Comments to BPA regarding Whistling Ridge Energy Project

Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Save Our Scenic Area, two non-profit conservation advocacy organizations missioned with protecting the Columbia River Gorge region, provided these comprehensive comments to the Bonneville Power Administration in reference to the proposed Whistling Ridge Wind Energy project. The project, owned by SDS Lumber Company, would consist of 50, 1.2 to 1.5 MW turbines. The opening portion and conclusion of the letter is provided below. The full comment letter can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.

Katey Grange
Environmental Lead, WRE Project (DOE/EIS-0419)
Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

Amy M. Gardner
Project Manager, WRE Project (DOE/EIS-0419)
Bonneville Power Administration- TEP-TPP-1
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, W A 98666-1409

Re: Whistling Ridge Energy Project (DOE/EIS-0419), Skamania County, Washington

Dear Ms. Grange and Ms. Gardner:

This letter is written on behalf of Friends of the Columbia Gorge ("Friends") and Save Our Scenic Area  ("SOSA"). Friends and SOSA are nonprofit conservation advocacy organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the resources of the Columbia River Gorge region. Friends' and SOSA's members live in the communities and use and enjoy the resources that would be affected by the Whistling Ridge Energy Project ("Project" or "WREP"), proposed by Whistling Ridge Energy LLC ("WRE" or "Applicant").

As organizations and individuals interested in the Whistling Ridge project and the future of the Columbia Gorge, we write today to ask that BPA deny the generation interconnection request ("GIR") sought by WRE.

In addition, for the reasons explained below, BPA must prepare and issue a supplemental environmental impact statement ("EIS") for the Project prior to making a decision on the interconnection request. Given that the basic Project details, likely impacts, and mitigation measures have yet to be disclosed by the Applicant and have yet to be reviewed or decided by the State of Washington, BPA should coordinate with the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council ("EFSEC") in the preparation and issuance of a supplemental EIS.

[access letter to see comments]


For the foregoing reasons, Friends and SOSA request that the BPA deny WRE’s generation interconnection request for the Whistling Ridge project. The Applicant has failed to supply necessary information about the proposal and has also explained that the Project as modified by Governor Gregoire is not economically viable and will not proceed.

In addition, Friends and SOSA request that BPA cooperate with EFSEC to prepare a joint supplemental EIS for the Project reviewing its final details, impacts, and mitigation measures, prior to any further agency decisions on the Project.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of our comments. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. In addition, if there are any responses to these comments by BPA staff, the Applicant, or others, please forward them to the undersigned.

Nathan Baker
Staff Attorney
Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Gary K. Kahn
Reeves, Kahn, Hennessy & Elkins
Attorney for Friends of the Columbia Gorge

J. Richard Aramburu
Aramburu & Eustis, LLP
Attorney for Save Our Scenic Area

Comments Friends Sosa Whistling Ridge Energy Project

Download file (762 KB) pdf

JUL 3 2014
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