September 4, 2007
Mr. John Day
Santa Barbara County Energy Division
123 E. Anapamu St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
RE: Lompoc Wind Energy Project Draft Environmental Impact Report
Dear Mr. Day:
This letter is submitted by the Environmental Defense Center ("EDC") regarding Santa Barbara County's Draft Environmental Impact Report ("DEIR") for the Lompoc Wind Energy Project. EDC is a non-profit, public interest law firm that represents community organizations in environmental matters affecting California's southern coast. EDC strongly supports the implementation of renewable energy projects in Santa Barbara County because utilization of renewable energy reduces our dependence on fossil fuels and the significant environmental impacts associated with such fuels. Wind energy, for example, is a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
Renewable energy projects, however, are not without their own impacts, and EDC urges the County to ensure that these projects avoid and minimize environmental impacts to the maximum extent feasible. The Lompoc Wind Energy Project is the first major wind energy project proposed for Santa Barbara County; therefore, it is important that the project be constructed and operated in an environmentally sound manner, as it will set the precedent for future wind energy projects in the County.
The following comments are provided with the intent of ensuring the potential impacts from Lompoc Wind Energy Project ("Project") are fully assessed and mitigated to the maximum extent feasible. Our comments focus primarily on biological resources (Chapter 3.5) and outline the need for an adequate understanding of the baseline setting (including species presence and use of the proposed Project area), potential Project impacts, and range of mitigation measures. As part of our comments, we identify several additional mitigation measures that can help avoid or substantially lessen Project impacts,
as required by CEQA.
Section numbering in this comment is intended to replicate the section numbering in the DEIR.
editor's note: comments in the attached .pdf present a comprehensive critique of the pre-constuction surveys conducted by the wind developer.