A sea of people ready to voice their opinions against the quarry wore orange shirts in solidarity and filled Monday, which held the fourth planning commission meeting regarding the proposed quarry.
Topics being dicussed were mainly geological in nature and featured a range of speakers and conflicting reports.
The lengthy geology talks took up most of the morning and the meeting did not finish, despite lasting well into the evening.
The engineering firm Kleinfelder hired geologists to run tests on the proposed site to ensure the mine will not adversely affect water sources, vegetation or create earthquakes.
Audience members rumbled and applauded during the discussions while analysts stood at the podium and offered different explanations to questions posed by commission members.
The proposed quarry has been a hot button issue because residents are worried that the effects the mine would produce would be devastating to the health of Temecula citizens, air quality and property values. To read more, click .
“I live in Vail Ranch and the quarry would be in my direct view from my front yard. I look up now and see the Rainbow Gap and feel the breezes everyday,” citizen Eric Filsinger said.
A geologist hired by Kleinfelder explained that testing done on the geology around the proposed site indicates that water does not travel through the rock system, there is limited ground water at the site and the blasting would not create an earthquake hazard.
“Evidence from the site investigation shows an insufficient fracture system to transmit water. Furthermore the investigation demonstrated limited groundwater at the site,” Russ Keenan explained.
“Also, the United States Geological Survey stated that operating a mine and blasting events do not cause earthquakes,” Keenan said.
A nearby resident and hydrology specialist was called up to respond to the engineering spokesmen claims.
“I spoke to an arborist who is an expert on live oaks. That area is full of oak trees. Oak trees need anywhere from 200 to 700 gallons of water a day,” Howard Omdahl explained.
"The fact that there are Oak trees everywhere on that mountain indicates connectivity and that there certainly is water there,” Omdahl added.
Another expert said he debunked Granite Constructions claims, calling into question the timing of their water testing.
“The test only took place in mid-summer over a two-week period,” Dr. Kerry Cato said.
“They never attempted long-term in ground water level and activity and they force fitted the program to do what they wanted it to do,” Cato added. “I would have re-done the entire test.”
Local resident Kathleen Katz echoed those sentiments.
“These people aren’t local. When your are local you are in tune with the subtle things about the environment. We all know water flows up there and in the oddest places.”
“Many Temeculan’s moved here for the breeze that comes into our valley by way of the Rainbow Gap. That is right where the mine will be,” Katz said. “We moved here for the good air.”
The meeting ended without a resolution and a fifth meeting is scheduled for August 15 at 9 a.m. at the same location, Rancho Community Church.