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Oceanside’s council majority signs letter opposing landfill

OCEANSIDE — City Council approved sending a letter opposing the Gregory Canyon landfill to the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday.

The proposed landfill would sit on top of the city groundwater basin and next to the San Luis Rey River.

The project was approved by county voters in 1994 and 2004, and is now going through a permit process.

The hope of those opposing the landfill is to stop it. The current window for public comments ends Saturday.

The City Council voted 3-2 to send a letter of opposition signed by Mayor Jim Wood. Councilmen Jerry Kern and Jack Feller voted no.

Those opposing the landfill said it is no longer needed, and poses a threat to the local groundwater supply if the liner the trash sits on leaks.

“You don’t put a trash dump on a riverbed,” Wood said.

Many have stood against the landfill for decades.

Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said now there are additional reasons to stop it. The city has reduced its waste by 75 percent eliminating the need for a landfill, and there is a drought, which heightens the need to protect water supplies.

“A lot of things are different,” Sanchez said. “We didn’t have zero waste, and water is critical. We use the river for about 20 percent of our water.”

Pam Slater-Price, former county supervisor, spoke in opposition to the landfill.

She said it has been rejected seven to eight times by the county.

“It is a completely inappropriate and wrong site,” Slater-Price said. “It’s a ticking time bomb on the banks of a river.”

Slater-Price and others pointed out that voters were misinformed by a persuasive trash crisis campaign when they supported the project.

“There was no trash crisis,” Slater-Price said.

Fellow speakers said they do not want to be known as the generation that let this happen. And pointed out the landfill impacts one of the few aquifers in the county.

Kern said he would abide by the county vote that passed the landfill.

Feller said he believes there is enough science and technology to protect water resources.

Following the vote Slater-Price said she is committed to defeating the landfill and will be at every hearing.

Oceanside Utilities Commission unanimously voted to send a letter of opposition on Tuesday.