East County News Service
August 16, 2023 (San Diego's East County)—Yesterday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion vacating as “arbitrary and capricious” the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA) denial of a petition by an environmental organization, Backcountry Against Dumps.
The group sought discretionary review of a plan by Terra-Gen Development Company to construct 72 wind turbines, including 60 that would be 586 feet tall on the crest of the Coast Range on the Campo reservation in the Campo-Boulevard areas of San Diego's East County. The turbines would be roughly twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and located within the principal aviation corridor between San Diego, California and Yuma, Arizona.
Backcountry’s petition recognized the vital need for renewable energy to counter climate change, but pointed out that public and environmental safety must also be factored into project reviews.
It cited documentation showing the turbines would pose collision hazards to fixed wing and rotary aircraft, impair radar function, potentially trigger greenhouse gas-emitting wildfires due to wind-induced sparking of power lines, lightning strikes and overheating of rotors, impede aerial firefighting and other emergency response, and force air traffic to fly at higher altitudes more prone to icing hazards to clear these enormous obstructions.