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Wind energy project, new landfill seek OK  

A wind-energy project near Rosamond and an industrial landfill in Lost Hills will be considered at Thursday night’s Kern County Planning Commission meeting.

If approved there, they’ll next go to the Board of Supervisors.

Power Partners Southwest LLC, an entity affiliated with enXco, which builds and operates wind-energy projects throughout the United States, is seeking several zone changes to construct and operate the PdV Wind Energy Project.

The project would use 5,820 acres of privately owned land about 15 miles west of Rosamond.

Between 100 and 300 wind turbines, depending on type, would be used. They would generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity, according to a county Planning Department report.

A substation, operations building, power lines and roads would need to be built. EnXco would like a permit for on-site, temporary concrete batch plants to provide materials for equipment.

Turbine-generated power would eventually be sold to state investor-owned utilities, cities or other purchasers, according to the planning report.

The project has four unavoidable adverse impacts after mitigation, according to a final environmental report: aesthetics, air quality, biological resources (birds and bats could fly into the turbines and die) and recreation.

Defense contractor Northrup Grumman uses the nearby Tejon Test Facility and believes the turbines could interfere with its radar equipment, impacting its business. But the military does not have issues with the project.

PROPOSED LANDFILL

On the other side of the county, H.M. Holloway of Wasco is seeking zone changes and a general plan amendment for a private landfill in Lost Hills. The 300-acre site is about two miles north of Highway 46 on Holloway Road.

The proposed site would accept 2,000 tons of waste per day; it could be a mix of nine proposed varieties or streams, or that daily total could comprise a single waste stream.

State law says Kern’s Waste Management Department must divert at least 50 percent of waste from landfills. All nine streams that would go in the landfill would count toward the county’s diversion target.

Proposed items county sites don’t accept include treated sewage sludge, known in the industry as biosolids and co-generation ash, a byproduct of oilfield cogeneration facility burning. Some of the sludge may come from Southern California sources. Kern’s Environmental Health Services Department asked that sewage be covered with at least six inches of soil material at the end of each business day.

The County’s Administrative Office is concerned the project would interfere with its ability to generate revenue from solid waste. The Holloway landfill would accept waste for $10 a ton, compared to the $20 ton fee the county charges.

Because county landfills also receive shredded tires, concrete rubble, asphalt products and chipped lumber, planning staff recommend the landfill not receive these items.

The county agrees the landfill may store other items, including sewage sludge, but wants to make sure if the landfill is later sold, Kern’s rules and regulations would still apply.

An environmental report identified several unavoidable project impacts: air quality, hazards and hazardous materials – flies – and growth. If the landfill accepts sewage sludge, it could remove obstacles to growth. Holloway wants to use three excavated surface gypsum mine pits for disposal.

AG TRUCKING FACILITY

• A permit for a family-run agricultural trucking facility on Bear Mountain Boulevard, west of Comanche Drive, in Arvin. This item was first heard in January but postponed in part so staff could take noise-level readings of refrigerated trucks. Neighbors raised concerns about the facility’s dust, noise and traffic. Staff recommends the site receive a two-year approval.

How to go:

The Kern County Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the County Administrative Center, 1115 Truxtun Ave.

You can also watch the meeting live on KGOV, the county’s local cable television station.

By Jenny Shearer
Californian Staff Writer

The Bakersfield Californian

27 February 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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