Please review the information about the project and then comment by the deadline of November 16, 2018. We are providing you with two methods of reviewing the EIR.
1. For those comfortable with navigating a large PDF document via their browser, here is a link to the full Ord Mountain EIR, published October 3, 2018. You can view the Appendices individually via links to the County's website (listed below the EIR sections).
2. If you would like to review the EIR in smaller "chunks," in viewable and/or downloadable PDF format, we have provided below an index with links to individual sections of the EIR document (thanks to Pat Flanagan). The Appendices are too large to present as PDF's on our website, so we provide links to the County's website to view those files (below the EIR sections).
Is the Ord Mountain Solar and Energy Storage Project exempt from the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE)? Consider the question with the help of this document. The answer is important for all communities facing utility-scale projects in or near their backyard where applications, but not final plans, have been filed.
After reviewing the EIR, please comment by email or postal mail by November 16. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and address.
Send letter to:
Ord Mountain Solar Project EIR Documents
(These are PDF documents available to view or download or print, all less than 10 MB.)
EIR Table of Contents and Abbreviations
Executive Summary, Environmental Impact Summary
Section 1.0 Introduction
Section 2.0 Project Description
Section 3.0 Environmental Analysis
Section 3.1 Aesthetics (1 of 2)
Section 3.1 Aesthetics (2 of 2)
Section 3.2 Air Quality
Section 3.3 Biological Resources (Legal)
Section 3.3 Biological Resources (Impact)
Section 3.4 Cultural Resources
Section 3.5 Geology and Soils
Section 3.6 Green House Gas Emissions
Section 3.7 Hazards and Hazardous Materials
Section 3.8 Hydrology and Water Quality
Section 3.9 Land Use and Planning
Section 3.10 Noise
Section 3.11 Traffic and Transportation
Section 4.0 Effects Found Not to be Significant
Section 5.0 Other CEQA Considerations
Section 6. Alternatives to the Proposed Project
Section 7.0 References and Preparers
APPENDICES (these are links to the County's website)
Air Quality Greenhouse Gas Energy
Calcite Substation Project
NOP and Scoping Documents
The Cadiz company's long battle to pump desert groundwater and sell it to coastal cities, and desert protectors' long battle to prevent damage to desert ecosystems will likely come to a head on Friday, August 31, via a vote on California Senate Bill 120. The August 28 Desert Sun article by Sammy Roth includes a quotation from David Lamfrom of the National Parks Conservation Association, stating that passing SB 120 is "the immediate and only opportunity we have to make sure that this project would not cause substantial harm to Mojave Trails National Monument." Roth's article gives an overall and detailed view of this ongoing battle to preserve precious desert water.
Also consider this message from the National Parks Conservation Association:
MBCA thanks the many MBCA EBlast subscribers who responded to our August 27 EBlast request to contact legislators about the vote on SB 120. Calls to Senator Jean Fuller would still be helpful today and tomorrow (August 30/31).
On August 1, BLM issued a press release indicating its approval of the Eagle Crest Energy Company's plan for a "pumped storage" project at the former Eagle Mountain Mine near Desert Center. MBCA and many environmental groups and Joshua Tree National Park supporters have opposed the project. Even though it is described as a project that supports renewable energy, damage to the Park's ecological balance seems certain. MBCA's most recent News Update about this issue highlighted the Company's missed construction start deadline. In his August 1 story on the Eagle Crest project, Sammy Roth of the Desert Sun has included a history of the issues and status of the project and perspectives from both sides.
The areas of most interest to MBCA regarding controlling OHV activity in the Morongo Basin and the Lucerne Valley areas are found within Travel Management Area 3. TMA 3 stretches east and west from south of Apple Valley to Wonder Valley. The subregions of BLM land are found in Juniper Flats, Rattlesnake Canyon, Sand to Snow National Monument, Joshua Tree, and Wonder Valley.
You can find maps and information specific to the Morongo Basin's OHV regulations on pages 2&3 of the MBCA comment letter.
At their May 24 meeting, in a 4-0 vote, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission supported the original version of Policy 4.10 of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element of the County General Plan. In August 2017 the County Supervisors had asked for a review of 4.10. After nine months, Land Use Services provided the Commission with a revised version of 4.10 that clearly benefitted developers over desert communities.
Passionate public comments from dozens of desert residents present at the County Government Center, and also at the Joshua Tree and Hesperia videoconferencing sites, lasted about 5 1/2 hours. Another hour-plus of questions to the LUS staff and intense discussion among the Commissioners ended when Commissioner Paul Smith of 29 Palms moved to approve the original version of Policy 4.10 as part of a three-item motion that additionally approved some minor revisions to other parts of the Policy. All four Commissioners present voted in favor.
Update: Here is the story on KCDZ 107.7 radio news , several stories on the Mojave Watch website, and coverage in the Victor Valley Daily Press.
The recommendation from the Commission will be sent forward for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.
Will the County of San Bernardino truly stand behind their claims of support for residents of rural communities who have been confronted in recent years with one after another ill-suited development projects? The answer will become evident at this Thursday’s 9AM Planning Commission Meeting in San Bernardino. The single agenda item is the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE) section 4.10. Read the original version and the staff-recommended revision and see how unprotected the revision leaves us. The original version prohibits large scale renewable energy development in rural desert communities; the revised version simply benefits energy developers.
In MBCA’s May 21, 2018 official comment letter to the Planning Commission, we strongly defend the original version of RECE 4.10. Our rationale is supported by extensive citations from County documents that show how the revised language is in contrast to earlier County stances on development in rural areas.
Show your support with your presence at the Planning Commission Hearing, either in San Bernardino or at one of the two remote videoconferencing sites.
Other links and details on the videoconferencing sites in Joshua Tree and Hesperia can be found in our May 18 Eblast.
Again, we urge desert residents to attend the meeting in San Bernardino or at the remote videoconference sites in San Bernardino or Hesperia for a show of solidarity against the RECE 4.10 revision by Land Use Services staff.