Palomar Closed Landfill Work 

Palomar Airport Landfill UnitsClick on map to enlarge.

The County of San Diego manages a closed landfill that is located beneath portions of the McClellan-Palomar Airport. This municipal solid waste landfill operated from 1962-1975. This includes three landfill units and a system that extracts gases, including methane, that occurs naturally as organic materials decompose.

The health and safety of our staff, community, and airport visitors are our first priority. To support this, monthly maintenance and monitoring is conducted for the closed landfill to ensure safety and protect public and environmental health.

DPW is continuing work to maintain and improve the landfill infrastructure to protect public and environmental health and maintain regulatory compliance. This is a multi-year project to improve the landfill gas system and address areas of landfill settlement.  Airport users, businesses, and surrounding communities should expect to see maintenance and construction-related activities, which may occur at night or during the day.

The current project, scheduled for October through November 2023, is to improve the landfill’s soil cover in Unit 3, east of the runway.  The work will involve staff and heavy equipment.  Day work is scheduled to begin September 26, 2023 and conclude November 17. 2023.  Night work will be intermittent between October 13, 2023 and November 9, 2023.  Phase 1 of this work was completed in the northwest corner of landfill Unit 3 earlier this year.

A High Heat Event that was identified as part of our regular inspections on October 17, 2022, has been resolved, with temperatures within normal landfill ranges. The elevated temperatures were limited to a small, localized underground area of Unit 3. The event did not pose a risk to the public as there were not any emissions from Unit 3 above regulatory thresholds during the event.  DPW is continuing to monitor temperatures, oxygen levels, and surface emissions through December 2023 as per a recommendation by CalRecycle. 


Related Agencies and Contacts ·

County Staff: Melissa Porter, REHS at 

Air Pollution Control District (APCD): APCD Hearing Board ·

Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency (LEA)/ CalRecycle: Solid Waste Information System 

Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB): GeoTracker (

Palomar Airport Advisory Committee (PAAC): Palomar Airport Advisory Committee (