By Miriam Raftery
April 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit filed against San Diego Supervisors asks the court to set aside the County’s new wind energy ordinance and an amendment to Boulevard’s community plan. The case will be heard on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Department C-72, with Judge Timothy Taylor presiding. The courthouse is located at 220 West Broadway, San Diego.
The suit was filed by two community groups-- the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps-- and by Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group. Plaintiffs seek to half industrial wind development in their backcountry community. They contend that such projects pose serious impacts to wildlife, water resources, human health and safety that the Board ignored.
The lawsuit contends that the Board violated requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, failed to perform adequate environmental review, failed to analyze reasonable alternatives, and did not provide an adequate statement of overriding considerations supported by substantial evidence.
Plaintiffs contend that the board failed to address the likelihood of blade throw, turbine collapse and other dangerous mechanical failures, ignoring evidence presented by Protect Our Communities members to Supervisors.
They further contend that distributed energy generation, such as rooftop solar, is a viable option that should be evaluated instead of forcing needless destruction on rural and wilderness areas.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County, voted against the controversial measures, but the majority of Supervisors who represent other districts voted in favor of industrial-scale wind projects in scenic and rural areas of East County. The first industrial wind project approved by Supervisors, Tule Wind, would encompass county lands as well as tribal, state, and federal public recreation lands in McCain Valley, a popular destination for hikers and campers.