New Alert! New Alert!
Don't Let this happen in your area!!
27 STORY WINDMILLS WIN, BIG MONEY WINS, TAX PAYERS LOSE, ELECTRIC UTILITY USERS LOSE
 

On December 3, 1998, The Board of Supervisor Voted 3 to 1 against the appeal that certified the EIR. Gale Steele the one DISSENTING vote compared the new windmills to the 12 story Lakeshore Building in Oakland, they will be double that in size That's HUMONGOUS!
The Altamont Pass has the densest population of nesting GOLDEN EAGLES in the world. The new windmills almost the size of a football field 280 feet high is also a expansion in blade sweep.

Prior to the December 3, 1998 appeal supervisors got this letter;

Darryl Mueller
3290 Dyer Rd.
Livermore, Ca. 94550   449-0655

Supervisor, Scott Haggerty
Alameda County Board of Supervisors
1221 Oak St. , Fifth Floor
 Oakland, Ca. 94612

December 1, 1998

Subject;  Appeals Windmill repowering, and the EIR certification.

Dear Supervisor, Scott Haggerty

To get right to the point, the EIR does not mitigate the problems that now exist at Altamont Wind Resource Area. This large scale replacement program was approved with out my concerns being mitigated. My concerns are summed up as environmental, and include Golden Eagle and other raptor and bird kills, sight, sound and property values.

1. There are federal and state laws that are not being enforced that spell out $10,000 dollar fine for each killing of a Golden Eagle. U.S. Steel Morisville, Pa. was involved in a problem that involved pollution and laws were not being enforced. One individual sued U.S. Steel because federal and state laws were not being enforced and was awarded millions. This could happen at anytime and Alameda County along with the operator would be responsible.  Altamont Pass is home to the largest concentration of nesting Golden Eagle pairs in the world. There is no way that off site habitat can be considered as a way to mitigate.

2. The proposed 160 new windmills are 27 stories tall. This is four times larger than most of the windmills they will replace and will be overpowering to say the least. Blade sweep area will be increased. These huge new windmills will look very strange and out of place. They will certainly be a novel attraction,  but nobody would want them for a neighbor.   With restrictions on building height in Livermore Valley and Hacienda Business Park, to preserve the view of the hills. To then spoil it with 27 story windmills seems thoughtless to say the least. There is no way to mitigate the cumulative visual effect of hundreds of 27 story structures.

3. There is no way to tell the level of noise that will come from the new models but at the very least residents should have guarantees that our peace, quiet and life style will not be affected. The residents on Dyer Rd. are for the most part sheltered from the wind. Any blade or turbine noise is heard a long distance from the source.  There is no way to mitigate the cumulative noise.

4. Marketability of property is another concern. If repowering does take place it will impact  property values and cause them to decline. Dyer Rd. residents are very concerned that eventually all windmills will be repowered including the along Dyer Rd. and for ask guarantees that this would not happen. Guarantees go a long way to could mitigate property values.

YOURS TRULY,

DARRYL MUELLER

Enclosureís
August 22, 1990 Letter to Planning
March 15, 1993 Letter to Planning
March 29, 1993 letter to Planning
September 30, 1998 Planning, Response to DER
 
 

ALTAMONT LANDOWNER AGAINST RURAL MISMANAGEMENT
3290 DYER RD.
LIVERMORE, CA94550
925-963-2558

ANNEMARIE DIETZGEN
ALAMEDA COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
399 ELMHURST ST.
HAYWARD, CA. 94544

September 30, 1998

Subject;  Response to DEIR

DEAR ANNEMARIE DIETZGEN:

If it were not for government programs and money repowering would not happen.
Power from other sources cost 2.5 cents per kW.  ìWind generated power cost 14 cents per KW. in 1997.î  This is stated in Wind Project Performance, 1995 Summary, California Energy Commission, June 1997.
With forced cuts in a number of bad programs and through the close economic scrutiny of consumers and other utilities, the viability of wind turbine electric is very questionable.
ìCurrent forecasts of about  5 cents per kW are less than one third of the fixed payment.  These revenue reductions are of particular concern to wind projects with outstanding loans extending beyond the 10th year.î  This is stated in Wind Project Performance, 1995 Summary, California Energy Commission, June 1997.

3. GEOLOGIC PROBLEMS
The removal of existing pads, demolition dust and noise, and traffic will impact the quiet setting in the hills.  The haul-off of the removed structures and haul-in of new structures will add to deterioration of the roads. This is mitigated by a windmill tax, but the county has failed to maintain the roads out of tax revenues that wind turbines pay for road maintenance .
This is Significant Impact!

4. WATER
Everyone in the Altamont is on a well. There is certainly the potential for our water sources to be disrupted or contaminated by this the removal and new construction. Oil discharge from the rotor bearings has been a problem. The oil runs down the blades goes into the ground and vegetation and eventually the groundwater.
This is Significant Impact!

5. AIR QUALITY

Oil from the blades will expose sensitive raptors, birds and livestock to pollutants.
This is Significant Impact!
 

6. TRANSPORTATION

Increased vehicle trips for the demolition and new construction and then continued maintenance.
This is Significant Impact!
 

7. Biological Resources
 

In February 20, 1986 The California Energy Commission gave Testimony about Development of Wind Energy.  It is just as factual today as it was 12 years ago.

ì THAT THERE ARE SOME SENSITIVE AREAS WITHIN THE STATE WHERE WIND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD NOT PROCEED UNLESS IT IS ASSURED THAT THE DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT HAVE ADVERSE IMPACTS ON SENSITIVE WILDLIFE RESOURCES.î ìTHE ENERGY COMMISSION HAS CONSISTENTLY EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT DEVELOPMENT OF PREFERRED ELECTRICAL SOURCES SUCH AS WIND SHOULD NOT PROCEED AT THE EXPENSE OF SENSITIVE NATURAL RESOURCES.î  ìPROJECTS WHICH HAVE THE CLEAR POTENTIAL TO ADVERSELY AFFECT UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE NATURAL RESOURCES SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED, PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE IS NO OVERRIDING NEED FOR SUCH A PROJECT.î ì IT HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT WIND TURBINE STRUCTURES RESULT IN COLLISION DEATH TO BIRDS.î
I am in agreement with the statements above. Alameda and Contra Costa County have both been involved with studies about Avian Mortality. These studies proved without any doubt that protected Golden Eagles and other raptors are continually being killed at The Altamont Pass. This fact alone is reason enough for a no project conclusion, and removal of existing wind turbines.
THERE IS NO WAY TO MITIGATE, AVIAN MORTALITY IMPACT.
This is Significant Impact! No project!

8. HAZARDS
a. Increased fire hazards from windmill activities is a serious problem.
b. Increased chance of air craft  collision with fire and possible crash in a dwelling.
This is Significant Impact!

9. NOISE
Noise levels are higher than the original CUP allowed along Dyer Rd.
The DEIR contains information that supportís my 1990 position on noise violation. (see letter to Planning dated August 22, 1990)
The DEIR also reports current windfarm operations have been operating in violation of their CPUís. The violations are as follows;
The DEIR reported a 59 dba which is a violation of the 55 dba.
The DEIR reported sound data from old models have power levels of 101-104 dba. (violation)
The DEIR reported sound data from new models have sound power of 97-102 dba. (violation)
The DEIR reported traffic and vegetation in their noise study, this is because the placement of the sound receivers need to be at ear level and not ground level.
The DEIR did not include an in depth sound study from the proposed windmills, as requested in comment to the POP.

U.S. WINDPOWERS OWN PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS ON THE MODEL 56-100 IS 45 dba AT 800 FT. [ SEE COPY POWER CURVE AND PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS 56-100 THIS LITERATURE WAS GIVEN TO ME IN IN 1989.] AND THIS BRINGS UP THE QUESTION OF THERE ACCURACY, AND HOW CAN WE EXPERIENCE SO MUCH WINDMILL NOISE INSIDE OUR HOMES. (U.S. WINDPOWER OWN ENGINEERS STUDIED AND FOUND 47 TO 52 dba. [SEE PAGE 4. OAKLAND SCAVENGER WINDPLANT ATTACHMENT 1., PART OF C-5491 PERMIT]) AND PAGE 2 PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS OF THE SAME C-5491 IT SAYS WOULD NOT EXCEED 55 dba IN 2800' RADIUS.

I request that the Planning Administrator, does not proceed with the final EIR until the existing violations are resolved. I think it only fair to Altamont residents that the county take the time and research what U.S. Windpower told the county and us to get the permits in the first place, and then what the real facts are.

All windmill permits on Dyer Rd. should be part of the process or made non renewable. The present intent to gain approval away from residents, could allow these giant windmills erected close to and within sight of Dyer Rd. residents at a future date.

Blade area exchange is not correct.   DEIR used a 6 to 1 ratio. The correct ratio is 7.35 of the old 60 ft. blade diameter turbines for each new 160 ft. blade diameter.

Dyer Rd. residents live in a valley or sheltered setting with the majority of the high winds going over the hills. This setting allows the windmill noise to be heard that might not be heard in other places, such as level ground. Raising of noise levels to allow operation would effect our quality of living.

This is Significant Impact!
 
 

10. PUBLIC SERVICES

a. Fire Protection.  CDF has put most of the fires out that are caused by Wind Generators.  What part of that cost has been paid for by the Wind Generators?
b. Contractors working for the windmill operators have illegally been roading large cranes--the weight per axle was at least double allowed by law. We have pictures of this. The permit fee to mitigate road maintenance needs to deal with this type of abuse.
This is Significant Impact!
 

11. UTILITY SYSTEMS

a. This project has a negative impact on the cumulative cost to California utilities and the California consumers have to pay for this subsidized power and the trickle of energy that is returned.
b. Based on information at hand in the notice of preparation, we must assume that there will be interference with radio, mobile phone, and TV.
This is Significant Impact!
 

12. AESTHETICS

a. The proposed windmills will be overpowering and visual monstrosities.
b. There will be a an undesirable negative impact on property values and our scenic landscape.
c.  Light glare will spoil the wonderful view of the stars and planets.
d.  This will, with out a doubt, downgrade the Altamont Pass area and probably the entire Livermore area, and will be overpowering to say the least.
e. The Livermore Valley and Pleasanton will also have to their views of the hills spoiled by windmills.
There is no way to mitigate this! No project conclusion should result!
This is Significant Impact!

13. MANDATORY FINDINGS
a. Since this project should use actual data that has been collected since 1980 in the EIR, there should not be any question as to what will happen to the Altamont Pass should the project be approved.  Existing noise problems need to be resolved. No project conclusion should result!
b. The short term goal of the Wind Energy Producers and the tax revenues to Alameda and Contra Costa County is the only goal. No information has been shown that the larger wind turbines will end the environmental problems.  It could cause new problems.
c. Effects on the avian from this and other wind turbine projects have had a cumulative effect. Placement of these structures directly in the isolated habitat areas where the Golden Eagle and other raptors are and then propose to mitigate collision problems is a false hope.  It needs to be fully understood that this project will kill protected species and that mitigation measures are false.  No project conclusion should result.
d. This project will have a substantial adverse impact on human beings, aesthetics, noise and public safety.  No project conclusion should result!

Enclosureís
August 22, 1990 Letter to Planning
March 15, 1993 Letter to Planning
March 29, 1993 Letter to Planning
 
 
 

YOURS TRULY,
 
 

DARRYL MUELLER


ALARM RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF PREPERATION

ANNEMARIE DIETZGEN ALAMEDA COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

399 ELMHURST ST.

HAYWARD, CA. 94544

February 27, 1998

Subject; Response to February 3, 1998 Notice of Preparation

DEAR ANNEMARIE DIETZGEN:

After review of the notice of preparation, I have included a brief response.

Alameda County should issue a new Notice of Preparation and include the negative information about Wind Generated Power along with positive information.

1. It seems that The County of Alameda is acting on behalf of wind turbine operators to push this project. It is only proper that there should have been several hearings on this repowering to find if the need exists before we even get to this notice of preparation stage.

There is a lot of information that does not favor this source of electric generation! This opposition information should have been included in the notice of preparation along with the facts for repowering! After all isn't the county supposed to be unbiased? The county has pushed for years for the wind turbines industry that was an experiment, that failed and caused environmental problems that never were solved, along with the high cost to electric customers.

2. Why has the County of Alameda accepted the position of spokesman for wind turbine operators and not provided all the information on the scope of this project in the Notice of Preparation?

a. What are the models of the proposed turbines, how long have they been tested, and by what independent lab.

b. What are the Conditional Use permits involved in the repowering?

c. How many of the new turbines are being asked to replace the old turbines?

d. Blade area exchange is not mentioned. It would take 7.35 of the old 60 ft. blade diameter turbines for each new 160 ft. blade diameter.

e. How can repowering be an improvement over the complete removal?

f. When the wind turbine operator goes out of business, who will pay for the cost of the removal of the turbine, base, structure, and blades if it is more than the salvage cost?

g. How long have the proposed models been in service. Where were they in service? How often do they break down and require maintenance, and at what cost?

h. Where are the sound studies on the new models that need to be in the notice of preparation?

i. Since most of California electric power is generated by hydroelectric, and natural gas generators which is clean and cost effective power, why do you continue to refer to air pollution as reason for the project?

j. Since there is clearly no need for this high priced, subsidized power why can't Alameda County take the lead position for the consumer?

k. The cost of this type of power is very expensive. In fact, it is so expensive that without forcing utilities or subsidizing it's operation it is not competitive on the open market. Power from other sources cost 2.5 cents per kW. "Wind generated power cost 14 cents per KW. in 1997." This is stated in Wind Project Performance, 1995 Summary, California Energy Commission, June 1997.

l. With forced cuts in a number of bad programs and through the close economic scrutiny of consumers and other utilities, the viability of wind turbine electric is very questionable. "Current forecasts of about 5 cents per kW are less than one third of the fixed payment. These revenue reductions are of particular concern to wind projects with outstanding loans extending beyond the 10th year." This is stated in Wind Project Performance, 1995 Summary, California Energy Commission, June 1997.

m. With the number of operating wind turbine operators going down and the Bankruptcy of Kenetech, it would seem the experiment in wind energy is now a sinking ship. And now the county is asking this sinking ship take on the cost of replacement? This seems more like a plan to get cash flow from stock sales than a need in California electricity.

3. GEOLOGIC PROBLEMS

The removal of existing pads, demolition dust and noise, and traffic will impact the quiet setting in the hills. The haul-off of the removed structures and haul-in of new structures will add to deterioration of the roads. This is mitigated by a windmill tax, but the county has failed to maintain the roads out of tax revenues that wind turbines pay for road maintenance . This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

4. WATER

Everyone in the Altamont is on a well. There is certainly the potential for our water sources to be disrupted or contaminated by this the removal and new construction. Oil discharge from the rotor bearings has been a problem. The oil runs down the blades goes into the ground and vegetation and eventually the groundwater. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

5. AIR QUALITY

Oil from the blades will expose sensitive raptors, birds and livestock to pollutants. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

6. TRANSPORTATION

Increased vehicle trips for the demolition and new construction and then continued maintenance. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

7. Biological Resources

a. Endangered, threatened, or rare species or their habitats.

In February 20, 1986 The California Energy Commission gave Testimony about Development of Wind Energy. It is just as factual today as it was 12 years ago.

"THAT THERE ARE SOME SENSITIVE AREAS WITHIN THE STATE WHERE WIND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD NOT PROCEED UNLESS IT IS ASSURED THAT THE DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT HAVE ADVERSE IMPACTS ON SENSITIVE WILDLIFE RESOURCES." "THE ENERGY COMMISSION HAS CONSISTENTLY EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT DEVELOPMENT OF PREFERRED ELECTRICAL SOURCES SUCH AS WIND SHOULD NOT PROCEED AT THE EXPENSE OF SENSITIVE NATURAL RESOURCES.Ó ÒPROJECTS WHICH HAVE THE CLEAR POTENTIAL TO ADVERSELY AFFECT UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE NATURAL RESOURCES SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED, PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE IS NO OVERRIDING NEED FOR SUCH A PROJECT." "IT HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT WIND TURBINE STRUCTURES RESULT IN COLLISION DEATH TO BIRDS."

I am in agreement with the statements above. Alameda and Contra Costa County have both been involved with studies about Avian Mortality. These studies proved without any doubt that protected Golden Eagles and other raptors are continually being killed at The Altamont Pass. This fact alone is reason enough for a no project conclusion, and removal of existing wind turbines. THERE IS NO WAY TO MITIGATE, AVIAN MORTALITY IMPACT. This is Significant Impact! No project!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

8. HAZARDS

a. Increased fire hazards from windmill activities is a serious problem.

b. Increased chance of air craft collision with fire and possible crash in a dwelling. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

9. NOISE Noise levels are higher than the original CUP allowed along Dyer Rd. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

10. PUBLIC SERVICES

a. Fire Protection. CDF has put most of the fires out that are caused by Wind Generators. What part of that cost has been paid for by the Wind Generators?

b. Contractors working for the windmill operators have illegally been roading large cranes--the weight per axle was at least double allowed by law. We have pictures of this. The permit fee to mitigate road maintenance needs to deal with this type of abuse. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

11. UTILITY SYSTEMS

a. This project has a negative impact on the cumulative cost to California utilities and the California consumers have to pay for this subsidized power and the trickle of energy that is returned.

b. Based on information at hand in the notice of preparation, we must assume that there will be interference with radio, mobile phone, and TV. This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

12. AESTHETICS

a. The proposed windmills will be overpowering and visual monstrosities.

b. There will be a an undesirable negative impact on property values and our scenic landscape.

c. Light glare will spoil the wonderful view of the stars and planets.

d. This will, with out a doubt, downgrade the Altamont Pass area and probably the entire Livermore area, and will be overpowering to say the least.

e. The Livermore Valley and Pleasanton will also have to their views of the hills spoiled by windmills. There is no way to mitigate this! This is Significant Impact!

Additional analysis of this topic should be required in DEIR.

13. MANDATORY FINDINGS

a. Since this project should use actual data that has been collected since 1980 in the EIR, there should not be any question as to what will happen to the Altamont Pass should the project be approved.

b. The short term goal of the Wind Energy Producers and the tax revenues to Alameda and Contra Costa County is the only goal. No information has been shown that the larger wind turbines will end the environmental problems. It will escalate in many areas that are only minor problems now.

c. Effects on the avian from this and other wind turbine projects have had a cumulative effect. Placement of these structures directly in the isolated habitat areas where the Golden Eagle and other raptors are and then propose to mitigate collision problems is a false hope. It needs to be fully understood that this project will kill protected species and that mitigation measures are false. No project conclusion should result. d. This project will have a substantial adverse impact on human beings, aesthetics, noise and public safety. No project conclusion should result!

YOURS TRULY,

DARRYL MUELLER