Odor Complaints and Public Nuisance Violations

Members of the public within SCAQMD's four-county jurisdiction (Orange County and urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties) are encouraged to report air quality problems they observe to 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or via SCAQMD's online complaint report form, for investigation by SCAQMD inspectors.  As the following graph shows, since 2009 SCAQMD has received increased numbers of complaints against Sunshine Canyon Landfill (SCL) alleging the landfill as the source of nuisance odors.

SCL Complaints Graph

Inspectors must confirm odors in the presence of sufficient numbers of public complainants, each at their own residence or workplace, then trace the odors to the operation of a unique source -- excluding other potential sources via upwind/downwind surveillance -- before enforcement action can be taken against the verified source of odors.  Based on this evidence, an SCAQMD inspector may issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) against the source of nuisance odors for creating a public nuisance, in violation of SCAQMD Rule 402 (PDF) and California Health and Safety Code Section 41700.Link to external website.

Click here (PDF) for the most recent summary of complaints alleging SCL as the source of nuisance odors, and of  Notices of Violation issued to SCL for creating a public nuisance (and other violations). 
Click here (PDF) for the most recent monthly report of complaints alleging SCL as the source of nuisance odors. 


SCAQMD retained Yazdani Consulting and Hydro Geo Chem Inc. to evaluate and identify potential improvements in the design and operation of the SCL landfill gas collection system to reduce gas emissions and odors.  Click on the links below to view their reports.

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South Coast Air Quality Management District

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