EBlast December 8, 2019

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Appeal of Daggett Solar Power Facility to be heard by Board of Supervisors Tuesday December 10

Fish and Game Commission to consider listing of Joshua Tree as a threatened or endangered species

MBCA monthly Board Meeting venue change

Hold the date for or annual meeting January 25, 2020

Appeal of Daggett Solar Power Facility to be heard by Board of Supervisors Tuesday December 10

On September 19, 2019 the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this massive, 5-1/2 square mile solar energy development, was certified by the San Bernardino County Planning Commission. Subsequently the Newberry Community Services District appealed this decision and the appeal is to be considered by the Board of Supervisors at their upcoming meeting.

MBCA submitted a letter, and directors presented oral comments in opposition to the certification. This project is proposed to be located within the disadvantaged rural communities of Daggett and Newberry Springs. MBCA contends, among other things, that the EIR has not considered the Social and Environmental Justice impacts on the residents that are adjacent to and surround this development.

The effects, both short term and over the life of the project, of grading and compacting half a million cubic yards of soil have not been adequately evaluated within the EIR. We believe the downwind residents will likely be subject to increased levels of PM10 and PM2.5 pollution that are very unhealthful to any sensitive receptors. The conditions of approval have no mandates for establishing any air quality baseline data within this specific area of our desert. The soil types within the development area are not suitable for compaction and are within a sand transport path, or linear dune, and are subject to contributing to wind blown dust and sand. The EIR instead relies on regional air quality evaluation that utilizes air monitors upwind (to the west!) of the project.

The EIR failed to address and account for the approximately 50% of intact desert containing native plants such as ancient creosote (as old as 4000 years!), salt bush and caliche that would be destroyed, releasing their sequestered carbon and eliminating their ability to continue to perform this service to the environment. The EIR has failed to recognize the important wildlife corridor that serves to connect the regions north of the I-15 and I-40 to – ultimately - Joshua Tree to the south. MBCA has been advocating for the inclusion of recognized wildlife corridors within County maps to preserve and respect these important highways for the planet’s ever-increasingly stressed species.

MBCA believes the findings justifying the approval of this project are false and that this development will in fact produce adverse effects on the surrounding communities.

MBCA recognizes that there is a critical need to eliminate carbon based electrical generation; however, the analysis utilized in evaluating projects towards this end must also reflect the urgency of climate change and the value of the intact environment that we are striving to protect. MBCA continues to advocate for distributed electrical generation on rooftops within the built environment proximate to the point of use. While portions of this Daggett site may be appropriate for industrial scale renewable energy development, the EIR has not presented a thorough scientifically defensible and complete evaluation of the effects of this development.

When:
December 10, 2019 at 10am
The item number for this issue is #55 on the official agenda . (Click on the agenda number to see the supporting documents). Of particular interest is the PowerPoint prepared by the appellant.

Where:

 Video conferencing of the meeting will be available in Joshua Tree at the Bob Burke Government Center at 63665 Twentynine Palms Highway Joshua Tree, CA 92252 and at the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center 15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia 92345.

The Supervisors will be meeting at:
San Bernardino County Government Center
Covington Chambers, 1st floor
385 N Arrowhead Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92415
United States

Fish and Game Commission to consider listing of Joshua Tree as a threatened or endangered species

As some of you are aware, The California State Fish and Game Commission is set to receive a petition to list the Western Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia) as a threatened or endangered species. The agenda for the Commission hearing has been revised to add a consent item for a 30-day extension to review this item. This listing would be of significant importance to our desert environment where the Joshua Tree is under stress from the effects of climate change. I encourage MBCA supporters to follow the proceedings of this very important Commission where decisions are regularly considered that reflect our reaction to, and efforts to adapt to the rapidly changing climate and environment.

MBCA Monthly Board Meeting Venue Change

The venue for the December meeting of the Board of Directors has been changed from our usual Town of Yucca Valley meeting room to the Center for Healthy Generations on a one-time basis:

Thursday December 12, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 pm
The Center for Healthy Generations
57121 Sunnyslope Dr.
Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Our meetings are open and we welcome your attendance as we discuss and address the many important issues we must consider in advocating for the healthy desert!

Hold the date for our annual meeting January 25, 2020

Please mark your calendars and hold the date for our annual meeting. This will mark the 50th anniversary of MBCA and we will be celebrating this milestone with the publication of a book of our past accomplishments and our plans for the future!

Hoping your Holiday Season helps to brings you joy and happiness and the opportunity to get outdoors and experience our beautiful desert!

Steve Bardwell

Your MBCA Board:

Steve Bardwell, President                          Pat Flanagan, Director       
David Fick, Vice President                         Meg Foley, Director
Laraine Turk, Recording Secretary            Mike Lipsitz, Director
Marina West, Treasurer                             Ruth Rieman, Director
Sarah Kennington, Past President             

 

 

  

 




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