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Bills Could Bypass Public Debate On Gregory Canyon, Liberty Quarry


Aired 8/26/11

After years of public hearings, the fate of two controversial projects in north San Diego County could be in the hands of the state legislature. A bill to block the Gregory Canyon landfill passed a key vote today.

The Gregory Canyon landfill and the Liberty Quarry have something in common. Developers have spent more than a decade and millions of dollars to get approval, and both projects are now challenged by bills making their way through the state legislature, backed by Native American bands.

One bill, SB 833, by California Senator Juan Vargas, would prohibit construction of the landfill within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River and Indian sacred sites. The bill has already passed the Senate and will go to the Assembly floor after passing a key vote this afternoon.

The second project is the Liberty Mine, a quarry planned just north of the San Diego County line on Interstate 15. It’s proposed on a 400-acre site in Riverside near Temecula, but most of the aggregate from the mine would be used in San Diego.

Granite Construction, the company applying to develop the mine, chose to apply for permits in Riverside County after San Diego County supervisors took more than 20 years to approve a similar project.

The Pechanga Band is backing bill AB 742, which would ban the mine. The operation is proposed for land near the source of the Santa Margarita River where Indian legend has it the tribe was originally created.

Dozens of public hearings on the quarry have attracted up to 2,000 people. The Riverside Planning Commission will cast its final vote on that project next week.

If the state bills seeking to prevent the projects pass both houses, they would then go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. There is no indication what Brown would do if both embattled issues end up on his desk.

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Avatar for user 'info'

info | August 25, 2011 at 5:54 p.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

It is hard to believe, but our duly elected representatives are passing job killing bills and rejecting much needed revenue based on "Legend". A Tribe just needs to say this is "Sacred" ground. I say prove it.

The Governer needs to stand up for his State and it's people and return this bill to the legislature unsigned.

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Avatar for user 'JenniferC'

JenniferC | August 30, 2011 at 7:53 p.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

Sign this petition to protect Gregory Canyon! It is a direct threat to our drinking water!

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Avatar for user 'Terezakis'

Terezakis | September 3, 2011 at 12:11 p.m. ― 5 years, 6 months ago

The communities surrounding the site selected by Granite Construction Corporation have been fighting the proposed quarry since at least 2005. Documentation to this effect is available to the public via PDF of the Temecula City Council. Over 40,000 residents, 500 local businesses, and 140 area physicians have signed petitions protesting the proposed quarry.

On March 8, 2011 the City Council of the City of Temecula passed Resolution No. 11 opposing the Liberty Quarry project after spending $784,000 to annex properties and analyze/debunk Lilburn's EIR paid for by Granite Construction Corporation. Lilburn's motto of "Getting to Yes" gives insight into their methodology. (

It was only after the failure of local communities and local government to stop Granite Construction's plans that the Native American community became involved. Now both Native and non-Native Americans are doing their utmost to prevent the project.

On Wednesday August 31, 2011, the Riverside Planning Commission voted to deny the project as the benefits of the project did not outweigh the risks. (

The Liberty Quarry project would destroy the LAST wild river and LAST coastal wildlife corridor in Southern California. The fact that it contains sites which are sacred to people who have inhabited those lands for 10,000 years is axiomatic and I respect that. Here is something which I understand: All Creation is Divine.

It is time to re-examine our treatment of "undeveloped land" as well as Riverside County's outdated permitting process. The negative effects of eighteenth century attitudes toward our natural world is impacting us all. It is time for a change based on facts: not financial might.

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