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Oceanside May Weigh In On Gregory Canyon Landfill

Photo by Promise Yee

Oceanside City Hall is shown, Oct. 2015.

Oceanside is considering adding its two cents on the development of the Gregory Canyon landfill. The project, which has been in the works for two decades, recently avoided bankruptcy and is now re-applying for permits.

Both the Oceanside City Council and the city's Utilities Commission meet this week to decide whether to write a letter of objection during the current 30-day comment period, following an environmental review of the project.

They will consider if there is a true need for a landfill with ongoing trash reduction, and how the landfill could effect the local water supply.

The landfill would sit next to the San Luis Rey River, which feeds into a groundwater basin used by the city as a water source.

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

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

City water utility director Jason Dafforn said Oceanside currently extracts 15 percent of its potable water from the groundwater basin and plans to extract more.

If the city was unable to use local groundwater, water costs would go up $5 million a year, he said, and that cost would be passed on to ratepayers.

"The impacts, potential pollutants, and contamination of the groundwater supply could be a very large detriment to our ability to produce water locally here in the city of Oceanside, and be able to stabilize our rates for ratepayers,” Dafforn said.

The city’s utilities commission has taken a position in opposition to the landfill in the past, since it could negatively effect both city groundwater and ocean waters if there is a future contamination leak.

The City Council did not take a stand during a former comment period.

The landfill was approved by San Diego voters county-wide in initiatives in 1994 and 2004.

The window for submitting comments to the Army Corps of Engineers closes this Saturday, Oct. 24th.

Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1.eqcpn


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