Army Corps Withdraws Permit Application for Riverfront Garbage Dump

Today, the developers trying to build the troubled Gregory Canyon landfill project in northern San Diego County got some unwelcome news when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its withdrawal of the project’s Clean Water Act permit application. NRDC has opposed this project for many years due to its impacts on the San Luis Rey River and its watershed and Gregory Mountain, one of the sites held most sacred by the Pala Band of Mission Indians and other Luiseño tribes in San Diego County.

In its press release, the Army Corps stated that it “is not making a decision at this time as we do not have the information we need to conclude the analysis.” If the landfill developer, Gregory Canyon Ltd. (GCL), wants to continue the permitting process at some point in the future, it would need to re-submit its application package and include updated technical information.

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for the troubled landfill project. In January, the San Diego Air Pollution Control District cancelled GCL’s air permit application on account of owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in late payments to the District. And in February, three of the project’s original investors filed a Chapter 11 petition seeking bankruptcy protection. The judge dismissed the bankruptcy proceeding in March because GCL failed to comply with the court’s orders, so the developer did not end up disclosing any of its financial information. In the end, though, these agencies’ actions speak volumes: it’s clear that GCL can’t pay its bills and is in serious financial trouble.

For the moment, as I said last month, all permits are on hold -- including the big one, the Army Corps permit, which is now "officially" on hold. We will continue to monitor this situation and report as new developments arise.