by Danilo Gagelonia
San Diego, CA (AHN) – Government security contractor Blackwater Worldwide announced Wednesday it will proceed with plans to construct 11 firing ranges, a driving track and a helipad in a valley north of Potrero, small hamlet some 45 miles east of San Diego, Calif.
Residents on Tuesday had recalled five town officials who endorsed the project.
Company vice president Brian Bonfiglio, who oversees Blackwater West, said, “Regardless of who’s sitting in that seat, we are proceeding.”
Residents are worried the training camp would bring traffic, noise and pollution to Potrero.
They’re also against Blackwater’s activities in Iraq where company guards were involved in the disputed killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September and now a focus of congressional and criminal investigations.
Bonfiglio said,”If my project was in with the county three years ago we wouldn’t be having this problem because the views on the war were very different. Everyone who’s tired of the war sees us as attached to that.”
Final decision on the project is with the San Diego County board of supervisors, which won’t be announced until after environmental impact reports are completed in 2008.