Eagle Mountain Landfill Proposal Trashed, Once and For All

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 23, 2013
Contact:   David Lamfrom, California Desert Senior Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: 760.957.7787; Mobile: 760.219.4916
Kati Schmidt, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: 415.728.0840; Mobile: 415.847.1768


Eagle Mountain Landfill Proposal Trashed, Once and For All

Statement by David Lamfrom, California Desert Senior Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is proud to announce that Joshua Tree National Park and its Gateway Communities will no longer be haunted by the specter of the long-opposed, proposed Eagle Mountain landfill. After 15 years of waging legal, political, and community-based battles, the land, air, water, views, and species and that makes this one of America’s favorite National Parks are safer, thanks to the Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s decision to trash this project, once and for all.”

“The public has spoken on this issue, as over 300,000 individuals have opposed this harmful project, stating that the Eagle Mountain mine site is inappropriate for a giant landfill due to being surrounded on three sides by Joshua Tree National Park wilderness and due to the known impact to iconic and protected species like the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep.”

“NPCA applauds the Los Angeles County Sanitation District for heeding these calls and making the right decision to move away from purchasing this property in order to develop this landfill project. Their actions help protect a Southern California treasure, and move the region forward in advocating for increased recycling and diversion to manage Southern California’s waste.”

“The landfill project was legally opposed, argued all the way up to the Supreme Court, and was found to be deficient. Despite NPCA’s victory on this case, the project proponents continued to move forward to fix the deficient project and to develop the landfill. Now that the Los Angeles County Sanitation District has finally moved this project into its rightful waste bin, NPCA will continue our efforts to return the lands removed in the 1950’s back into Joshua Tree National Park. It is time for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to return the lands that were improperly exchanged back to the federal government.”

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Background:

2013 – In a press release issued on Wednesday, May 22nd, the Los Angeles Sanitation Districts' Board determined that the agency will cease negotiations with Mine Reclamation Corporation (MRC), a subsidiary of Kaiser Ventures, for the Eagle Mountain Landfill Project located adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park.

2011 - the Supreme Court of the United States declined Kaiser LLC’s appeal to have the Eagle Mountain Landfill case heard in the country’s highest court. This denial reinforces the decision made by the 9th circuit in favor of NPCA. This effectively ends the two-decade legal battle over the validity of the land exchange that would have allowed the country’s largest landfill to be built adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park wilderness.

2005 - NPCA and co-plaintiffs win federal court case, thus reversing the federal land exchange needed for the proposed Eagle Mountain garbage dump to go forward. The dump would be the world’s largest and severely impact Joshua Tree National Park, which surrounds the proposed project site on three sides. 

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