Sunday, June 09, 2024

Napa Valley has lush vineyards and wineries – and a pollution problem


Famous for its lush vineyards and cherished local wineries, Napa valley is where people go to escape their problems.

“When you first get there, it’s really pretty,” said Geoff Ellsworth, former mayor of St Helena, a small Napa community nestled 50 miles north-east of San Francisco. “It mesmerizes people.”

What the more than 3 million annual tourists don’t see, however, is that California’s wine country has a brewing problem – one that has spurred multiple ongoing government investigations and created deep divisions. Some residents and business owners fear it poses a risk to the region’s reputation and environment.

At the heart of the fear is the decades-old Clover Flat Landfill (CFL), perched on the northern edge of the valley atop the edge of a rugged mountain range. Two streams run adjacent to the landfill as tributaries to the Napa River...more

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