Campo wind

LAWSUIT FILED OVER CAMPO WIND PROJECT

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Donna Tisdale fears massive wind turbines will ruin life at her rural ranch, pose severe wildfire and safety hazards for neighbors and tribal members

View Lawsuit

July 9, 2020 (Boulevard, CA) – A federal lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the U.S. Department of Interior and agency officials challenging their approval of  Campo Wind facilities on tribal land, including 60 wind turbines each 586 feet tall on 2,200 acres, as well as Boulder Brush energy facilities on adjacent private land. 

“The project is a dangerous and completely unnecessary industrialization of high-quality wildlife habitat in an area with an extremely high wildfire risk and frequent low-flying military, commercial and private aircraft,” states the suit filed by the nonprofit Backcountry Against Dumps along with Boulevard residents Donna and Ed Tisdale, whose ranch adjoins the project site with a half-mile shared border.


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READER’S EDITORIAL TERRA-GEN’S CONTROVERSIAL CAMPO WIND TURBINE PROJECT APPROVED BY DEPT OF INTERIOR OVER STRONG OBJECTIONS OF IMPACTED TRIBAL MEMBERS

Decision bypasses Campo’s tribal regulations and land use planning protections: Legal challenges are in the works

By Donna Tisdale, President of Backcountry Against Dumps

April 9, 2020 (Campo and Boulevard, California)-- Against strong opposition, including many tribal members, the Department of Interior just approved the Record of Decision (ROD) for Terra-Gen’s controversial Campo Wind project with 60-586 ft tall 4.2 megawatt (MW) turbines on Campo Tribal lands in rural San Diego County.

These turbines are taller than the tallest skyscraper in San Diego and twice as powerful as existing Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines that already generate nuisance level adverse impacts for neighbors! To add insult to injury, the ROD was signed by the Assistant Secretary, which means we lose the right to appeal that approval.

Legal challenges are in the works.

Campo Wind is opposed by neighbors as well as by a qualified number of voting Campo Tribal members, but Campo leaders have ignored two valid tribal petitions: 1) to terminate Campo Wind ; 2) to remove their leadership for failing to hold the vote to terminate[1]. Turbines are planned far too close to homes and offices and can restrict the number and placement of new homes for current and future residents.

Campo’s elections are set for April 17th, with strong hope that leaders will be voted in who will act to better protect their people and resources, and to stop Campo Wind dead in its tracks.


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CAMPO TRIBE'S FORMER CHAIR LA CHAPPA AND 64 MEMBERS PETITION FOR SPECIAL MEETING OVER ALLEGEDLY “CORRUPT ACTIONS” OF LEADERSHIP UNDER CHAIRMAN CUERO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Monique La Chappa

March 26, 2020 (Campo) – After Campo tribal chair Harry Paul Cuero Jr. reportedly refused to recognize a motion or allow a vote on a petition to overturn approval of the new Campo Wind project, as ECM reported, a new petition (posted below this article) has reportedly been presented to Cuero which seeks to remove him and potentially other executive committee members from office.

The petition, which former Chair Monique La Chappa says has been signed by 64 tribal general counsel members, calls for a “vote to stop the corrupt actions of our Campo tribal leadership.” She indicates 64 signatures meets the threshhold which would mandate that  a meeting and vote be held.

But she and others fear the Chair may not respect the tribal constitution or federal laws, citing a pattern of disregarding such requirements in recent years in what La Chappa contends amounts to "a dictatorship," she told ECM an in exclusive interview.


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CAMPO TRIBAL MEMBERS PLEAD FOR LEGAL HELP, ALLEGE RIGHTS VIOLATED IN WIND PROJECT APPROVAL: PETITION SEEKS REVOTE ON CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT

“Our reservation is in dire financial condition. We have really nothing to give our youth…All we have are false promises.” – Denis Largo, tribal elder who delivered a petition calling for a vote to overturn wind project approval

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Tribal elder Dennis Largo

February 14, 2020 (Campo)—Whistleblowers in the Campo band of Mission Indians claim that their tribal leadership pushed through approval of a massive wind project during an improperly noticed meeting. They have now collected enough signatures to overturn that approval with a revote.  But despite the Feb. 13th deadline to notify tribal members of a meeting to revote on the controversial project, several tribal members say they have not received any such notice.   

The proposed Campo Wind project would allow 60 turbines built by Terra-Gen on the reservation. Each would be 586 tall, the tallest wind turbines ever built on land, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group, which also opposes the project.


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GIANT WIND PROJECTS DRAW STRONG OPPOSITION FROM RURAL RESIDENTS AND TRIBAL MEMBERS: DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS TODAY

 

By Rebecca Person

Miriam Raftery also contributed to this article

Photos: An existing wind project on the Campo reservation has previously had multiple fires caused by exploding wind turbines, shown here, raising alarm among area residents over fire dangers and other potential hazards posed by the proposed new and far larger turbines

February 3, 2020 (Campo) -- Residents of Campo, Boulevard and Jacumba voiced their concerns Jan. 23rd at a meeting in Boulevard held by the County Planning Development Services staff addressing the construction of 120 wind turbines in Boulevard and on the Campo Reservation.

The wind turbines will be 596’ tall, taller than towers which dot the high desert that stand between 325' to almost 400 ft tall. 60 turbines are planned for the Campo Indian Reservation, and 30 turbines for McCain Valley near I-8 freeway in Boulevard. According to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group, these may be the largest wind turbines ever erected on land. Turbines on tribal land would also abut her property in rural Boulevard. Setbacks from some homes would be far less than at many other wind projects, even though the turbines are larger.

Over 60 local residents gathered at the meeting and many spoke of the effects existing towers have had on their quality of life. Campo Band of Mission Indians tribal members who live on the Campo Reservation and oppose the project stated that they have presented a petition with 65 signatures asking their tribal council to overturn an earlier disputed vote to erect the giant turbines on the reservation.


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PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT AT TERRA-GEN WIND PROJECT MEETINGS IN BOULEVARD AND CAMPO JUNE 6 AND JUNE 19

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2019 (Campo) – Public participation is needed at two upcoming meetings on Terra-Gen’s proposal to install 60 wind turbines, each 586 feet tall and capable of producing 4.2 megawatts of power.  The turbines are proposed on the Campo tribal reservation, from north of I-8 to near the border in the south. 

“These turbines are about twice the size with twice the harmful energy and noise as existing local Kumeyaay Wind and Tule Wind turbines. If new turbines are approved, life for many area residents will change for the worst.” Says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group which represents nearby communities. She adds, “People are already sick around existing turbines.”        

Below are details on upcoming meetings June 6 and June 19, where the public can learn more and speak out:    


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COUNTY TO HOLD MEETING FEB. 28 IN BOULEVARD ON NEW SUBSTATION AND POWERLINES FOR PROPOSED CAMPO WIND PROJECT





 

By Miriam Raftery

February 16, 2019 (Boulevard) – The County will be holding a scoping meeting February 28 at 6 p.m. at the Boulevard Fire Station regarding Terra Gen’s Boulder Brush Gen-tie power line and new substation facilities proposed on private land to support the Campo Wind project.

The wind turbines would cover most of the Campo reservation with 60 4-megawatt wind turbines, if approved. The new turbines are twice as powerful and about 100 to 200 feet taller than the existing 25 Kumeyaay Wind and 57 Tule Wind turbines in the area, according to Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Community Planning Group.  The public is encouraged to come voice your views as part of the official public input process at this meeting.

Public comments are due to the County by March 18


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TWISTING IN THE WIND: AS RURAL RESIDENTS COMPLAIN OF WIND ENERGY IMPACTS, CAMPO TRIBE PROPOSES TOWERING NEW PROJECT: SCOPING MEETING DEC. 6

County denies request for health impacts of turbines, even as more are proposed

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: New proposed turbines would be much taller and produce more energy than these older Kumeyaay Wind turbines, also broadening the areas that could be impacted by noise, vibrations, and electromagnetic interefence with devices such as cell phones

December 6, 2018 (Campo) –Tonight, the Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold a scoping meeting on a notice to prepare n environmental impact statement for a proposal to build 60 wind turbines up to 586 feet tall (taller than the highest skyscraper in San Diego) on the Campo Indian reservation. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Campo Tribal Hall, 36190 Church Road (BIA 10) at highway 94 in Campo.  Written comments can also be submitted by December 21st. Find details at www.CampoWind.com.

The new Campo Wind project is proposed for most Campo reservation ridgelines from north of I-8 to the U.S./Mexico border, each 4 megawatts.  Neighbors and the Boulevard Planning Group have raised concerns over the large turbines including noise, sleep disruption, health impacts and lost property values.   View flyer.

Minutes of the Boulevard Planning Group meeting from November 1, 2018 reveal numerous residents’ complaints about problems reportedly associated with similarly large-scale wind turbines recently installed at the Tule Wind project in McCain  Valley as well as turbines at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo. Those complaints range from noise and vibrations to interference with cell phone service, a vital concern in an area prone to wildfires where communication is critical.


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BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS APPROVES TULE WIND FARM LEASE

 

Decision puts families and eagles at risk, Protect Our Communities warns

Wind-turbine fire on Campo Reservation December 16, 2013 near site of wind farm lease approved by BIA in the same week that this blaze threatened nearby homes.

December 31, 2013  –On December 26, local residents learned that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has signed a Record of Decision approving a lease for Phase II of Iberdrola’s controversial Tule Wind Project (also known as the Reduced Ridgeline Project) in San Diego County. The Record of Decision has not been published in the Federal Register so is not available for the public to review even though the BIA has already issued a press release.

“The BIA’s decision is reckless and shows outrageous disregard for the high fire risk we all face in San Diego County,” said Donna Tisdale, POC’s Secretary. “The fire district that Iberdrola contracted has no air tankers or helicopters of its own, but must hope and pray that mutual aid fire agencies can spare them. And Iberdrola’s Tule Wind Fire Protection Plan shows that it plans to use the people of San Diego County as guinea pigs by relying on an experimental fire suppression technology instead of something already proven to work.”


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WIND FIRE: NEW QUESTIONS RAISED OVER WIND TURBINE BLAZE IN CAMPO

 

Part II in our "Wind Fire" series

By Miriam Raftery

December 17, 2013 (Campo) – Yesterday’s explosion and brush fire sparked by a Gamesa wind turbine owned by Infigen at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo, California has ignited new questions about the safety of wind turbines in this fire-prone region, where several of the worst wildfires in California history have previously scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.

In June, Infigen settled a lawsuit with Gamesa stemming from an earlier catastrophe at the same wind facility in 2009, when an explosive blast resulted in replacement of all 75 wind turbines, as ECM reported in an exclusive report.  But now Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale reveals, “The 75 turbine blades from the 2009 catastrophic failure that you covered are still laying on the ground at the wind farm and are highly flammable.”


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