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Press release from the City of Rio Dell:
The Rio Dell City Council met on the evening of June 4, 2019 to discuss a response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a proposed 155 megawatt wind farm composed of potentially up to sixty towers. The project and its towers would be located on Monument Ridge and Bear River Ridge and would be visible from town.
After careful consideration, the Council voted 4‐0 (Councilmember Wilson recused) to issue a strongly worded response to the DEIR officially opposing the project and recommending the “No Project” alternative. The letter is attached to the release for review.
In January of 2018 the Rio Dell City Council opted to participate in a Regional Climate Action Plan along with a coalition of other local governments and the city is generally supportive of green energy.
However, the city believes the project is being fast‐tracked in a manner that defers critically important technical studies. Furthermore, the city is concerned that this fast‐tracked process is not in the public interest, but serves the interests of the project proponents who desire valuable tax credits that expire at the end of 2019. “
“When people hear the word windmill, they have to understand the real scale of what is being talked about.” Rio Dell Mayor Debra Garnes stated. “If you placed one of these structures in downtown San Francisco, only five buildings in the entire city would be taller. The proposal is for up to sixty (60) of these towers just outside of Rio Dell.”
Garnes expressed concern that virtually every citizen of Rio Dell would be impacted by the presence of the rotating towers and that there would be a negative impact on property values. The project includes extensive road grading and land clearing to facilitate access to the ridgetops as well as new above‐ground power transmission lines.
“I was surprised to hear that the geological report had been deferred considering the immense scale of what is proposed and its potential impact to water quality on the Eel.” Stated Rio Dell Mayor Pro‐Tem Julie Woodall. “Everyone knows that the ground in this part of the country is unstable and unpredictable. A project like this poses significant risk to our water system, not to mention the fish.”
Rio Dell’s main water intake is just downstream of the proposed roadway projects.
Residents interested in commenting on the project are encouraged to do so by emailing CEQAResponses@co.humboldt.ca.us before 5:00 pm on June 14, 2019.