It was good enough for the feds.
In California, though, and regarding environmentally related matters, federal standards and outcomes don’t always reign supreme or signal the final chapter concerning any proposed project.
The principals of a business group called Regenerate Power found that out recently when their plan to build a solar project in southeastern California was thwarted by California regulators, specifically San Bernardino County officials.
The Soda Mountain project was originally envisioned as an energy initiative that would occupy close to 2,600 acres near the Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, respectively. Because that acreage belongs to the federal government, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management weighed in with its evaluation, ultimately giving the project a go-ahead on a smaller parcel of land.
That approval came with one caveat, though, namely, that Regenerate Power secure state and county permits before commencing work.
It couldn’t do so, with San Bernardino County supervisors voting down the project by a 3-2 tally, based on a belief that it adversely affect area wildlife.
A media commentary on the project and its stalling notes the problems that can occur with “developing renewable projects on public lands as they intersect with prime wildlife habitat.” The article points out that “environmental mitigation processes” can effectively stop a project in its tracks for a period of years or even permanently.
Although currently stymied, the would-be developers harbor hope that their plan will ultimately be realized.
“This is a good project,” notes Regenerate Power’s CEO, “and good projects get built.”
In the instant case, that of course remains to be seen.