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Public Hearing on Scout Energy Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project
March 30, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Open House – March 30, 2021, 5:00 – 5:30 PM: The Applicant and EFSEC staff will be available to answer questions about the Project and the EFSEC review process.
Informational Public Meeting – March 30, 2021, 5:30 – 7:30 PM or last speaker, whichever comes first: As required by RCW 80.50.090 (1) and WAC 463-26-025 EFSEC will hold a Public Informational Meeting. At this meeting, the Applicant and EFSEC staff will make presentations. Also, at this meeting, Counsel for the Environment, an Assistant Attorney General appointed by the Washington Attorney General will be introduced and will explain the duties of this position. Public comment will be taken during this meeting. To sign up to speak at this meeting please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call EFSEC staff at (360) 664-1345 before 5:00 pm on March 30, 2021.
Land Use Consistency Hearing – March 30, 2021, 7:30 – 9:00 PM or last speaker, whichever comes first: As required by RCW 80.50.090 (2) and WAC 463-26-050 and 463-26-060 subsequent to the informational public hearing, at approximately 7:30 PM EFSEC will hold a Land Use Hearing. During this hearing, the public will be given an opportunity to provide testimony regarding the proposed Project’s consistency and compliance with land use plans and zoning ordinances. To sign up to give testimony at this hearing please send an email to email@example.com or call EFSEC staff at (360) 664-1345 before 5:00 pm on March 30, 2021.
Note: The Land Use Consistency Hearing will begin no later than 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Informational Public Meeting, which may end before 7:30 PM.
Rather than oppose the HHH wind farm for the sake of birds, why not negotiate with Scout Energy to work with Audubon, which supports properly sited wind power, to choose turbine sites that minimize turbine impacts on migratory birds? And use the findings of recent controlled studies that have found bird deaths from turbines are reduced 70% by painting one blade black.
Rather than deprive the HHH land owners of thousands of dollars per turbine in rent royalties each year, and Benton County of an estimated $20 million in annual property tax revenue (7.6% of current county property tax revenue, and $100 per resident), why not negotiate with Scout Energy to choose turbine sites and heights that eliminate the visual impact to the bulk of the residents in the Tri-Cities?
In 2014, a Benton County Conservations Futures initiative was on the ballot. It would have used a modest property tax to raise revenue to preserve land through purchase or conservation easements. The tax amounted to $12 per year on a median priced home. If it had passed, the revenue could have been used to compensate the HHH land owners for wind energy royalties lost from preserving the view scape. But it failed.
You can think of HHH wind farm property tax revenue as compensation for the remaining visual impact. That revenue could be used to purchase and preserve our beloved ridges from housing developments. Or perhaps you have other ideas for how to spend that much tax revenue.
Consider the case of humble Sherman County, Oregon. Before wind power was installed there, it had been one of the poorest counties in Oregon. Now it has a new library and two new city halls, a sewer system, new schools, and a new senior citizens center. Every resident is paid $590 per year by the wind energy industry. Maybe we can learn something from them. – Steve Ghan
Another suggestion: Compromise with much smaller and fewer wind turbines, keep the solar project, and suggest use of advanced (modular) reactors.