Not in my backyard

 

Last updated 11/24/2006 at Noon



From a friend’s home on top of Rainbow Heights, I looked down onto a breathtaking view of the valley and hills below… and the site Granite Construction has chosen for a quarry.

Gary Johnson of Granite Construction says, “This is an ideal site because there are no residents near.” I live just over one mile from the site. Downtown Rainbow is 1 1/3 miles away; southern Temecula, 1 ¾ miles; Old Town Temecula, 3 ¾ miles; Fallbrook, 6 miles; Murrieta, 8 miles. There are over 40 schools within this eight-mile radius. I am beginning to take this very personally. Everyone should.

The type of rock that this quarry would be blasting produces silica dust, which is dangerous and cancer-causing. It is known to lead to respiratory disease, inflammation and scarring of lung tissue. It can be fatal to those with breathing problems, children and the elderly.

There has never been a hard-rock quarry of this type built anywhere with the same complex prevailing wind conditions as this site. The geographical feature of Rainbow Gap, which now brings fresh ocean air to our valley, would bring the dust and pollutants directly onto our neighborhoods.


Of course, Granite has claimed to be able to “contain” the dust. How do you “contain” nature?

Granite is proposing to dig down 1,000 feet deep, one mile wide. This is below the water table. The Elsinore Fault line runs beneath this land. Will this upset the balance of nature? No one knows. The earth would become a giant “sponge,” soaking up chemicals and other pollutants from the mine. How will this affect the wells that provide water to those “residents” who live a half mile or less from the site?

What of the Santa Margarita River, the last free-flowing river in Southern California? Nothing will be immune to the devastation. There are just too many unknowns!

I ask Granite, “Isn’t it possible for you to just move on to a more suitable location? Does it always have to be about material gain? When does it become about the people affected by the act?”

Jerri Arganda

 

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