One More Setback For The Riverfront Dump; One More Triumph For The Pala Tribe And NRDC

Last Thursday, the proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill endured yet another setback when the County of San Diego rescinded its determination that a key permit application for the dump was "complete and correct," agreeing instead with the Pala Band of Mission Indians and NRDC that the application was incomplete and riddled with errors.

As I blogged about previously, the landfill’s original operating permit was invalidated by the court in June of this year on the grounds that it improperly relied on faulty CEQA documentation.  But that wasn’t the only problem with the application underlying that permit.  In fact, it was filled with other serious errors, like failing to demonstrate whether the landfill company, Gregory Canyon Ltd. (GCL), has enough insurance to cover major accidents on site, or whether it has enough funding for the site's long-term care and maintenance.

On June 24th, GCL re-submitted virtually the same application, including the same errors, to the County, which rubber-stamped it as “complete and correct” apparently without reading it.  It took detailed letters by the Pala Tribe and NRDC, pointing out the errors and calling for a public hearing, to get the County to take a second look.  In response, the County immediately reversed its decision and deemed the application “incomplete,” which means GCL now has six months to supply the County with all of the required information and give an accurate accounting of its ability to finance and insure the dump.

The County made a big mistake when it issued this permit the first time around based on an insufficient CEQA analysis, and if the Pala Tribe and NRDC hadn’t double-checked its work, the County would have done it again.  But now they know we're watching, and our numbers are growing -- as evidenced by the June 3rd Army Corps hearing when the public turned out in droves to oppose this ill-advised project.  As I blogged here, here, here, and here, this is the worst possible place for a garbage dump, and we will keep fighting for the San Luis Rey River and sacred sites like Gregory Mountain until we convince everyone, including the County of San Diego.