Solar Panel

photo by Jim Stroh

The Inyo Supervisors recently sent in comments of concern for environmental impacts from the Department of Water and Power’s proposed solar project, and now everyone can continue to comment through November 4th. DWP extended their comment deadline.

It is DWP that will complete an Environmental Impact Report on the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project planned for 1200 acres southeast of Independence, across from the Manzanar Historic Site and east of the Owens River. DWP plans to build the one million solar-paneled, 200 megawatt project next year.

Inyo County comments, compiled by the Planning Department, point to potential dust pollution, visual impacts, lack of a reclamation plan, failure to consider the Long-Term Water Agreement regarding two new wells, failure to comply with the County Geneal Plan, housing impacts, and impacts to the Lower Owens River Project.

The County also raises the concern that if the solar project impacts animal and bird habitat, other agencies may require that DWP buy more land to offset the habitat destruction. The County points out that DWP already owns 98% of private land and has continued to buy up more. Inyo officials say this erodes the County tax base and related services.

The County’s comments are online at The Draft EIR is available at all Inyo libraries and the DWP office in Bishop. See it online at Mail your comments to:

Ms. Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012

Or email to [email protected] or [email protected]