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Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo Calls for State of Emergency in Response to Chiquita Canyon Landfill Crisis

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO– Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo today announced a significant step towards addressing the severe environmental and public health crisis at the Chiquita Canyon Landfill by formally requesting Governor Gavin Newsom declare a state of emergency in Los Angeles County. This request comes in response to ongoing underground chemical reactions within the landfill, which have significantly impacted the surrounding communities since 2023.

Residents of Val Verde, Castaic, and students of nearby schools have been subjected to prolonged exposure to harmful emissions, leading to a range of health issues including headaches, nausea, asthma, and heart palpitations. A community survey conducted by Assemblywoman Schiavo's office highlights the extent of the crisis, with nearly all respondents reporting direct health impacts.

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department's declaration of Chiquita Canyon as a public nuisance, along with elevated findings of benzene and carbon tetrachloride, underscores the urgent need for action. As efforts by the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Los Angeles Regional Water Control Board continue working to address these issues, the landfill's containment challenges persist, posing an imminent threat to public health and the environment.

The situation has escalated to the point where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Unilateral Administrative Order, indicating a significant risk to public health and the environment. While a multi-agency critical action team led by the EPA is working to coordinate a response, the community's need for support remains pressing. The state's assistance is crucial for relocation services and additional actions to mitigate the landfill's impact.

Assemblywoman Schiavo's request for a state of emergency declaration is a call to action to ensure the safety and well-being of our community facing this crisis. The Assemblywoman stands with the community, advocating for prompt and effective solutions to safeguard public health and the environment.

The full request to the Governor can be found HERE.


Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 40th Assembly District, representing the Northwest San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. Upon her election, she was appointed as Assistant Majority Whip by the Speaker of the Assembly and now serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. Prior to her election, Assemblywoman Schiavo was a Nurse Advocate and Small Business Owner who worked in the labor movement for more than 20 years. Throughout her career, Assemblywoman Schiavo helped deliver healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, to more than one million people and fought to put critical dollars in the pockets of workers. In the Northwest San Fernando Valley, she co-founded an organization that helped secure housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness, co-founded an organization that delivered more than 50,000 meals to people in need, and increased resources to help keep our communities safe. Assemblywoman Schiavo lives in Chatsworth with her daughter Sofia where they love to hike in the Santa Susana Mountains.