Page 2

The Project

Land Use and Recreation

Cultural and Archaeology

Water and Soils

Page 3

Biological Resources

Page 4

Reliability and Efficiency

Page 5

Visual Impacts

Air Quality

Carbon Balance



Hazardous Materials, Health and Safety


Cumulative Impacts

Page 6





^We took a hike up the foothills of Clark Mountain in early December 2009 and took this photo looking eastward across the proposed site.

^Digital image simulation of the proposed ISEGS power plant from a similar view, showing most of the five heliostat fields (From the Final Staff Assessment and Draft Environmental Impacts Statement). The Energy Commission commented that this image did not give a full impression of the large amount of glare that would be visible during daylight hours from the mirrors focusing on each tower (see Visual Resources).

Public Comments Needed

December 27, 2009 -By Laura Cunningham and Kevin Emmerich

The 1,200 page document was released November 4, 2009 by the California Energy Commission (CEC) (see the pdf files >>here), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The CEC is the lead agency in licensing the project, while BLM manages the public land on which it would be built in San Bernardino County by the Nevada border. This FSA/DEIS is the combined environmental review for both agencies, the final look for CEC, but not the final review for BLM. Most likely both agencies will approve it, unless public outcry is strong enough.

Our review of the FSA/DEIS looks at biological and cultural resources that will be impacted by the construction of ISEGS on this relatively undisturbed Mojave Desert scrub valley, as well as affects on groundwater by well pumping, visual impacts to nearby parks and wilderness areas, traffic on Interstate 15, public health, air quality, socioeconomics, impacts to the local Clark Mountain burro herd, and other affects.

We summarize some of the FSA/DEIS document and our comments concerning this huge project, and encourage others to send in letters too. The deadline is February 11, 2010.

Send comments to :

John Kessler
Project Manager
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection Division
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-15
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-654-4679

Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
Attention: George R. Meckfessel,
Planning and Environmental Coordinator
1303 South U.S. Highway 95
Needles, CA 92363

In October 2009 we met people at the ISEGS project site, including Sid Silliman, a member of the Sierra Club and Desert Tortoise Council (above, examining a tortoise burrow), and Sharlissa Moore, a PhD student in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science & Technology program at Arizona State University, Tempe, who is making the Ivanpah solar project a part of her thesis.

^In December we met Lisa Belenky and Ilene Anderson from the Center for Biological Diversity at the site, here overlooking the middle of the proposed heliostat field from the Metamorphic Hill, with Clark Mountain in the background. On this short day approaching the solstice, we noticed how dim the sunlight was filtered through a layer of cirrus clouds - insolation is not always perfect here.

^Buckhorn cholla, Blackbrush, Mojave yucca, and Creosote on the upper fan looking down at the project site Ivanpah 1, eastward.

^Pencil cholla with a blue color on its long spines.

^Surveyor stakes marked CH2M HILL, a contractor of BrightSource, on the project site. The Stateline Wilderness lies in the distance.

^We admire a large tortoise burrow in the midst of a creosote clonal ring perhaps thousands of years old.

^A tortoise is likely hibernating deep down in this burrow. If approved, project contractors will excavate this burrow and translocate any tortoise found.

^Scraper-graders work on a large project in the West Mojave Desert in tortoise habitat. Will this be what the "green economy" looks like?

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Ivanpah Valley and Original Plan.....Last Spring at Ivanpah? .....Updates