Stop the Gregory Canyon Landfill: Send Army Corps of Engineers Email Today

by on June 17, 2010 · 6 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, Health, Organizing, San Diego

gregory canyon landfill map

Progressives and environmentalists all over San Diego County are being urged to send emails and letters to stop the movement toward creating a North County landfill in Gregory Canyon. The deadline is June 18th, so we at the OB Rag are urging our readers to send emails out today – June 17th.

The proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill is an environmental disaster in the making and would ruin sacred Native American lands.

Unfortunately, voters overwhelmingly approved the rezoning and usage of this site for a dump, but many were not informed of the unique and hazardous risks involved in locating it in this particular area, nor were local Indians galvanized against it at that time.

Gregory Canyon is the worst possible location for a landfill for a multitude of reasons. One of the most compelling is its placement on top of fractured bedrock, under which flows the San Luis Rey River. When (not if) the “protective” liner leaks, it will release unimaginable and unsustainable levels of super toxic pollutants into the water supply for 200,000 Oceanside residents, as well as for local valley farming activities.

The landfill would be situated south of state Route 76, roughly three miles east of Interstate 15 in a canyon adjacent to the Pala Indian Reservation. Members of the Pala Indian tribe consider Gregory Mountain sacred. The Pala band has spent millions of dollars over the past decade fighting the plans.  Other San Diego County tribes have recently joined this opposition.

Pala tribe chairman, Robert Smith told the Union-Tribune:

“The Gregory Canyon landfill is a terrible and unnecessary project. If built, it would desecrate Gregory Mountain and other areas considered sacred by the Luiseño people.”

Vice Chairman Leroy Miranda added:

“Because (the mountain) is there, we know we have a place to serve and pray to God. If it’s destroyed and a landfill is built there, you wipe that all away.”

Some local politicians have also joined the opposition. County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood both are saying that the landfill is no longer needed because so many people are now recycling.  Wood, to the U-T, declared:

“Who … picked this spot? They couldn’t have picked a worse spot.”

The Army Corps of Engineers is about to embark on a yearlong environmental study of the proposed dump, as The Corps controls one of the many permits that developers must receive before starting construction.

This is why it’s important for you to please take a moment of your time and email a letter of opposition to Spencer.D.MacNeil@usace.army.mil

or send your comments to the following address:

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, LOS ANGELES DISTRICT

REGULATORY DIVISION-VENTURA FIELD OFFICE

ATTN: CESPL-RG-N-2010-00354-SDM

2151 ALESSANDRO DRIVE, SUTE 110

VENTURA, CA 93001-GREGORY CANYON LANDFILL PROJECT COMMENTS

Two weeks ago, 300 opponents showed up at a San Marcos hearing on the landfill, many wearing T-shirts that read “Save Gregory Canyon” on the front and “Stop the Dump” on the back.  Here is the signonsandiego report:

Gregory Canyon landfill foes turn out in force

By J. Harry Jones / Union-Tribune/ Originally posted June 4, 2010

NORTH COUNTY — A determined and virtually united crowd opposing the long-planned but still-unrealized Gregory Canyon landfill in North County jammed the San Marcos Senior Center on Thursday night.

More than 300 people came to the meeting hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers, which is about to embark on a yearlong environmental study of the proposed dump that has been the dream of developers for nearly 20 years.  Many in the crowd wore T-shirts that read “Save Gregory Canyon” on the front and “Stop the Dump” on the back.

The Corps controls one of the many permits that developers must receive before starting construction. The meeting was held so that the public and elected officials could suggest matters the Corps should consider before making a decision.

The landfill would be situated south of state Route 76, roughly three miles east of Interstate 15 in a canyon adjacent to the Pala Indian Reservation.  It would also sit near the San Luis Rey River, which provides water for hundreds of thousands of North County residents and farmers.

Opponents have long said that no matter how well designed, a landfill will eventually leak pollutants into the ground and the river.

Members of the Pala Indian tribe consider Gregory Mountain sacred. The Pala band has spent millions of dollars over the past decade fighting the plans.

“The Gregory Canyon landfill is a terrible and unnecessary project,” said the band’s chairman, Robert Smith. “If built, it would desecrate Gregory Mountain and other areas considered sacred by the Luiseño people.”

Added Vice Chairman Leroy Miranda, “Because (the mountain) is there, we know we have a place to serve and pray to God. If it’s destroyed and a landfill is built there, you wipe that all away.”

Others, including county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, said the landfill is no longer needed because so many people are now recycling.

And even if it were needed, Wood said, why place it next to a river? “Who … picked this spot? They couldn’t have picked a worse spot.”

During a break, Gregory Canyon Ltd. spokeswoman Nancy Chase said nothing new was being said at the hearing. Gregory Canyon Ltd. is the would-be developer.

“We’ve been to these public hearings before,” Chase said. “We expected a lot of people. I think the Corps is doing a great job of going through the process. Right now, North County trash is going everywhere but North County. It’s going to Orange County, to Arizona, to Otay Mesa. Despite what we have heard tonight, we are running out of capacity. You have to plan more than 20 years ahead.”

This is why it’s important for you to get your email and/or letter out today. The deadline is June 18 for public comments.

tip of ye ol hat to The Progressive Post a North County progressive website.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Editordude June 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Hey Boys and Girls: DO YOU SEND YOUR EMAIL TO ARMY CORPS of engineers?

Reply

avatar Frank Gormlie June 18, 2010 at 9:59 am

Please stop Gregory Canyon landfill – send email today to Army Corps of Engineers.

Reply

avatar JEC June 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

How Republican – just say no. I share many of these concerns, but it’s far from unnecessary – be honest we (that’s our society, including the native casinos) produce hugh amounts of trash. Miramar is on it’s last legs. Gregory Canyon has been studied for more than a decade. Conclusion – in a crowded world there is no perfect place – just a place. If not Gregory Canyon, then where? Take responsibility, provide an alternative – just saying no avoids responsibility and is so Republican (that’s why they sell so well among the less responsible).

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avatar fss June 20, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Stop the land fill! There is one thng good about it, landfills are making jobs for our grandchildern. They will have to do the clean up for our mistakes.
But what do we do with the trash we generate? There has to be an alternative How about trash to energy. Incinerate now that will be a bear to site but it is a viable alternative and the technology is there but it is expensive.

Reply

avatar Bob Wallace July 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm

As a representative of a national consulting firm that specializes in environmental, solid waste and recycling matters, including issues such as landfill facility siting studies, we see these types of situations everyday across the United States and while I share many of the concerns as metnioned, our nation, including the native casinos – (The Pala Band’s large Casino is no exception) produces large amounts of waste. Both the Miramar and Puente Hills landfills near the City of Indsutry are quickly running out of diposal capacity. Orange County is adopting, or has adopted, an ordinance prohibiting the acceptance of Out-of County waste. Sycamore Landfill has limitation and other disposal alternatives become extremely costly, i.e. shipping waste to landfills in Arizona. As such, and as Gregory Canyon has been studied for more than a decade, it provides one of the best alternatives for Southern California waste. As someone stated already: “In a crowded world there is no perfect place – just a place. If not Gregory Canyon, then where?” Opponents of the Gregory project need to take responsibility and accountability and assist in providing viable disposal alternatives – and not just Grandious (and expensive) “Zero Waste” plans – the end does not justify the means at this time so alternative disposal solutions must be identified. Gregory Canyon will that void for the foreseeable 35-50 years for the region.

Reply

avatar fss July 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Bob
Great comment “if not there where” Until we, the country’s citizens, stop producing waste and begin to take responsibility for what we do produce or allow the siting of a trash to energy facility we are going to have land fills. I have worked to site waste water treatment plants and no body wants someone else poo in their back yard but we all produce it.

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