Sunshine Canyon Landfill, Multiple Environmental Documents

Client: Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI)/Allied Waste

Location: Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles, CA

As one of the 28 environmental documents prepared for Browning-Ferris Industries/Allied Waste, UltraSystems prepared a comprehensive EIR for the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in the City of Los Angeles. The proposed facility would be one of the largest urban landfills in the Southern California region, resulting in a net disposal capacity of 90 million tons and ultimately encompassing ±451 acres, with a planned maximum intake rate of 11,000 tons per day (tpd).

As with any landfill project, public education and outreach become a critical element to the overall success of the development. To facilitate public involvement in and acceptance of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill project, UltraSystems and BFI added onsite ancillary facilities to the development, including both an environmental learning center and a plant material center. The public educational learning center was established to promote recycling, materials recovery, and source reduction activities by increasing public awareness of critical waste management issues and encouraging voluntary public agency participation. Educational programs were implemented, including tours of the landfill facility, to educate children and young adults about the importance of recycling, materials recovery, and source reduction. A plant materials center was utilized for the germination of native tree seed stock (e.g., coast live oak, canyon live oak, big-cone Douglas fir, sycamore, maple, and black walnut trees) and native vegetation gathered in and around the Sunshine Canyon area. These species would be used as part of revegetation programs in Sunshine Canyon. The existing nursery is recognized as one of the largest growers of coast live oak trees in the Southern California region and is considered a high profile area of concern among environmentalists.

Under review authority of the City of Los Angeles, UltraSystems also prepared an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) and Mitigation Monitoring Plan to implement mandatory closure and post-closure maintenance plans for the inactive landfill located in Sunshine Canyon. This landfill consisted of two inactive fill areas, encompassing 205± acres, with a waste placement of 25 million tons. UltraSystems prepared technical analysis of final grading, final cover layer placement, biological impacts in relation to surface water drainage control improvements, and planned revegetation programs. Post-closure maintenance activities for this facility would be for a period of not less than 30 years.