Kern Color.gifNorth Sky River Wind Energy Project and
Jawbone Wind Energy Project

 

Draft Environmental Impact Report

 

VOLUME 1 Cover and Title sheet

County’s Cover Letter

Draft Environmental Impact Report Distribution List

Notice Of Availability

Notice Of Availability Distribution List

Notice of Completion

Title Sheet

Table Of Contents

 

1          Executive Summary

            1.1        Introduction

            1.2        Project Summary

            1.3        Purpose and Use of the Draft EIR

            1.4        Project Overview

            1.5        Environmental Impacts

            1.6        Alternatives to the Proposed Project

            1.7        Areas of Controversy

            1.8        Issues to Be Resolved

 

Table 1-1  Summary of Less-than-Significant and Significant but Mitigable Impacts and Mitigation for the Proposed Project

Table 1-2  Summary of Significant and Unavoidable Impacts and Mitigation for the Proposed Project

Table 1-3  Summary of Significant and Unavoidable Cumulative Impacts and Mitigation for the Proposed Project

Table 1-4  Comparison of Alternatives

 

Figure 1-1  Regional Location Map

Figure 1-2  Project Site and Areas Proposed for Zoning Change

 

2.         Introduction

            2.1        Intent of the California Environmental Quality Act

            2.2        Purpose of this Environmental Impact Report

            2.3        Terminology

            2.4        Decision-Making Process

            2.5        Availability of the Draft EIR

            2.6        Format and Content

            2.7        Responsible and Trustee Agencies

            2.8        Incorporated by Reference

            2.9        Sources

 

Table 2-1  Project Statistics

 

3.         Project Description

3.1       Introduction

3.2       Proposed Project

3.3       Project Objectives

3.4       Environmental Setting

3.5       Proposed Project Characteristics

3.6       Entitlements Required

3.7       Construction

3.8       Operation and Maintenance Activities

3.9       Decommissioning and Repowering

3.10     Related Projects

3.11     Cumulative Projects

 

Table 3-1  Proposed Project Statistics

Table 3-2  Zone Map Amendments

Table 3-3  Proposed Wind Turbine Generator Characteristics for the North Sky River Wind Energy Project

Table 3-4  Proposed Wind Turbine Generator Characteristics for the Jawbone Wind Energy Project

Table 3-5  Transmission Line Design Components

Table 3-6  Construction Water Use

Table 3-7  Construction Equipment Requirements for the North Sky River Wind Energy Project

Table 3-8  Construction Equipment Requirements for the Jawbone Wind Energy Project

Table 3-9  Proposed Wind Projects Identified by Kern County Planning and Community Development Department

Table 3-10  Cumulative Projects Within a Six Mile Radius

 

Figure 3-1  Regional Location Map

Figure 3-2  Project Site Plan

Figure 3-3  Project Site and Areas Proposed for Zoning Change

Figure 3-4  Military Review Requirements for the Proposed Project Site

Figure 3-5  Kern County General Plan Map Code Designations in the Project Area

Figure 3-6   Existing Zoning - Kern County Zoning Classifications

Figure 3-7  Transmission Reinforcement Options Associated with the Proposed Project

Figure 3-8  Approved and Proposed Wind Energy Projects within the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area (TWRA)

 

4.         Environmental Analysis

            4.1        Aesthetics

                        4.1.1     Introduction

                        4.1.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.1.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.1.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.1-1  Landscape Scenic Quality Scale

Table 4.1-2  General Guidance for Review of Visual Impact Significance

 

Figure 4.1-1  KOP Potential Project Visibility and Key Observation

Figure 4.1-2  KOP-1 Jawbone Canyon Open Area

Figure 4.1-3  KOP-2 Jawbone Canyon Road Trail

Figure 4.1-4  KOP-3 Kelso Valley

Figure 4.1-5  KOP-4 Pacific Crest Trail

Figure 4.1-6  Transmission Upgrades and KOPs

Figure 4.1-7  KOP-1 (Transmission) View from South End of Sand Canyon Road

Figure 4.1-8  KOP-2 (Transmission) View from Pine Canyon Road

Figure 4.1-9  KOP-3 (Transmission) View from North End of Sand Canyon Road

 

            4.2        Agricultural Resources

                        4.2.1     Introduction

                        4.2.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.2.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.2.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Figure 4.2-1  Farmland Classifications

 

            4.3        Air Quality

                        4.3.1     Introduction

                        4.3.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.3.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.3.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.3-1  National and California Ambient Air Quality Standards

Table 4.3-2  Attainment Status for the EKAPCD

Table 4.3-3  Background Ambient Air Quality Data

Table 4.3-4  Air Quality Regional Thresholds

Table 4.3-5   Worst Case Unmitigated Annual Construction Emissions Versus EKAPCD Thresholds

Table 4.3-6   Worst Case Mitigated Annual Construction Emissions Versus EKAPCD Thresholds

Table 4.3-7   Worst Case Unmitigated Annual Operation Emissions Versus EKAPCD Thresholds

Table 4.3-8   Worst Case Mitigated Annual Operation Emissions Versus EKAPCD Thresholds

 

            4.4        Biological Resources

                        4.4.1     Introduction

                        4.4.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.4.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.4.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.4-1  Vegetation Communities within the Project Area

Table 4.4-2  Known and Potential Occurrence of SpecialStatus Plants Within the Proposed Project Area

Table 4.4-3  Known and Potential Occurrence of SpecialStatus Wildlife Within the Proposed Project Area

Table 4.4-4  Proposed Project Impacts by Plant Community

 

Figure 4.4-1  Regional Location Map

Figure 4.4-2  Vegetation Communities

Figure 4.4-3  Wetlands and Streams

 

            4.5        Cultural Resources

                        4.5.1     Introduction

                        4.5.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.5.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.5.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.5-1  Cultural Chronologies Proposed for the Mojave Desert

Table 4.5-2  Previous Studies within a One-Mile Radius of the Project Area

Table 4.5-3  Newly Recorded Isolated Finds

Table 4.5-4  Updated and Newly Recorded Cultural Resources Within the Study Area

Table 4.5-5  BLM Potential Fossil Yield Classification (PFYC) System

Table 4.5-6  Paleontological Sensitivity of Geologic Units

Table 4.5-7  Cultural Resources Within the Project Impact Area

 

Figure 4.5-1   Cultural Resources Project Impact Areas and Archaeological Survey Coverage

Figure 4.5-2  Geologic Map

 

            4.6        Geology, Soils, and Paleontology

                        4.6.1     Introduction

                        4.6.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.6.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.6.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.6-1  Significant Earthquakes

 

            4.7        Greenhouse Gas Emissions

                        4.7.1     Introduction

                        4.7.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.7.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.7.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.7-1  Total Construction Period CO2 Emissions

Table 4.7-2  Annual Operation Emissions (Direct and Indirect)

Table 4.7-3  California Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies

Table 4.7-4  Project Consistency with an Applicable Plan, Policy, or Regulation for GHG Emissions

 

4.8        Hazards and Hazardous Materials

                        4.8.1     Introduction

                        4.8.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.8.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.8.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Figure 4.8-1  CCR Title 14 Section 1254 Minimum Clearances

 

            4.9        Hydrology and Water Quality

                        4.9.1     Introduction

                        4.9.2     Environmental Setting

                        4.9.3     Regulatory Setting

            4.9.4     Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Figure 4.9-1  Surface Waters at the Proposed Project Site

Figure 4.9-2  FEMA Designated Flood Hazard Areas

Figure 4.9-3  Wetlands and Streams

 

            4.10      Land Use and Planning

                        4.10.1   Introduction

                        4.10.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.10.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.10.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.10-1  Kern County Land Use Designations on the Project Site

Table 4.10-2  Existing Zoning Districts

Table 4.10-3  Zone Map Amendments

Table 4.10-4  Project Consistency with Local Planning Document

 

Figure 4.10-1  Kern County General Plan Map Code Designations in the Project Area

Figure 4.10-2  Existing Zoning – Kern County Zoning Classifications

Figure 4.10-3  Areas within Project Boundary Proposed for Rezoning

 

            4.11      Mineral Resources

                        4.11.1   Introduction

                        4.11.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.11.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.11.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

            4.12      Noise

                        4.12.1   Introduction

                        4.12.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.12.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.12.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.12-1  Definition of Acoustical Terms

Table 4.12-2  Noise Metrics - Comparative Noise Levels

Table 4.12-3  Typical Levels of Ground-Borne Vibration

Table 4.12-4  Estimated WTG Low Frequency Noise Levels at the Nearest Sensitive Receptor

Table 4.12-5  Maximum Noise Levels of Common Construction Equipment

 

Figure 4.12-1  Sensitive Receptor Locations and Observed Ambient Noise Levels

Figure 4.12-2  Sensitive Receptor Locations Near the Proposed Regional Transmission Reinforcement

Figure 4.12-3  Wind Turbine Generator Noise Contours at Maximum Output, dBA

 

            4.13      Population and Housing

                        4.13.1   Introduction

                        4.13.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.13.3   Regulatory Setting

                        4.13.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Table 4.13-1  Kern County Population Trends – DOF

Table 4.13-2  Kern County Housing Trends – DOF

Table 4.13-3  Industries in Kern County

Table 4.13-4  Industry Employment Projections for 2008-2018, Bakersfield, Kern County

 

            4.14      Public Services

                        4.14.1   Introduction

                        4.14.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.14.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.14.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

            4.15      Recreation

                        4.15.1   Introduction

                        4.15.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.15.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.15.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

4.16      Transportation and Traffic

                        4.16.1   Introduction

                        4.16.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.16.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.16.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

Figure 4.16-1  Regional Roadways

 

            4.17      Utilities

                        4.17.1   Introduction

                        4.17.2   Environmental Setting

                        4.17.3   Regulatory Setting

            4.17.4   Impacts and Mitigation Measures

 

5.         Consequences of Project Implementation

 

6.         Alternatives

 

Table 6-1  Comparison of Alternatives

 

Figure 6-1  Alternative B Relocate to San Gorgonio Wind Resource Area

Figure 6-2  Alternative C Reduced Project Size

 

7.         Reserved for Responses to Comments (to be included with Final EIR)

 

8.         Organizations and Persons Consulted

 

9.         Preparers

 

10.        Bibliography

 

11.        Acronyms

 

 

VOLUME 2 Cover and Title sheet (0.2 MB)

Table of Contents

A       Notice of Preparation/Initial Study (3.2 MB)

B       Aesthetics Technical Report (2.2 MB)

C       LESA Model Worksheets (0.6 MB)

D.1    Air Quality Technical Report and Greenhouse Gas North Sky River Wind Energy Project (0.5 MB)

D.2    Air Quality Technical Report Jawbone Wind Energy Project (1.6 MB)

D.3    Supplemental Air Quality Analysis for Jawbone Wind Energy Project (0.3 MB)

 

VOLUME 3 Cover and Title sheet (0.2 MB)

Table of Contents

E.1    Biological Resources Technical Report North Sky River Wind Energy Project (32.6 MB)

 

VOLUME 4 Cover and Title sheet (0.2 MB)

Table of Contents

 

E.1    (continued) Biological Resources Technical Report Appendices North Sky River Wind Energy Project

·         Results of Avian Radar Screening Assessment for Proposed Hoffman Summit Wind Energy Project Site (6/21/06)

·         Padoma Wind Energy Project Fall Avian Migration Technical Report (12/27/06)

·         North Sky River Wind Energy Project-Supplemental Information on Avian Studies (3/23/11)

·         Avian Baseline Studies for the North Sky River Wind Energy Project, Winter Interim Report May 18, 2010 – February 28, 2011 (4/18/11)

·         Interim Report for the North Sky River Wind Energy Project –Acoustic Bat Monitoring Preliminary Findings (2/10/11)

·         Interim Results of Bat Acoustic Surveys at the Proposed North Sky River Wind Energy Project For the Period November 5, 2009, to February 22, 2011 (4/15/11)

·         Compiled Golden Eagle Survey Data from the Former Hoffman Summit Wind Energy Project (2/17/11)

·         Draft Golden Eagle Information for the North Sky River Wind Resource Area (4/11)

·         North Sky River Wind Energy Project, Raptor Nest Inventories, Aerial Surveys (4/5/11)

·         Draft California Condor Risk Assessment for the North Sky River Wind Energy Project (4/7/11)

·         North Sky River Wind Project: Updated Vegetation Map (3/24/11)

E.2    Biological Resources Technical Report Jawbone Wind Energy Project (29.3 MB)

E.3    Species Considered but Rejected for Occurrence (0.03 MB)

E.4    Species Accounts (0.2 MB)

 

VOLUME 5 Cover and Title sheet (0.2 MB)

Table of Contents

F.1    Cultural Resources Technical Report North Sky River Wind Energy Project (6.0 MB)

F.2    Cultural Resources Technical Report Jawbone Wind Energy Project (2.2 MB)

G       Geotechnical Report (8.8 MB)

H       The EDR Radius Atlas™ with GeoCheck® (1.2 MB)

I.1      Hydrology Study (2.4 MB)

I.2      Water Supply Assessment (2.1 MB)

J       Noise Technical Report (1.5 MB)

K       Traffic Study - North Sky River Wind Energy Project and Jawbone Wind Energy Project (1.0 MB)

L       Proposed Western Access Route Private Land Only (0.3 MB)