A Scoping meeting for the proposed mega-3,500-acre Daggett photovoltaic solar
project will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 4 P.M. at the
Daggett Community Center.
A Scoping meeting is where the project is introduced and the public is given an
opportunity to express the environmental concerns that they wish to have addressed
in the upcoming Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that is required under the California
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
As the proposed project's disturbance of 3,500-acres of land is immediately
upwind to Newberry Springs in a Sand Transport Path, the negative impact upon the
health of Newberry citizens is expected to be considerable. Numerous other economic
and environmental negative impacts against Newberry Springs are expected.
Newberry CSD meeting.
The proposed Daggett solar project, and another proposed solar project
targeting inside Newberry Springs, was discussed at the March 27, Newberry CSD meeting.
Notable attendees at the meeting included the Honorable Paul F. Smith, San Bernardino County
Planning Commissioner; Terri Rahhal, County Planning Director of the Land Use Services Department;
and Pat Flanagan, board member of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association, a member of the
Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Committee, and an advisor on the Technical
Advisory Committee of the Mojave Desert AQMD.
Kiewit Pacific trust funds.
For the third consecutive monthly board meeting, the CSD Board was requested
to release the Kiewit Pacific trust funds that have been languishing without purpose for
14-years. At no time in the past has a purpose for the funds been more
The obstructive board members blocking the release of the funds that
belong to the community, are Robert Springer, Larry Clark, Paula Deel, and
Victoria Paulsen. Board member Robert Shaw has continued to support the release
of the funds.
The need to release of the funds has been critical as Newberry Springs needs
professional expertise in addressing the community's protections under CEQA and other legal
aspects of the proposed solar projects. An important time to have expert
representation is at the Daggett meeting. The obstructive Board members
in the dereliction of their duty have left Newberry Springs highly vulnerable.
Land Use Services Department.
County Planning Commissioner Paul F. Smith (left) stands upon several feet of
windblown sand while visiting the Mountain View Road solar facility in Newberry Springs.
The March 27th tour was assisted by CEQA NOW president, Robert Berkman, pictured right.
The Third District Commissioner wanted to acquire first-hand knowledge of the area and
that of Sand Transport Paths. The fence height (excluding the barbed wire) is 6-feet.
Terri Rahhal, County Planning Director, spoke at the Newberry CSD meeting
and answered questions from the public. Rahhal is the driver behind the Land Use
Services Department (LUSD) that has repeatedly shown an unhealthy bias in benefiting
special business interests over that of communities.
After LUSD has assisted the
Daggett solar developers for over a year to develop the necessary hundreds of
pages to file their solar application, the LUSD has only presented a seven-page Notice of
Preparation (NOP) for the 3,500-acre Daggett project. In comparison, the 484-acre
Ord Mountain Solar NOP came with a 102-page Initial Study for Scoping. Newberry
Springs is attending the Daggett Scoping meeting with little background knowledge and
no professional representation.
The LUSD should not be working with the developers on the proposed
location which is in a Sand Transport Path and on a project for which the siting does
not qualify under CEQA, the 'Required Findings for Approvals of a Commercial Solar
Energy Facility' under the San Bernardino County Development Code § 84.29.035,
and federal law.
Deadline to submit comments.
The deadline to submit written comments for inclusion into the EIR
Scoping process is April 26, 2018. The County LUSD must have the submission by
Winds blowing through the local Sand Transport Path in the Silver Valley last
Saturday (April 7th) picked-up particulate matter on the west side of the Daggett Airport
and blew a sand river across the military's helicopter tiedown area. With the
proposed blading on the west side of the airport for a portion of the proposed solar
development, far greater sand events are expected to impact the aircrafts and airport