Chapter 9 contains changes made to the project and mitigation measures based on comments from agencies and the public and the applicant’s efforts to continually refine the project footprint, which are summarized below.
This final report will be submitted to the county Planning Commissioon for a hearing scheduled for Thurs., Nov. 7 starting at 4 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers at the Humboldt County Courthouse which will be continued at the same time and place on Nov. 14. The Planning Commission could take action at that meeting or, if needed, continue the matter to Nov. 21.
The staff report for this meeting can be found at: https://humboldt.legistar.com/
According to county supervising planner Steve Werner, the staff report excerpt below describes the major changes to the project since the draft report was released:
a. Reduction in projected ground disturbance. The project changes would reduce the
amount of ground disturbance from approximately 900 acres of permanent and
temporary impacts to approximately 655 acres.
b. Realignment and shortening of gen-tie to avoid northern spotted owl activity centers and
foraging and roosting habitat. The total length has been reduced from approximately 25
miles to approximately 22 miles. Where possible, the realigned gen-tie corridor has been
co-located with existing access roads to avoid and minimize site disturbance. For those
limited instances in which the realigned corridor would be located outside the survey
corridor presented in the DEIR, additional field surveys have been conducted to confirm
that the realigned location would not change conclusions from the DEIR and would not
be considered significant new information requiring recirculation.
c. Reduction in the number of turbines from 60 to 47. All turbines would continue to be
located within the study corridor analyzed in the DEIR, spread across Monument and Bear
River Ridges. The applicant has reduced the number of turbines on Bear River Ridge from
CUP-18-002 Humboldt Wind Project 13999 November 7, 2019 Page 6
23 to 20 turbines, and on Monument Ridge, reduced the number of turbines from 37 to 27
turbines. This change has allowed the applicant to further avoid and/or minimize impacts,
including avoidance of certain known cultural resource sites; avoidance and minimization
of impacts on biological resources; and elimination of significant noise impacts on
d. Overhead crossing of gen-tie line over Eel River. Originally, the gen-tie line was proposed
to be underground under the Eel River using horizontal directional drilling. The gen-tie is
now proposed to be relocated 1.8 miles east of the previous route to further reduce
visibility of the gen-tie line to surrounding communities and will use wooden H-frame and
steel monopole structures. The gen-tie will cross at the same level as the Highway 101
e. Realignment of access roads. Since publication of the DEIR, the applicant has agreed to
incorporate into the project the “realigned Jordan Creek access” at the Jordan Creek
staging area that is described in Alternative 2 in the DEIR, which will completely avoid
northern spotted owl activity centers and minimize impacts on northern spotted owl
nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat.
f. Reduced substation footprint. The proposed footprint of the substation has been reduced
from approximately 5 acres to 2.5 acres, to reduce overall site disturbance.