Environment & Science

US Supreme Court won’t get involved in Eagle Mountain landfill case

File photo: Eagle Mountain in Joshua Tree
File photo: Eagle Mountain in Joshua Tree
Miguel Vieira/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

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The U.S. Supreme Court has turned back a last legal appeal for the 20-year-old Eagle Mountain landfill project in San Bernardino County.

Two companies, Kaiser Ventures and Mine Reclamation LLC, had proposed to swap land with federal agencies so they could put together a parcel large enough to create a landfill. The companies wanted to truck 20,000 tons of trash a day to the landfill site 60 miles east of Indio.

The federal Bureau of Land Management signed off on the deal; so did state and local authorities. But the National Parks Conservation Association and a desert area couple sued to stop the land swap.

Several federal courts have agreed with them that land managers focused too much on cutting a deal and not enough on the environmental impacts from a landfill near Joshua Tree National Park.

Now the Supreme Court has turned down without comment a petition from Kaiser Ventures and Mine Reclamation to keep the land swap alive. The two companies say they’re still trying to figure out a way to get enough land for the landfill.