East County residents upset over sand mining proposal

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LAKESIDE, Calif. – An East County community is outraged over a possible sand mining project in the El Monte Valley in Lakeside.

Wednesday night, dozens of Lakeside residents filled the Lakeside Community and Teen Center to voice their concerns over the proposal. Sand mining company, El Monte Nature Preserve, wants to excavate nearly 200 of the 575 acres of El Monte Valley. The company proposes digging nearly 100 feet into the ground for sand that can provide products in San Diego County.

El Monte Nature Preserve presented the plan to the Lakeside Planning Board Wednesday night. Company representatives said they expect the project to last at least 15 years, excavating 15-18 million tons of sand each year. The work would generate an estimated 150 trucks trips in and out of the two-lane road leading into El Monte Valley.

Residents opposed the plan, calling on the planning board to preserve the valley as historic open space. Another concern expressed by some opponents to the sand mine  was  the threat of Valley Fever, a fungal infection that can spread with the disruption of the soil.

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