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Bad News Keeps Piling Up For North County’s Gregory Canyon Landfill

The proposed Gregory Canyon landfill in North County continues to get bad news, which makes it even less likely the project will ever get built.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that it was withdrawing the permit application for the project. The Corps said that Gregory Canyon Ltd., the company that wants to build landfill, failed to provide the information needed to complete its evaluation.

San Diego County voters approved in 1994 building the landfill about three miles east of Interstate 15, along the San Luis Rey River, and then again in 2004.

But since then the company behind the proposal has had several setbacks, including financial troubles that led three investors in February to file for bankruptcy protection.

The county’s Air Quality Control District also canceled processing the company’s permit in January when it fell behind on more than $300,000 in fees. The Corps’ decision Monday to withdraw the company’s permit application added to the proposed landfill’s woes.

Gregory Canyon itself is considered sacred ground by the Pala Indians. KPBS "Morning Edition's" Deb Welsh spoke to Pala's environmental director, Shasta Gaughen, about the Corps’ action.

What do you make of the corps' withdrawal of the application permit?

This is just another sign that the financial situation for Gregory Canyon Ltd. has just gotten that much worse. They've been promising they're getting new financing for the last six to nine months and obviously that financing hasn't come through, which is why the application got pulled.

What do you expect to happen next or do you have any idea?

We're not sure what's going to happen. Our hope is that there will be no future financing, which means that the project won't move forward.

I know that Gregory Canyon Ltd. has said that they're still trying to secure financing. If that happens they may reactivate the application. If they do, we will continue to oppose it they way we have from the beginning. And if not, then we'll celebrate finally putting the final nail in the coffin.

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