Gregory Canyon Timeline

Timeline of key events in the history of the effort to save Gregory Canyon.

2016 – GCL, LLC (GCL), the owner of the Gregory Canyon property and the new permittee under the solid waste facility permit (SWFP) seeks approvals to demolish 52 structures on the property.  But CalRecycle agrees with the Pala Band that the demolition work would constitute the start of construction of the proposed landfill and would require GCL to comply with mitigation requirements in the SWFP and under CEQA.  The demolition work has not begun.

Research shows that by July GCL still has not paid the more than 1,000,000 in unpaid property taxes on the Gregory Canyon property.

2015 -- In June, GCL purchases the Gregory Canyon property at a foreclosure auction.  The company is affiliated with Sovereign Capital Management Group.

In August, APCD accepts a reduced payment of $201,000 from GCL to allow the processing of the air quality permit if a new application is submitted.

In September, the Army Corps of Engineers issues a notice stating that GCL has applied for an individual Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for the proposed landfill. That restarts a permit process stopped in April of 2014 when the Army Corps withdrew the permit application of the previous applicant, Gregory Canyon Ltd. LLC (GCL Ltd.).  The Army Corps begins processing the new application and restarts work on the EIS.

In September the County Treasurer records a Notice of Property Tax Default showing GCL owes more than $700,000 in unpaid property taxes for the Gregory Canyon property.

2014 - In January, the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD) stops work on the draft air quality permit because it is owed $322,397 by GCL Ltd. 

In April, the Army Corps withdraws GCL Ltd.’s application for the Section 404 permit because has not provided information needed to continue work on the environmental impact statement (EIS) and has failed to pay for work done on the draft EIS (DEIS) by the Army Corps’ consultant.

2012 – In December, the Army Corps issues the DEIS for public comment.  Extensive comments are submitted by the public during a comment period that ends on April 15, 2013.

2011 -- The LEA issues a new SWFP in August.

2010 – The court rejects the LEA’s claim that the 2004 SWFP is still valid, and GCL Ltd. files a new application.

2009 -- In January, the Court of Appeals rules that the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) violated CEQA when it approved a contract to sell reclaimed water to GCL for the project without conducting any environmental review.  In May, OMWD rescinds the agreement.

The LEA prepares an Addendum to the Revised Final EIR (RFEIR) that identifies the new sources of water for the project as riparian water from on-site wells, groundwater from landfill monitoring wells, and recycled water bought from the San Gabriel Valley Water Company and trucked 90 miles to the site.

In October, the Army Corps determines that the creek in Gregory Canyon is a “water of the United States” and that the project will require an individual Section 404 permit and the preparation of an EIS.

In November, the San Diego Regional Board delays taking action on the waste discharge requirements and the water quality certification needed for the project until the Army Corps has taken action on the Section 404 permit.

2008 – The court rules that the RFEIR failed to analyze the impacts of obtaining reclaimed water from OMWD.  In response, the LEA prepares an Addendum to analyze those impacts, which the court upholds, and it dissolves the 2006 writ.

2007 – The LEA prepares and certifies a Revised FEIR (RFEIR) to address the issues identified in the court’s 2006 decision.

2006 -- In response to a lawsuit filed by the Pala Band, RiverWatch and the City of Oceanside, the Superior Court finds the 2003 FEIR inadequate and issues a writ directing the LEA to decertify the FEIR, rescind the SWFP, conduct additional CEQA analysis on traffic, water supply, and biological mitigation before issuing a new permit, and comply with Proposition C.

2004 -- The LEA issues a SWFP for the project.

2003 -- In February, the LEA certifies the FEIR and finds that the project would cause significant and unmitigable impacts to:  Traffic and Circulation, Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, Ethno History and Native American Interests, and Aesthetics.

1996 -- The County adopts a Siting Element for its Countywide Waste Management Plan.  The Gregory Canyon site fails the siting criteria, but is included as a “tentatively reserved” landfill site due to Proposition C.

1994 -- After failing to identify a site for a new landfill after an eight-year search, the County Board of Supervisors refuses to approve a landfill in Gregory Canyon due to concerns with impacts to sacred Native American sites, water resources, and endangered species. 

In response, project proponents place a County-wide initiative (Proposition C) on the ballot. The measure passes after proponents spend more than $900,000, and claim that the County will shortly run out of landfill space.