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One person injured in Chiquita Canyon landfill accident caused by bursting hose

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An incident at the Chiquita Canyon landfill in Castaic has left one person injured after a hydrogen peroxide line burst on Friday evening. The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the scene, where hazardous-material teams are currently working to clean up the aftermath of the mechanical failure.

Initial reports of an explosion at the landfill turned out to be a false alarm, with the issue being identified as a burst high-pressure hose during routine operations. The injured landfill employee was taken to a hospital, although the extent of their injuries remains unknown. Fortunately, no one else was harmed in the incident.

This incident comes amidst ongoing concerns about environmental hazards at Chiquita Canyon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered the landfill to take immediate action to address hazardous liquid waste and noxious odors that pose a threat to nearby communities. The landfill has been experiencing a smoldering fire since 2022, resulting from a heat-generating chemical reaction deep within the site. This reaction has caused pressure to build up, leading to contaminated water bursting onto the surface, carrying cancer-causing substances like benzene.

Residents and officials have raised concerns about toxic fumes and polluted water affecting surrounding areas, prompting Waste Connections Inc., the landfill operator, to work on mitigating the chemical reaction. L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has called for urgent changes in management at the landfill, citing ongoing issues that continue to impact the community.

Chiquita Canyon is not the only landfill facing scrutiny in L.A. County. Sunshine Canyon in Sylmar is grappling with a different environmental crisis involving water intrusion and bacteria growth, resulting in foul odors for nearby residents.

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This is a developing story, and the Los Angeles Times will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

Times staff writer Tony Briscoe contributed to this report.

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Two individuals sought for causing damage to popular rock formations at Lake Mead

lake mead rocks being damaged 0424

Las Vegas — Federal authorities are seeking the help of the public in identifying two men responsible for damaging rock formations at a national recreation site in Nevada.Officials at Lake Mead National Recreation Area announced on social media that the incident occurred over a recent weekend near the Redstone Dune Trail on the north side of the lake. The petrified red dunes in this area are a popular hiking destination within the park.A video shared by CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV, which has since gone viral, shows two men pushing chunks of sandstone off an outcropping while a girl can be heard screaming. Park officials have condemned this behavior as appalling, emphasizing that the damage caused is irreversible.


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An image from a video recorded on the evening of April 7 shows two men vandalizing popular rock formations.
National Park Service / Facebook

“It’s one of my favorite places in the park, and they’re up there just destroying it. I don’t understand that,” said John Haynes, public information officer at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in an interview with television station KVVU.

Haynes also emphasized that destruction of this nature at federally protected sites can lead to felony charges, resulting in potential fines and jail time. Spanning 2,344 square miles of mountains and desert canyons, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a popular destination just outside Las Vegas, attracting around 6 million visitors annually. Due to staffing levels, park officials often rely on the public to help monitor resources within the park boundaries.

Visitors are urged to use their cellphones to capture videos or photos of any suspicious activity, provided it is safe to do so, and to gather any information, such as license plate numbers, that could aid in identifying the offenders. The National Park Service operates a tip line that receives numerous submissions each year. The tip line number is 888-653-0009, and an online reporting option is also available.

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“It’s crucial to inform us of any such incidents,” Haynes added.

Over the past decade, there have been several cases of vandalism on federal land across the Western United States, with visitors defacing petroglyphs, toppling rock formations, and damaging centuries-old rock art.

 

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