Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project - CUP #012609

January 26, 2009

Blue Sky Wind, LLC and Puget Sound Energy submitted a Conditional Use Permit Application on Jan 26, 2009 for the development of a wind energy facility to be located in Garfield County. The applicat has requested the issuance of a Determination of Significance under CH. 43.21C RCW and WAC 197-11, pursuant to which an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared.


February 9, 2009

Garfield County determined that the Conditional Use Permit Appliction to be complete and issued the Determination of Completeness letter to the applicant.


February 12, 2009

Garfield County issued the Notice of Application (NOA) and the Determination of Significance/Environmental Scoping (DS/Scoping) Notices. The open comment period on the NOA and DS/Scoping will run from February 18, 2009 to March 20, 2009. To read the full notices click on the following links.


REVISED NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND DS/SCOPING NOTICES

February 26, 2009

The applicant has identified a numerical figure in the scoping notice published February 18, 2009 for the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project which needs to be corrected. Due to the need to correct the numerical figure and provide the public with notice thereof, Garfield County is re-issuing the scoping notice with the corrected information as provided below and adjusting the scoping comment period to conclude on April 3, 2009 at 5:00 PM. Please note that the comment period has also been extended for the Notice of Application for the Garfield County Conditional Use Permit (CUP) which was submitted on January 26, 2009. The comment period on the Notice of Application will conclude on April 3, 2009.

The purpose of the re-issue of the following document: Public Notice of Determination of Significance, Lead Agency Status and Request for Comments on Scope of EIS: Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project Garfield County CUP# 012609 is clarified to add language in the sections entitled: Description of Project (Columbia County WRAs) and Comment Deadline, which is changed as follows.

The original statement:

“Applicants believe that these lands may be capable of supporting the development of up to 450 MW of electricity, although a more precise assessment would require additional investigation and assessment that has not been completed at this time.”

Has been modified to read:

“Applicants believe that these lands may be capable of supporting the development of up to 632 MW of electricity, although a more precise assessment would require additional investigation and assessment that has not been completed at this time.”

The original statement:

“All scoping comments must be received by the Garfield County Public Works Department, Planning Division, no later than March 20, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.”

Has been modified to read:

“All scoping comments must be received by the Garfield County Public Works Department, Planning Division, no later than April 3, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.”

To read the full REVISED notices click on the following links:


Public Scoping Period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Ended

April 3, 2009

The Comments recieved during the Scoping Periord are being considered in the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The DEIS will be made available for public review and comment when completed. It is anticipated that the DEIS will not be available until mid to late summer.


PUBLIC SCOPING OPEN HOUSE POSTERS

Open Houses were held on March 4, 2009 in Pomeroy and March 5, 2009 in Dayton.


August 17, 2009

NOTICE OF DRAFT EIS and OPEN HOUSE PUBLIC MEETING

  • Date of Draft EIS Notification: August 17, 2009
  • Dates of Public Meetings: September 9 and 10, 2009
  • Close of Draft EIS Comment Period: September 16, 2009

Applicant: Puget Sound Energy, Inc., Attn: Larry Tornberg, PO Box 97034, PSE-04S, Bellevue WA 98009-9734

Location: South of Pomeroy, north of the Pataha Creek, between the Pataha Creek and Tucannon River and south of Toucannon River and State Route 261. Detailed maps and tax parcel numbers are available for review at the Garfield County Public Works office listed below.

Garfield CountyProject File Number: CUP #012609

Proposal: Notice of Availability – A Draft Environmental Impact Statement is issued for the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project. The Applicant proposes to construct and operate approximately 795 wind turbines that would generate approximately 1,432 megawatts (MW) of wind power in Garfield and ColumbiaCounties. The proposed project would occupy approximately 124,000 acres. The Applicant has requested a conditional use permit from GarfieldCounty.

Public Meetings: Two public open houses will be held on September 9, 2009, from 6pm-10pm, at Pomeroy High School in Pomeroy, WA, and September 10, 2009, from 6pm-10pm, at the SenecaBuilding in Dayton, WA. The open houses are an opportunity to ask questions and submit written comments. As with the scoping meetings, there will be no presentations given.

Accessing the Draft EIS Document: To review the Draft EIS, you may use the following methods:

  1. Paper copies are available for review at the Garfield County Public Works Department Office (19th and Arlington, Pomeroy, WA), the Garfield County Library (856 Arlington, Pomeroy, WA), the Garfield County Auditor’s Office (PO Box 278, Pomeroy, WA), the Offices of the Garfield County Commissioners (Garfield County Courthouse), the Columbia County Planning Department (11 S.2nd St., Dayton, WA), and the Columbia County Library (111 S.3rd Street, Dayton, WA).
  2. You may pick up a CD containing the information, free of charge, at the Garfield County Public Works Department or the Columbia County Planning Department.
  3. You may request a hard copy of the DEIS for $50.00 at the Garfield County Public Works Department or the Columbia County Planning Department.
  4. An electronic copy of the EIS is available below.

Comments: You may provide written comments on the Draft EIS to the staff contact listed below. Comments must be received before 5pm on September 16, 2009. There will be an opportunity at the open house public meetings to submit written comments.

A notification of issuance of the Final EIS will be provided in accordance with WAC 197-11-460 and Garfield County SEPA Ordinance Section 5.2. Appeal provisions will be included with the notice of issuance of the Final EIS.

Staff Contact: Walter Grant Morgan, P.E., SEPA Responsible Official, Garfield County Public Works Department, Planning Division, PO Box 160, Pomeroy, WA 99347, (509) 843-1301

DRAFT EIS:

Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project- Volume 1

Appendices


NOTICE OF FINAL EIS

Date of Final EIS Notification: October 7, 2009

Final EIS Adequacy Appeal Deadline: October 21, 2009

Applicant: Puget Sound Energy, Inc., Attn: Larry Tornberg, PO Box 97034, PSE-04S, Bellevue WA 98009-9734

Location: South of Pomeroy, north of the Pataha Creek, between the Pataha Creek and Tucannon River and south of Tucannon River and State Route 261. Detailed maps and tax parcel numbers are available for review at the Garfield County Public Works office listed below.

Garfield County Project File Number: CUP #012609

Proposal: Notice of Availability – A Final Environmental Impact Statement is issued for the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project. The Applicant proposes to construct and operate approximately 795 wind turbines that would generate approximately 1,432 megawatts (MW) of wind power in Garfield and Columbia Counties. The proposed project would occupy approximately 124,000 acres. The Applicant has requested a conditional use permit from Garfield County.

Accessing the Final EIS Document: To review the Final EIS, you may use the following methods:

  1. Paper copies are available for review at the Garfield County Public Works Department Office (19th and Arlington, Pomeroy, WA), the Garfield County Library (856 Arlington, Pomeroy, WA), the Garfield County Auditor’s Office (PO Box 278, Pomeroy, WA), the Offices of the Garfield County Commissioners (Garfield County Courthouse), the Columbia County Planning Department (11 S.2nd St., Dayton, WA), and the Columbia County Library (111 S.3rd Street, Dayton, WA).
  2. You may pick up a CD containing the Final EIS, free of charge, at the Garfield County Public Works Department or the Columbia County Planning Department.
  3. You may request a hard copy of the Final EIS for $50.00 at the Garfield County Public Works Department or the Columbia County Planning Department.
  4. An electronic copy of the Final EIS is available on Garfield County’s web site at www.co.garfield.wa.us.

Appeal Period: You may appeal the adequacy of the Final EIS by filing a notice of appeal; the contents of the appeal as outlined in Section 7.3(3)(b) of the Garfield County SEPA Ordinance (No. 13870); and a $200 filing fee plus cost of transcription and actual cost fees (defined as all costs incurred by the County in receiving, reviewing, and processing the appeal), within 14 days after the issue date of this Final EIS. All notices of appeal must be received by the SEPA Responsible Official by 5pm on October 21, 2009.

Staff Contact: Walter Grant Morgan, P.E., SEPA Responsible Official, Garfield County Public Works Department, Planning Division, PO Box 160, Pomeroy, WA 99347, (509) 843-1301.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

Click on the Following Links to View FEIS:


REVISED Notice of Conditional Use Permit Public Hearing/FEIS Adequacy Appeal

Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project

CUP #012609

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Garfield County Hearing Examiner will hold an Open Record Public Hearing on the conditional use permit application for the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project on Thursday, November 5, 2009 beginning at 9:30 AM in the Main Building at the County Fairgrounds located at 99 Fairgrounds Road, Pomeroy, WA. If the Open Record Public Hearing is not concluded in one day, a second hearing date has been reserved on Monday, November 9, 2009, beginning at 1 PM in Spinners Hall located at 7th Street and Columbia Street in Pomeroy.

The Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project includes the construction of approximately 444 wind turbines over approximately 66,350 acres of leased land located in Garfield County as well as the construction of related infrastructure such as, but not limited to, overhead and underground transmission lines, quarry sites, substations, roads, operation and maintenance facilities, laydown sites, etc.

A representative from the Bonneville Power Administration will also be present at the November 5th public hearing to answer questions regarding its environmental review for and future construction of the Central Ferry Substation within the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project area.

Written comments on the project’s CUP application must be received by Garfield County Planning at the Garfield County Auditor’s Office, P.O. Box 278, Pomeroy, WA 99347, no later than Friday, October 30, 2009 at 5:00 PM. Written and oral comments may also be submitted at the public hearing. Comments received by the deadline listed above, as well as the comments submitted at the public hearing, will become part of the project record. Those wishing to provide oral comments at the hearing will be required to give sworn testimony.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has been available for public review since October 7, 2009 and has an appeal period deadline ending at 5 PM on October 21, 2009. The Planning Department staff report containing proposed project conditions and plans of the proposed project will be available for review on October 29, 2009, at the Garfield County Public Works Office, 19th and Arlington, Pomeroy, WA 99347 between the hours of 6:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday. This staff report will also be posted on the County’s website at www.co.garfield.wa.us under Land Services.

An appeal has been filed on the adequacy of the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”). The Hearing Examiner will also conduct a hearing on said appeal at the above-stated time, date and location, to be followed by the public hearing on the Conditional Use Permit. Both the appeal hearing and the conditional use hearing will be recorded.

The public hearing(s) is located in a facility that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Special accommodations for persons with disabilities will be available, upon request to the Public Works Department, five (5) days prior to the public hearing. If you have questions regarding the public hearing, please call the Public Works Department at 509-843-1301 or the Zoning Official Don Brigham at 509-758-9646.

The following is Garfield County Planning's Staff Report to the Hearings Examiner:

Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project CUP Staff Report - PDF Fromat


ATTENTION!

LAND USE ACTION NOTICE
LOWER SNAKE RIVER WIND ENERGY PROJECT
NOTICE OF DECISION

CUP #012609

Notice is hereby given that the Garfield County Hearing Examiner did on the 25th day of November, 2009, approve with conditions a Conditional Use Permit #012609 for the Lower Snake River Wind Energy Project (the “Project”), a wind-powered renewable energy generation facility. A copy of the Hearing Examiner’s official decision is available for review at the Garfield County Courthouse, Pomeroy, WA, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The decision is also available in PDF by clicking on the link below. The Hearing Examiner’s decision may be appealed within the statutory appeal period.

If you have any questions, please contact Walter Grant Morgan, P.E., Garfield County Public Works Department, Planning Division, PO Box 160, Pomeroy, WA 99347, (509) 843-1301.

The following link is a copy the of Hearings Examiners Decision:

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