On January 31, the Army Corps of Engineers will hold a hearing to receive comments from the public regarding whether to grant a permit to the proposed Gregory Canyon landfill in north San Diego County. The hearing provides the public the opportunity to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed landfill prepared and released by the Army Corps pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. This is a fight that has been going on for over two decades between deep-pocketed investors with no regard for the impacts of a landfill in Gregory Canyon and a vast coalition of Native American tribes, conservationists, and public health and wildlife advocates.
The Army Corps of Engineers has been working on this permitting process for 2.5 years after it was determined that the project could affect the San Luis Rey River, a designated national waterway.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians along with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Health Coalition, the Sierra Club, RiverWatch and other concerned groups and individuals urge the Army Corps to reject the permit application because the landfill is not in the public interest. Denial of this permit could finally end the more than two decades of fighting to stop the project.
The proposed landfill could not be situated in a more inappropriate site. Gregory Canyon drains to the San Luis Rey River, a source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of San Diego County residents. The landfill site would almost certainly contaminate the river, and also threatens two existing pipelines that transport drinking water into the county. The canyon also serves as critical habitat for at least 150 wildlife species, including four federally listed endangered species. Most offensive of all, burying 30 million tons of garbage in the canyon would desecrate Gregory Mountain and Medicine Rock, two sites sacred to Native Americans.
“The fight to save Gregory Canyon has lasted nearly a quarter of a century, but the Save Gregory Canyon Coalition’s resolve is as strong as ever,” said Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. “We will do whatever it takes to make sure that the Army Corps understands that garbage and water do not mix, and putting a dump on the banks of the San Luis Rey River and on the sides of Gregory Mountain is not in the public’s best interest.”
You can view the Army Corp's draft EIS here: http://www.pcrnet.com/GC/DEIS/_Start_Menu.html.
For more information and to sign a petition to oppose the project please go to: www.savegregorycanyon.org