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Stockton Landfill Neighbors Oppose Expansion Plans Due To Water, Trash Concerns

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Neighbors of a Stockton landfill that is looking to expand are raising a stink about the proposal, saying it's contaminated their water and sends trash blowing on their properties.

Nadia Perez says ever since she moved into her house near the Forward Landfill off  Austin Road, she's had to use bottled water for just about everything.

"It looks clear, and it looks fine, but I don't know, it just has a weird smell to it," she said as she held a glass of tap water.

For decades, bottled water has been provided to residents near the landfill because gases seeped into the groundwater making it unsafe to drink.

"There's an increased cancer risk with those chemicals," said San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department spokesman Robert McClellan.

But the landfill has plans to expand it's operations to hold even more trash. The Board of Supervisors plans a vote on the airport's safety concerns next week.

"They are removing up to 250 gallons a day and treating it, so they feel pretty confident they are improving the condition out there," said McClellan.

But the expansion also has the nearby Stockton Metro Airport raising a stink. Airport officials say the trash attracts seagulls that put their pilots in danger. Several bird strikes have been reported.

"They currently have a program that consists of falcon ears, and they also use remote control planes that harass the gulls," said McClellan. "It has been effective at controlling the birds on site."

But people who live and work nearby say the landfill hasn't done enough, and they believe if it's allowed to get bigger, it will put them in even more danger.

"I wouldn't want it to expand with he size it is right now," said Perez.

Residents say they will be attending next week's meeting in hopes of stopping the landfill's plans.

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