Gregory Canyon landfill is BAD for Oceanside

My name is Linda Walshaw. I am a Vice-President of the Alliance of Citizens to Improve Oceanside Neighborhoods ( “ACTION”). Collectively, ACTION represents 42 Oceanside communities.

Those of us who attended Oceanside City Council and community meetings regarding the Gregory Canyon issue heard experts, scientists, engineers and political leaders give evidence and reasons WHY we should oppose the building of a toxic waste dump at Gregory Canyon. We heard testimony that it is not a question of whether or not the planned liner of the dump would leak, it is only a question of WHEN. We heard that no matter what technology is used to prevent such an occurrence, no technology can guarantee against future disaster.

One argument alone should be that of simple common sense. California has earthquakes. California has droughts and water shortages. Why on earth would anyone want to place a hazardous waste dump directly on the San Luis Rey River and acquifer on which Oceanside’s population relies for 20% of its current water supply, with plans to increase that reliance to 50% in the future? A water source that flows directly to our beaches and harbor.

Recent news articles indicate that developers have spent in excess of $67 million in efforts to build this proposed dump at Gregory Canyon. Common sense must ask why, if developers had that sum of money to spend, they would not simply spend it on acquiring and going forward with the project at another location . . . one that would pose no threat to our critical source of water? Why not work WITH the communities involved to accomplish the same purpose without endangering our families and futures? Why not honor and respect our sacred Native American sites rather than threatening them with hazardous waste?

The City of Oceanside’s Vision Statement states, in part, that “The City of Oceanside will be a safe, culturally diverse community that empowers its citizens to provide an environment that . . . “fosters the cultural arts and preserves its natural resources.” The City’s Mission Statement states: “The City of Oceanside’s mission is to “enhance the quality of life through outstanding service to its diverse community.” This proposed project is the very opposite of those goals.

In the event of any possible contamination of our critical water supply, the results would be nothing short of catastrophic, both environmentally and financially. Water rates for clean-up of any contamination would be astronomical for our citizens. We owe a stewardship to our children and grandchildren to protect our critical source of water. We do not want to be known as the Oceanside generation that allowed this to happen. We must STOP this project and work together to find an alternative solution that will protect and preserve our precious water source and sacred sites for future generations.