Today I filed 123 pages of comments with the BLM in Ukiah* regarding the proposed Walker Ridge Wind Farm. All of my comments go to the core process of the project’s Environmental Impact Review [EIR]. In my comments I ask that the developer in its EIR report provide proof, means and methods backed by data, to support their assertion of zero harm to Lake County’s wildlife, lakes and streams, and specifically that all Mercury on Walker Ridge (ore in the form of Cinnabar below the surface) not be disturbed in any way, as this may certainly end up into our already polluted water bodies, lakes and streams.
In further I ask throughout my comments for data based on Scientific Method: tables and values vs. an opinion only, particularly of the developers themselves. The Scientific Method I have requested need be addressed in EIR consists of a hypothesis (e.g. that wind energy is equivalent to or better than our current conventional power sources) and can only be accomplished by:
4) Transparent, and
5) Empirical based assessment.
The agencies then can carefully review the EIR before we grant “right-of-way” on our public lands to this development.
My comments specifically address Geology and Soils, Visual Resources and Socioeconomics, Microbiology Soils, Microbiology/Chemistry Soils and Biology of Human Cells and Tissue Toxicity, Atmospheric Values, Wildland Fire Ecology and Special Status Species.
Most of this BLM land on Walker Ridge is in Lake County and all of this land is our public property to freely use and enjoy and this land is to never be fenced off by large corporations-ventures which seek only profit.
I also hope that at some point in time our local citizens become involved in learning of the pros and cons of large scale wind farming and let their voice be heard. I believe after the EIR is completed and the County Board of Supervisors have the opportunity to study this assessment they may consider making educated decisions that could benefit Lake County in the future by drafting a local ordinance which limits by permit process the construction of new wind turbines and consider banning future large scale wind farm developments through the creation of special mapped out use zones, on both private and public lands.
Wesley E Baker
Retired, Director Health, Safety and Environmental [HSE]
Lower Lake, CA
[*“Please submit written comments by the July 24 deadline. Written comments may be submitted at the public meeting, through the project Website at https://go.usa.gov/xmtGu, via hand-delivery, or by mail to the Ukiah Field Office, Attn: Walker Ridge Wind Energy Project, 2550 N. State Street, Suite 2, Ukiah, CA 95482.”]
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