The site proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill would negatively impact a sacred site of the Luiseño tribes of Pala Indians. San Diego County’s environmental impact report for the landfill admits that these impacts cannot be fixed. The proposed landfill site is also on a natural aquifer and near the San Luis Rey River, both important sources of drinking water for North County.
Landfills are an outdated way of handling waste. With higher recycling rates than ever and improved waste reduction strategies, the county does not need another place to bury its trash.
The hearing is at the California Center for the Arts, at 340 North Escondido Blvd. in Escondido.
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.
Besides the tribes fighting this effort, San Diego’s Environmental Health Coalition has joined the fight. The EHC will present its continued opposition to the Gregory Canyon Landfill at the public hearing on Thursday. EHC’s most recent look at the project revealed disproportionate environmental burdens on people of color and low-income people.
In the seven existing or proposed landfills in the county, five (including Gregory Canyon) are located in areas where poverty levels exceed the national average. Six of the seven (Including Gregory Canyon) are in zip codes where the average percent of people of color is higher than the County average.
The EHC says that this is environmental injustice, a trend in San Diego County, that must be stopped.