SAVE THE EAGLE

C/O DARRYL MUELLER

3290 DYER RD. LIVERMORE, CA. 94550

SMUD ATT: LONN MAIER, ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALIST

6701 4 TH. AVENUE P.O. BOX 15830 MS 30

SACRAMENTO, CA. 95852-1830

COMMENTS AND TESTIMONY FOR THE 50 MEG. WATT. WIND TURBINE PROJECT.

November 11, 1993

DEAR MR. MAIER,

THE ALTAMONT PASS IS WHERE MY FAMILY AND I LIVE. AND MY COMMENTS ARE BASED ON THIS FIRST HAND OBSERVATION OF THE PROBLEM. AFTER YEARS OF WITNESSING THE ENVIRONMENTAL DECLINE OF THE ALTAMONT PASS BY THE USE OF WIND TURBINES IT TIME THE PROBLEMS GET SOLVED AND NOT EXPANDED. YOUR E.I.R. STATES THERE WILL BE COLLISIONS OF PROTECTED SPECIES THAT CANNOT BE MITIGATED. TO OPERATE WIND TURBINES WILL KILL PROTECTED SPECIES GOLDEN EAGLES AND OTHER RAPTORS, THIS WOULD BE WANTON DESTRUCTION!

AVIAN PROBLEM: YOUR DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT BRIEFLY ELUDES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE GOING TO KILL GOLDEN EAGLES, RED TAILED HAWKS AND OTHER RAPTORS. WIND TURBINE PLACEMENT IS FOR THE MOST PART IS WHERE RAPTORS HUNT AND FORAGE. RAPTOR MITIGATION MEASURES USED TO THIS POINT HAVE NOT WORKED. THE KILLS OF IMMATURE GOLDEN EAGLES COMBINED WITH THE SLOW REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR A STOPPAGE OF ALL TURBINES AND NOT AND EXPANSION. RAPTOR KILLS COULD BE STOPPED, IF LAWS AND FINES WERE INFORCED, TO STOP KILLS HIKE THE FINES FROM $10,000 TO $30,000 OR MORE FOR EACH GOLDEN EAGLE AND OTHER PROTECTED SPECIES. STUDIES ARE NOT A MITIGATION.

MORTALITY'S COMPARED TO EXXON VALDEZ SEVEN YEARS OF MORTALITY WOULD AMOUNT TO 427 KILLS OR 28% OF THE TOTAL CALIF. GOLDEN EAGLE POPULATION. THIS CAN BE COMPARED TO (U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE OFFICE OF THE OIL SPILL)THE EXXON VALDEZ SPILL THAT KILLED 5% OF ALASKA BALD EAGLES A ONE TIME EVENT.

ENERGY COST ENVIRONMENTALIST SHOULD CARE ABOUT HIGH ELECTRIC COST TO CONSUMERS. THE TIMES FEBRUARY 21, 1993 NEWS ARTICLE STATED THAT 4% OF CO GENERATED POWER OF WHICH WIND ENERGY IS ABOUT HALF OF COST CONSUMERS MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH AS 75% OF THE POWER. P.G.&E. SPENT $499 MILLION ON OIL AND GAS. AND $1.2 BILLION ON CO GENERATED, WHICH MAKES UP 4%. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON WILL CHARGE CUSTOMERS $650 MILLION MORE THAN IF THE PROGRAM DIDN'T EXIST AND IS FORCED TO BUY 2.5 TIMES MORE POWER UNDER LAW THAN IT NEEDS, SAID VIKHAM BUDHRAJA THE UTILITY'S V.P. OF PLANNING.

U.S. DEPT OF ENERGY POLICY IS TO PROMOTE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, BUT THE TRUTH COMES HOME TO ROUST ON HIGH COST OF POWER AT LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY. D.O.E. CHOSE TO RUN A 230 KV DIRECT SERVICE TRANSMISSION LINE FROM BONNEVILLE ABOUT 650 MILES TO AVOID BUYING SUBSIDIZES POWER FROM P.G.&E. THE PROJECT WAS UN-STOPPABLE BY PROPERTY OWNERS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS. IT IS IRONIC THAT THE TRANSMISSION LINE RUNS THROUGH THE WIND TURBINE SITES CROSSES FREEWAY I-580 AT THE TOP OF THE ALTAMONT PASS. WITHIN DAYS OF STRINGING THE LINE A PLANE HIT THE LINE AND MANY DIED. THIS 650 MILE POWER LINE ALSO KILLS BIRDS.

EXPANSION PLANS IN UNSPOILED AREAS WINDMILLS REQUIRE LARGE AREAS OF ISOLATED LAND THIS IS THE SAME TYPE OF HABITAT THAT RAPTORS REQUIRE. THESE VAST NATURAL UNSPOILED AREAS ARE THE HOMES OF MANY FORMS OF WILDLIFE THAT HAVE BEEN DRIVEN FROM POPULATED AREAS. MONTANA UPPER YELLOW STONE RIVER VALLEY ALMOST HAD THIS TYPE OF WILDERNESS RUINED, BUT THE 30 MW 40,000 ACRE PROJECT WAS REJECTED, BY MONTANA POWER CO. ON MAY 21,1992. WHY WAS U.S. WINDPOWER PROPOSAL FOR WIND ENERGY REJECTED, EVEN THOUGH THE COMPANY HAD LEASED 40.000 ACRES? THE MANAGER OF THE POWER CO. SAID FOR THE MOST PART UNSUCCESSFUL PROJECTS WERE SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER IN COST THAN THOSE THAT WERE SELECTED. MONTANA RESIDENTS ALSO FEARED THE PROJECT WOULD RUIN THE PRISTINE LANDSCAPES OF THE REGION, LOWER PROPERTY VALUES AND THREATEN BALD AND GOLDEN EAGLES. BILLING GAZETTE MAY 22, 1992

VAST AREAS SPOILED FOR A TRICKLE OF ENERGY THE WORLDS LARGEST DEVELOPED WIND RESOURCE AREA ALTAMONT PASS HAS 7,000 TURBINES TAKING UP 80 SQ. MI. AND PRODUCED 416,000 MW '92. COMPARED TO COLSTRIP, MONTANA DELIVERED A TOTAL, OF 15,121,000 MEGAWATT HR.. TO THE GRID IN 1991. TO PRODUCE THE SAME AS COLSTRIP IT WOULD TAKE 20,914 OF THEIR NEW MODEL 300 KW. AND WOULD COVER ABOUT 490 SQ.MI. TO REPLACE 10% OF U.S.A. WITH WIND GENERATED ELECTRIC 18 TO 20,000 SQ. MI. WOULD BE NEEDED. (BATTELLE LABS. REDLAND WASH.) TOTAL CALIF. PRODUCTION FOR 90 DAYS WAS 360,328, MWH PRODUCED BY 15,594 TURBINES, IN REPORTED PRODUCTION FACTS. (C.E.C. P500-91-011) IT'S CLEAR THE MASSIVE DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN EXCHANGE FOR THE TRICKLE OF ELECTRICITY IS A POOR INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE.

NOISE: YOUR DRAFT STATES 47 dbA AND 3 dbA HIGHER AT TIMES, THE C SCALE IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED? MY EXPERIENCE WITH WINDMILL NOISE IS WELL DOCUMENTED. WHAT U.S. WINDPOWER CLAIMS THEIR NOISE LEVELS ARE WHEN OBTAINING A C.P.U. AND WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE IS AFTER OPERATION DIFFERENT. THE FACT IS ALAMEDA COUNTY INCREASED THE NOISE LEVEL IN EXISTING C.U.P. TO 70 dbC IN 1991 SO U.S. WINDPOWER WOULD NOT BE IN VIOLATION OF THE OF THE C.U.P. LIMIT OF 55 bdA AND 55 dBC. IN 1990-91 OUR SOUND EXPERT ENVIRO-NOISE FOUND THAT THE NOISE LEVELS EXCEED THE THE NEW LIMITS!

THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS FROM A TESTIMONY LETTER AUGUST 22, 1990 TO ALAMEDA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION, DARRYL GRAY PLANNER 3; THERE ALSO IS THE QUESTION OF THE LOW FREQUENCY NOISES ASSOCIATED WITH THE BLADES STRIKING THE WIND AND THE THUMPING SOUNDS THAT PROBABLY OCCURS WHEN SEVERAL BLADES ARE GOING THE SAME SPEED OR SAME POSITION OF THE BLADE. THIS SOUND COMES RIGHT INTO OUR HOMES AND KEEPS MANY OF US AWAKE AT NIGHT. THE SOUND IS LIKE "A TRAIN THAT NEVER ENDS", OR "THE CONTINUING TRAIN" WE TRY AND KEEP THE WINDOWS ON THE NOISY SIDE CLOSED BUT WE STILL HEAR THE LOW FREQUENCY PROBABLY CLOSER TO THE C SCALE. ALSO THERE IS NO WAY THAT THE HUMAN EAR CAN BE DUPLICATED ON THE A SCALE 0R THE C SCALE COMPLETELY. WHAT WE HAVE IS A MIX OF THE TURBINE OR HIGH FREQUENCY A SCALE AND LOW FREQUENCY OR C SCALE THIS IS WHY THE 70 dbC IS CLOSER TO OUR CONCERNS, AND NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED. USING A HAND HELD db METER I HAVE FOUND THAT IN THE C WEIGHTED SCALE THE NEEDLE WILL MOVE WITH THE NOISE BACK AND FORTH WITH FAST RESPONSE THIS IS VERY PRONOUNCED AT NIGHT INSIDE MY HOUSE, 58- 62 dbC IS VERY COMMON. I THINK JUST USING THE A WEIGHTED SCALE COULD BE VERY MISLEADING. IT IS REALLY SHOCKING TO SEE THE NEEDLE RAPIDLY MOVE WITH THE WINDMILL SOUND 58-62 dbC COMING RIGHT THROUGH THE WALLS. I DON'T HAVE THE PROBLEM OF HEARING GRASS, LEAVES, TREES, AND WIND IN OUR HOUSE. THE WINDMILL NOISE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ALL THESE OTHER NOISES. WE ALSO HAVE NO PROBLEM HEARING THE WINDMILLS OUTSIDE. WE HAVE USED HAND HELD dbA AND dbC METER, AND HAVE FOUND OUTSIDE 65 dbA AND 80 dbC VERY COMMON, OUT OF THE WIND. INSIDE MY HOUSE IS 58-62 dbC ON THE AVERAGE AT NIGHT.

I DON'T HAVE THE PROBLEM OF HEARING GRASS, LEAVES, TREES, AND WIND IN OUR HOUSE. THE WINDMILL NOISE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ALL THESE OTHER NOISES. WE ALSO HAVE NO PROBLEM HEARING THE WINDMILLS OUTSIDE. WE HAVE USED HAND HELD dbA AND dbC METER, AND HAVE FOUND OUTSIDE 65 dbA AND 80 dbC VERY COMMON, OUT OF THE WIND. INSIDE MY HOUSE IS 58-62 dbC ON THE AVERAGE AT NIGHT.

CHANGING OF THE ORIGINAL C.U.P. C-3989 FILED APRIL 23, 1981 STATED THE SOUND LEVEL AT THE BASE OF A WINDMILL IS 50-52 dbA, APPROXIMATELY EIGHT HUNDRED FEET FROM THE WIND FARM THE WORST CASE SOUNDS PRESSURE LEVELS ARE ANTICIPATED TO BE 40-45 dbA, WITHIN THE AMBIENT NOISE LEVELS OF A QUIET RESIDENTIAL/RURAL NEIGHBORHOOD. SO EVEN WITH THE CONSERVATIVE MEASUREMENT OF 54 dbA TO 72 dbC WOULD CLEARLY PUT U.S. WINDPOWER WINDMILLS 9 TO 14 dbA MORE THAN THERE APPLICATION SAID. AND THEN THERE IS THE 58-62 dbC WINDMILL NOISE COMING THROUGH MY WALLS.

I HOPE SMUD YOUR WILL TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLL IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND SOLVE THE PROBLEMS FIRST!

YOURS TRULY

DARRYL MUELLER

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