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Gregory Canyon Landfill Hits Another Hurdle

The site of the proposed Gregory Canyon landfill is shown in this undated photo.
Nicholas McVicker
The site of the proposed Gregory Canyon landfill is shown in this undated photo.

Gregory Canyon Ltd., the company with plans to build a new landfill in North County, is not throwing in the towel, in spite of the latest obstacle. Three major investors have filed for bankruptcy protection. More than $60 million has been invested in project planning over the last 20 years, so pulling out would be a difficult decision.

Back in 1994 voters first approved going ahead with the Gregory Canyon landfill. San Diego County residents approved it again in 2004. Now in 2014, the company still doesn’t have several key permits.

In fact, San Diego County’s Air Quality Control District cancelled its permit processing last month, after the company fell behind on more than $300,000 in fees.


Opponents of the project include the city of Oceanside, which is investing millions in purifying groundwater from the San Luis Rey basin for its water supply. The landfill site sits upstream and, in spite of state-of-the-art liners in the plans, critics of the landfill say it would eventually leak.

The nearby Pala Band, which considers Gregory Canyon sacred ground, is also opposed. Shasta Gaughen of the band said the bankruptcy shows more than that the company is in financial difficulties.

“To us it also indicates that they’re having trouble finding investors who believe in the viability of the project,” she said.

In the last 20 years water, the amount of waste being dumped in landfills has decreased dramatically, and the value of clean groundwater has risen.

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