Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor candidates Kathryn Barger and Darrell Park will have a debate and answer questions at a candidates forum starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Church Everyday in Northridge.

North Valley issues expected to be discussed include the gas leak at the Southern California Gas Company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility near Porter Ranch, and the Sunshine Canyon landfill located between Sylmar and Granada Hills.

The gas leak, which was discovered Oct. 23, 2015 and capped on Feb. 18, released an estimated 95,600 long tons and 107,000 short tons of methane and 7,200 long tons and 8,000 short tons of ethane into the atmosphere. It is considered the worst single natural gas leak in U.S. history.

In September, SoCalGas was fined $4 million after pleading no contest to one misdemeanor count of failing to report the October 2015 leak immediately.

The Sunshine Canyon Landfill has been inundated with complaints of noxious fumes and rotting garbage odors coming from the 362-acre dump, the largest in LA county and owned by Republic Services. Since 2009 to last month, the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing board has received 9,224 complaints, from mostly the Granada Hills and Sylmar areas.

The landfill handles approximately one-third of the daily waste of all of Los Angeles County and receives roughly 8,300 tons of waste per day, or more than 2.3 million tons annually. 

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander recently submitted a motion supporting the action taken by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directing the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to investigate odor complaints at Sunshine Canyon Landfill.

Additionally, the motion requests the City Attorney, with the assistance of any other City of Los Angeles Departments, and the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Local Enforcement Agency, provide assistance, as necessary, in support of the County’s inquiries by the Public Health Department relative to the Sunshine Canyon Landfill, and look into any other possible action.

Other topics will include Santa Susana Field Lab cleanup, and water and utility fees.

In addition to the debate, both candidates will address the audience from the stage.

The debate moderator will be David Holtzman from the League of Women Voters.

For the past 15 years, Barger has been the chief of staff under Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who is retiring after 36 years due to term limits.

Park served two Presidents in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Since moving to Los Angeles County over a decade ago, he has divided his time between helping clean energy start-up companies, teaching, and writing.  

Debate sponsors include the Korean American Coalition, Korean American Federation of L.A., and North Valley Voters Alliance, in conjunction with the League of Women Voters.

Church Everyday is located at 17037 Devonshire St., in Northridge. The doors open at 3 p.m.