• Steve Brown

New video on sand transport paths near Newberry Springs shows hazards of blowing PM-10

Ted Stimpfle produced this video showing the dust storm created under high winds on April 29, 2018, in Newberry Springs. He had originally intended to present this video during his three minute public comment during the May 24 San Bernardino County Planning Commission meeting, but permission was reportedly rescinded by Land Use Services.

According to recent Minerva Hoyt Award-winning naturalist, Pat Flanagan who has been studying sand transport corridors extensively:

"The unincorporated communities in the desert region of San Bernardino County, located i n basins with 0-1 percent slope, are the most in danger from utility-scale solar developers because the touchy PV electronics need flat leveled surfaces to work. Now add transmission and we immediately recognize our communities - Joshua Tree, Homestead Valley, Landers, Lucerne Valley, Daggett and Newberry Springs - as targets. LUS is unconcerned with the quality-of-life in our communities and, in fact, is working with the large-scale solar developers to eliminate impediments to CUPs.

"Their latest idea, found in the Revised RE 4.0, 4.3.2 and 4.10 with subsections, is to saddle us with developer-written Community Compatibility Reports. These reports will convince us of, 1) the many benefits utility-scale projects bring to our communities, 2) that the negative impacts of these projects can be minimized, and 3) these projects are perfectly consistent with our community goals.  LUS acts as though, 1) we have no experience, and, 2) are not very bright. "

Many residents of communities like Lucerne Valley and Newberry Springs are concerned about utility scale solar power projects proposed and planned for thousands of acres around their homes. Some of their concerns center on blowing dust (PM-10) coming from these sites and the health hazards from the dust, as well as impacts to agriculture, property value, and quality of life.

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