorine compounds eliminate odors caused by microorganisms. to neutralize neutralize
to render neutral. the stench.
Wood said the facility had similar problems when it opened in January 1998, but hasn't had any again until Monday.
The AQMD's Nagavedu said an inspector was unable to detect the odor at Danube Avenue School, adding that if he had, the health department would have been contacted.
The AQMD was among the agencies who over the past several months have cited BFI for failing to monitor and collect samples from two subsurface probes intended to detect potential gas migration from the dump.
Kim Yapp, health inspector A health inspector, or Environmental Health Specialist is a public employee who investigates health hazards in a wide variety of locations, then will take action to mitigate or eliminate the hazards. for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) in Los Angeles County's department providing public and personal health services to the over 10 million residents in the County. , called the failure to monitor the probes between August and March 27 ``very serious.''
``We don't have any information (at those points) for seven to eight months,'' Yapp said.
After a March 26 inspection, Yapp also wrote up BFI for improper storage and labeling of hazardous wastes at the site.
BFI has challenged a high methane gas reading, saying it is not landfill gas.
The county's Department of Regional Planning regional planning: see city planning. on April 5 issued a notice of violation, saying the operators had 30 days to show they were in compliance with their conditional use permit, or would risk steep fines and other penalties ranging up to revocation The recall of some power or authority that has been granted.
Revocation by the act of a party is intentional and voluntary, such as when a person cancels a Power of Attorney that he has given or a will that he has written. of their permit.
Berghoff said the notice amounted to a ``form letter,'' and that BFI either had, or shortly would, submit its report to the county.
He said other violations had been corrected.
``Should a label have been on it (the hazardous waste container)? Sure,'' Berghoff said. ``One was put on immediately.''
Van Gogh Street School Principal Donna Zero says parents, students and faculty have been complaining about an unidentified stench wafting through the campus of the Granada Hills elementary school campus for weeks. The likely source is the city's green waste processing site nearby, say officials.
Gus Ruelas/Staff Photographer
Map: Van Gogh Elementary School