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James and Edith Harmon Environmental Collection, 1973-1998 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: James and Edith Harmon Environmental Collection, 1973-1998Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1980-1998

Primary Creator: Harmon, Edith (1945-)

Other Creators: Harmon, James (1919-2007)

Extent: 17.72 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

I. Mesquite Landfill Project Files (1984-1996)

II. Sewage and Sludge Waste Files (1985-1997)

III. Eagle Mountain Landfill Files (1991-1997)

IV. North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Center Files (1981-1987)

V. Campo Solid Waste Management Project Files (1992-1994)

VI. Republic Imperial Landfill Expansion Files (1994-1996)

VII. El Remate Incorporated Agricultural Project Files (1973-1990)

VIII. Soledad Mountain Mining Project Files (1997)

IX. Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Project Files (1987-1998)

X. White Pit Mining Project Files (1995-1998)

XI. Bolo Station Landfill Files (1994)

XII. Jimenez Pit Granite Construction Files (1996)

Date Acquired: 06/16/2004

Subjects: Environmental impact analysis--California, Southern, Environmentalism, Environmentalism--California, Southern, Environmental law--California, Environmental protection--California--San Diego--Sources, Sewage--Environmental aspects--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The James and Edie Harmon Environmental Collection documents James and Edie Harmon's grassroots environmental work in opposition to numerous landfills, mines, and waste projects in the late 1980s and 1990s.  The collection dates from 1973 to 1998, and includes environmental impact reports, correspondences, newspaper clippings, litigation documents, government documents, health reports, environmental reports, and letters from the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations.  The collection contains an abundance of environmental impact reports, but a noticeable lack of personal analysis by the Harmons.  The collection consist of 12 major series: Mesquite Landfill Project Files (1984-1996), Sewage and Sludge Waste Files (1985-1997), Eagle Mountain Landfill Files (1991-1997), North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Center Files (1981-1987), Campo Solid Waste Management Project Files (1992-1994), Republic Imperial Landfill Expansion Files (1994-1996), El Remate Incorporated Agricultural Project Files (1973-1990), Soledad Mountain Mining Project Files (1997), Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Project Files (1987-1998), White Pit Mining Project Files (1995-1998), Bolo Station Landfill Files (1994), and Jimenez Pit Granite Construction Files (1996).

The Mesquite Landfill Project Files document both the Harmons' work against construction of the Mesquite Regional Landfill and Arid Operations' work in favor of construction.  It clearly illustrates the complex process a proposed project must face before it is approved.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from 1984-1996.  It contains biological assessments, reports, environmental impact reports, newspaper articles, and correspondence.  A highlight is a biological assessment of the Mesquite Mine dated July of 1984, a document filed as part of the original landfill proposal.  The series contains documentation from several groups, including Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Arid Operations, the Sierra Club, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and the Imperial County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

The Sewage and Sludge Waste Files documents the Harmons' research into the safety of biosolids.  The series includes numerous EPA rules, standards, and restrictions on waste from the early 1990s.  It documents perspectives both in favor and against sewage and sludge waste treatment practices. The files are arranged alphabetically and range from 1985-1997.  A highlight is a report on sewage and sludge waste produced by Cornell University in 1997.  The series includes documents created by numerous groups  including Pennsylvania State University, Food Products Association or FPA (formerly the National Food Processor Associate or NFPA), Laredo Safety Institute, National Research Council, Citizen's Clearing House for Hazardous Waste, the non-government organization California Farm Bureau Federation, National Sludge Alliance, G. Fred Lee & Associates, San Diego District Attorney's office, Imperial County's Board of Supervisors and Planning Department, the Mexican Government, and the Sierra Club.

The Eagle Mountain Landfill Files document the arguments of those in favor and against construction of the Eagle Mountain Landfill, as well as the Harmons' work to prevent the landfill's construction. The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges in date from 1991-1997.  Included are the lawsuit papers from the National Parks and Conservation Association versus the County of Riverside and Kaiser Steel Resources, Incorporated.  Other involved groups are Citizen's Clearing House for Hazardous Waste, National Citizens Alliance, and the Sierra Club.  A large percentage of the Eagle Mountain Landfill files are made up of drafts, appendixes, and final environmental impact reports.  Also included in the series are various articles and newspaper clippings addressing the health dangers of landfills, cement kilns, and incinerators.

The North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Center Files document the Harmons' research into the potential dangers of trash-to-energy plants.  The files are arranged alphabetically and range in date from 1981-1987.  The center was intended to be built in San Marcos, California.  Documents in the files include the initial permit application that was submitted in 1987 to the Department of Health, articles on waste, analysis of ash, ozone and smog reports.  A highlight is a report in which the State of New York reevaluates two incinerators.  Among the groups involved are the Sierra Club, UCLA, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of San Diego.

The Campo Solid Waste Management Project Files document the work of the Campo Band of Mission Indians to improve their economic conditions, and the Harmons' work against the project.  It is arranged alphabetically and ranges in date from 1992-1994.  The series contains appendices, and the comments and responses portion of the environmental impact reports. Two notable documents in the files are the State of Alaska's documented opposition to the proposed project, and the County of San Diego taking legal action against the Campo Band of Mission Indians, who responded with documents stating the project, which was to be built on reservation land in San Diego County, would improve their economic position, and provide a sense of independence from the federal government.

The Republic Imperial Landfill Files document the full process a proposed project faces before it can be approved.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from 1994-1996. A highlight of the files is the evaluation of the potential impact of landfill covers by Triegel & Associates, Incorporated. Other documents include draft environmental impact reports, conditional use permit agreements, and an analysis of the final environmental impact report.  The files contain documents created by numerous groups, including California Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Department of Fish and Game, California Integrated Waste Management Board, and Triegel & Associates, Incorporated.

The El Remate, Incorporated Agricultural Project Files document the importance of water as a resource in Imperial County, and demonstrates the influence a united community, in this case led by the Ocotillo Community Council, can have in accomplishing a goal.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from 1973-1990.  Highlights include Imperial County's general plan from the 1970s in which the county's open space land management is detailed. Documents and files created by numerous groups are included in the series, including the Imperial County's Board of Supervisors, Imperial County's Planning Commission, and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. Included in the files are public hearing minutes, draft and final environmental impact reports, and litigation documents

The Soledad Mountain Project Files document the complex process a proposed project must face before it is approved.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from May – November, 1997.  It is made up of Draft Environmental Impact Reports, Environmental Impact Reports, and a decision by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Files document the process existing mining facilities must encounter if they intend to expand.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from 1987-1998.  The mine as proposed was to be constructed in San Bernardino County, California.  A highlight of the series is the lone 1987 information packet for a conference titled A Community Perspective of Hazardous Waste Planning.  The series consists of the draft environmental impact reports, the final environmental impact reports, and a Record of Decision by the Bureau of Land Management.

The White Pit Mining Project Files document the communication process between a project proposing company and their County's Planning Commission.  The series is arranged alphabetically and ranges from 1995-1998.  The series consists of draft and final environmental impact reports.  Documents created by numerous groups and organizations are included in the series, including Imperial County's Planning Commission, Imperial County's Board of Supervisor, and the Sierra Club.

The Bolo Station Landfill Project Files highlights the challenges faced by a proposal to ship waste through an existing rail line.  It also clearly demonstrates cooperation between corporate entities in pursuing landfill construction.  The series is arranged alphabetically and dates from 1994.  It includes a final environmental impact report and the Mitigation Monitoring and Compliance Program.  The Final Environmental Impact Report contains public and agency comments on the DEIR and the Supplement to the DEIR.

The Jimenez Pit Files document the environmental assessment undertaken at the Jimenez Pit site, submitted as part of the project approval process, and completed in April 1996.  It shows the Granite Construction Company's efforts to establish multiple mining operations in Southern California.  The series is arranged alphabetically.

Biographical Note

James and Edith Harmon were married for 28 years.  James Harmon was born May 24, 1919 in Middletown, Ohio. As a young man he enrolled in the Navy and fought in World War II.  He later went on to fight in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  James achieved the difficult task of becoming an officer after entering service as an enlisted man.  After serving 20 years, he retired from the military, and pursued his PhD in Political Science.  He went on to become a professor at San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus from 1964-1981.  James requested assignment to the remote campus because of his love for the desert habitat. While at SDSU he became the Chair of the Political Science Department.  Also at SDSU, James met Edith, or Edie as she is more commonly known.  She was born in 1945 and was 26 years his junior.  The couple spent almost every day of their marriage together, until his death on April 26, 2007.  Edie Harmon grew up in Massachusetts.  She graduated from Macalester College in 1966 as a geography major.  She fell in love with the desert when she went to Africa with the Peace Corps.  She would go on to spend time in Africa as a teacher in biology and art.  While there she also studied desert lands and animals.  When she met James, Edie decided to move to Imperial County.  While in Imperial County Edie went on to become a longtime volunteer for the Sierra Club and the Desert Protective Council.  She continues to be the liaison between the Bureau of Land Management and the Sierra Club. 

The Harmons began their environmental battles in the 1970s.  Their initial motive was local commercial companies which were siphoning excess groundwater from Imperial County residents.  At the time, Imperial County did not have any attorneys who focused on environmental law; as a result the Harmons educated themselves on the relevant legal issues.  By the time they joined the Sierra Club in 1990, they had already participated in multiple environmental lawsuits.  The Harmons became proficient at analyzing Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs), gathering evidence against proposed projects, and initiating litigation. 

The Harmons spent much of their time trying to prevent the construction of landfills in the Southern California deserts, including the Mesquite Regional Landfill proposed in 1992, the Eagle Mountain Landfill also proposed in 1992, the Bolo Station Landfill in 1994, the Republic Imperial Landfill of 1994, and the Campo Solid Waste Management site in 1995. They prevented the construction of all of these landfills except for the Mesquite Regional Landfill, which was approved and built by Arid Operations, and the Campo Solid Waste Management project, which is still pending.

The Harmons also opposed mining operations including the White Pit mining project in 1995, Jimenez Pit project in 1996, the Castle Mountain Mine in 1997, and the Soledad Mountain Mining project, also in 1997.  The Harmons prevented construction of the White Pit Mine, while the Jimenez Pit project and Castle Mountain Mine expansion project were both approved and built.  The Soledad Mountain Mining project is still pending. 

James and Edie Harmon opposed projects which dealt with sewage waste, sludge waste, and agricultural damaging projects, including one in the Ocotillo-Coyote Wells Basin in 1989, and two in Imperial County in 1996 and 1998.  They also worked successfully to uphold a decision preventing construction of the North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Plant in 1987.

Subject/Index Terms

Environmental impact analysis--California, Southern
Environmentalism
Environmentalism--California, Southern
Environmental law--California
Environmental protection--California--San Diego--Sources
Sewage--Environmental aspects--California--San Diego--History--20th century--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: James and Edith Harmon

Related Materials:

Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 Records

Mountain Defense League Records

Joan and Phillip Farman Environmental Collection

Environmental Issues Collection

Roscoe A. Poland Environmental Collection

Sierra Club, San Diego Chaper Records

Save Talmadge Canyon Records

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, James and Edith Harmon Environmental Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Mesquite Landfill Project Files],
[Series 2: Sewage and Sludge Waste Files],
[Series 3: Eagle Mountain Landfill Files],
[Series 4: North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Center Files],
[Series 5: Campo Solid Waste Management Project Files],
[Series 6: Republic Imperial Landfill Expansion Files],
[Series 7: El Remate, Incorporated Agricultural Project Files],
[Series 8: Soledad Mountain Project Files],
[Series 9: Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Project Files],
[Series 10: White Pit Mining Project Files],
[Series 11: Bolo Station Landfill Files],
[Series 12: Jiminez Pit Granite Construction Files],
[All]

Series 2: Sewage and Sludge Waste FilesAdd to your cart.
Box 13Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Article on How Hazardous Waste Becomes Fertilizer, Seattle Times, July 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Articles on Sewage SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Articles on Sewage SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Articles on Sewage SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Articles on Sewage SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Articles on Sludge use in Agricultural OperationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: California Farm Bureau Federation CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: California Soil Products CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Citizen Action GuidesAdd to your cart.
Box 14Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste Convention, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous WasteAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Citizens Petition against Pima Gro Systems Incorporated, May 22, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Citizens United for Responsible EnvironmentalismAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Coalition for Sludge Education and Sludge Resource PeopleAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Comparison Compost Standards, Octorber 3, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Cornell University Sewage Sludge DocumentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Cornell University Sewage Sludge DocumentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Correspondence with Imperial County Planning CommissionAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: County of Imperial Department of Health ServicesAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Dioxins Sludge Radioactive WasteAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Double Lined LandfillsAdd to your cart.
Box 15Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Early Sludge EffortsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Environmental Protection Agency: A Plain English Guide to Part 503 Biosolids RuleAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Environmental Protection Agency: Final Rule on Delay of Complaince and Effective Dates, October 1, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Environmental Protection Agency: Final Rule on Solid Waste Disposal Facility Criteria, parts 257 and 258, October 9, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Environmental Protection Agency: Final Rule on Standards for the Use of Disposal of Sewage Sludge, February 19, 1993Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Environmental Protection Agency: Proposed Rule on Hazardous waste fManagement Systems, May 20, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Environmental Protection Agency: Rule for Land Disoposal Restrictionsfor Newly Listed Wastes and Hazardous Debris, August 18, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Environmental Protection Agency Standards for the Use or Disposal of Sewage Sludge, February 1993 - February 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Environmental Regulations and Technology: Control of Pathogens and Vector Attraction in Sewage Sludge, December 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Environmental Research Foundation Report on Risk AssessmetnAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Evidence of the Sludge Danger in the State of WashingtonAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: G. Fred Lee & Associates overview of landfills and groundwater qualityAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Health and SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Heavy Metals and Lead Relation to SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Impact of Sludge disposal on human healthAdd to your cart.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Impact of Sludge disposal on human healthAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Impact of Sludge disposal on human health and the food chain, March 12, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Impact of Sludge disposal on human health and the food chain, March 12, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Imperial County Ordinance 83421(3), Board of Supervisor's ReasonAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Imperial County Planning DepartmentAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Informational Packet to Torres MartinezAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: La Paz Pact of 1983 and The Border Governor's Conference of 1992, 1983 & 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Land Application of Sewage Sludge by Pima Gro Systems Incorporated, January 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Land Application of Sludge, and Sludge derived products scientific materials, Volume IAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Land Application of Sludge, and Sludge derived products scientific materials, Volume IIAdd to your cart.
Box 17Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Laredo Safety Institute: Sludge Document Review, March - April 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Laredo Safety Institute: Report to National Sludge Rountable on Toxic Sludge being safe for food, July 20, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Manual of Good Practice for Land Spreading of Sewage Sludge by California Department of Health Services, April 1983Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Mexican Government's Concern Regarding Border Waste SitesAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Misconceptions Concerning SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: National Food Processors Association: Regarding SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: National Resource Council on Use of Reclaimed Water and Sludge in Food Crop Production, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 8: National Sludge AllianceAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Pennsylvania State University Report on Criteria and Recommendation for land application of sludge in the Northeast, March 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Pima Gro Conditional PermitsAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Pima Gro's Correspondence Regarding Land ApplicationAdd to your cart.
Box 18Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Pima Gro Land Application of BiosolidsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Pima Gro's Other SitesAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Pima Gro Project DescriptionAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Pima Gro's Response to Public CommentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: San Diego Distric Attorney Final Report, March 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Sierra Blanca, Texas: Contaminated SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Sierra Club's copies of Pima Gro Land ApplicationAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Sierra Club Correspondence to Imperial County Planning DepartmentAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Sierra Club Correspondence to Imperial County Planning DepartmentAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Sierra Club Correspondence with Jeanne DaviesAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Sierral Club oppossition to the land application of sewage sludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Sludge in the Northeast and MidwestAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Sludge: The Newsletter, November 1995 - August 1996Add to your cart.
Box 19Add to your cart.
Folder 1: State of California Liability at Leaking Waste SitesAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: State Water Resources Control Board on SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Raymond Kenard Testimony at the Air Pollution Hearing, April 17, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Reference Articles on Sludge Use in Agricultural OperationsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Sierra Club Comments on SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Sludge Ordinace by County of Rappahannock, Virginia and Court Decision UpholdingAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Sludge Recycling by GasificationAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Stanislaus Farm NewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Toxic Waste and Race in the United StatesAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Waste Dumping on Indian Lands, Environmental InjusticeAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Waste Dumping on Indian Lands, Environmental InjusticeAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Waste Not Newsletter, October 1988 - July 1992Add to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Wheelabrator Appeal, 1998Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Wheelabrator Clean Water Systems Incorporated Comments on Composting SludgeAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Wheelabrator Project Reports for Imperial CountyAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Mesquite Landfill Project Files],
[Series 2: Sewage and Sludge Waste Files],
[Series 3: Eagle Mountain Landfill Files],
[Series 4: North County Recycling and Energy Recovery Center Files],
[Series 5: Campo Solid Waste Management Project Files],
[Series 6: Republic Imperial Landfill Expansion Files],
[Series 7: El Remate, Incorporated Agricultural Project Files],
[Series 8: Soledad Mountain Project Files],
[Series 9: Castle Mountain Mine Expansion Project Files],
[Series 10: White Pit Mining Project Files],
[Series 11: Bolo Station Landfill Files],
[Series 12: Jiminez Pit Granite Construction Files],
[All]


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