Innovative Solar Farm MDNS Public Notice

Adams County
Notice of Application
SEPA MITIGATED DETERMINATION OF NONSIGNIFICANCE (MDNS)
& Public Hearing 

File Name:  LUA 2017-0005, Innovative Solar 211-CUP.

Description:  Innovative Solar 211, LLC has submitted a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for the development of a photovoltaic (PV) utility-scale solar energy collection farm generating approximately 40 Megawatts. Final design is pending; however, the site will include the following components:

  • Solar Arrays- Solar Cells designed into modules and formed into solar panels which when grouped together on racking system forms an array. 
  • Electrical Inverters- Field inverters and transformers for blocks of arrays.
  • Electrical substations and Related Equipment- approximately 12 to 15 acres of the property will be developed into an Avista Substation (approximately 6.6 acres, with a fenced area of about 1.8 acres), and an Innovative Substation/ Temporary Laydown Yard that will be about 5.4 acres with an interior fenced substation of about 0.9 acres.   These substations will be located close to each other and will contain control equipment, transformers etc, necessary to increase the voltage to the level required for transmission, and other related equipment and temporary materials storage during construction which may increase the acreage to about 12 or 15 acres depending on final engineering and design work.
  • 80-foot Wireless Communication Tower (Monopole or lattice support structure with microwave dish)
  • Access/maintenance roads- approximately 7,400 linear feet of native surface interior access roads will be maintained after construction with a final width of 10 feet to provide access to solar panel arrays.  These roads are anticipated to be used primarily for maintenance activities every few weeks such as mowing equipment, tractors, and a water truck for cleaning solar panels.
  • Chain link security fence (a six-foot tall chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire at top) around both substations and around the perimeter of the solar farm.  
  • Temporary Unsurfaced Workers Parking Area.  The applicant proposes to provide approximately 6.6 areas of temporary parking with dust control during development, which will be revegetated following construction. 

For complete details of these components see the project description as contained within the SEPA checklist, attachments, and other materials submitted with the application and incorporated by this reference. 

Applicant:            Lance Roddy, Land Development Manager
Innovative Solar 211, LLC
1095 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC  28803
Phone: (828) 232 7191

Project Contact:  Same

Location:              The proposal is generally located at the northeast corner of the intersection of North Hills Road and Griffith Road located on parcel number 22016110200001, in Township 20 North, Range 36 East, Section 11, in Adams County, Washington.

Lead Agency:      Adams County Building and Planning

Adams County has determined that this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.  and WAC 197-11- 350 (3), the project has been clarified, changed and conditioned to include necessary mitigation measures to avoid, minimize or compensate for probable significant impacts.  An environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required under RCW 43.21.C.030(2)(c) The necessary mitigation measures are listed below, the Environmental Checklist is attached and additional information is available at: http://www.co.adams.wa.us/ the county Web Site under latest news section.

This determination is based on the following findings and conclusions: 

  1. The project shall proceed in substantial conformance with the plans and application materials on file, except as amended by the conditions herein.
  2. The applicant is responsible for compliance with all applicable local, state and federal rules and regulations, and must obtain all appropriate permits and approvals prior to construction.
  3. Development shall be limited to the proposal as submitted; modifications or expansion of the development shall require additional environmental review.
  4. The projects road approach(s) from county roads shall comply with Adams County Public Works Standards and be approved by the County Engineer prior to development.
  5. The project shall comply with all relevant aspects of the State of Washington Building Codes and applicable Fire Codes.
  6. All current and future owners or operators of the Solar Farm shall operate and maintain the facility consistent with the plans and concepts described within the SEPA checklist, the MDNS and conditions of approval.
  7. Prior to issuance of building permits, the applicant shall provide documented approval from the applicable fire chief, that the road approaches, access gates and fire apparatus roads have been designed, and when completed will provide for adequate emergency services to the facilities.  
  8. The applicant shall provide the following reports/plans prior to issuance of grading and building permits.

 

  1. A Washington Construction Stormwater General Permit (CSWGP) and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) approved by the Washington Department of Ecology are required prior to beginning any construction activities.
  2. The applicant shall provide an on-site stormwater management plan stamped by a licensed engineer.  The plan shall be designed to ensure that storm water from new impervious surfaces does not result in any increase over predevelopment runoff rates.
  3. The plan shall include any BMPs used to maintain natural drainage patterns, manage stormwater, and minimize erosion and sediment transport prior to issuance of any grading permit or site preparation work.
  4. Provide a revegetation management plan prior to issuance of a construction permit addressing replanting of any disturbed areas that are not permanently occupied by project features as well as maintenance and noxious weed control based on recommendations from the Adams County Weed Control Board.
  5. Prepare a Spill Prevention and Emergency cleanup plan.

 

  1. During construction and ground disturbing activities, the applicant shall maintain a water truck on site for dust suppression.
  2.  Any exterior lighting shall be down shielded to minimize light glare on adjacent properties.
  3. Maintain a clean-looking facility free of debris and unused or broken-down equipment by storing equipment and supplies off-site (post construction) and promptly removing damaged or unusable equipment from the site.
  4. Use best management practices (BMPs) to manage erosion during construction and employ an onsite Washington State Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESL) to inspect construction site.
  5. Use Low-impact construction methods, including lightweight equipment to impart minimal soil compaction.
  6. Reduce and control emissions during construction with the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel and reduce engine idle times.
  7. During construction, implement the following BMPs to minimize the release of hazardous contaminants:
    1. Designate a refueling area off site in the temporary staging area that shall be equipped to handle fuel or oil spills.
    2. Maintain equipment in good working order and monitor for petroleum leaks. Clean up any spills immediately and report to appropriate agency.
    3. Noise levels at the property boundary shall remain within the applicable standards of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-60, and applicable local noise ordinances.
    4. Should any activities result in the inadvertent discovery of cultural or archaeological materials, work shall be stopped immediately and contact be made with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP). Work shall remain suspended until the find is assessed and appropriate consultation is conducted and the County has determined that construction may continue.
    5. The project applicant will perform the following to decommission the project:
      1. Remove all equipment, conduits, structures, fencing, and foundations to a depth of at least three feet below grade.
      2. Remove all graveled areas and access roads unless the owner of the leased real estate requests in writing for it to stay in place.
      3. Restore land to a condition reasonably like its conditions before solar generation facility development.
      4. Revegetate any cleared areas with native, warm season grasses unless the owner of the real estate submits a written request to Adams County Building and Planning that is not desired due to plans for agricultural planting.
      5. All said removal shall take no longer than 12 months unless applicant obtains approval for additional time from the County.
      6. Provide the County with an updated, signed decommission plan within 30 days after any change of ownership.

This MDNS is issued under 197-11-340 (2) and the comment period will end at 4:30 P.M. on August 31, 2018.  Written comments may be submitted during the comment period by first class mail to Responsible Official below or by email to lorenw@co.adams.wa.us .  Based on timely comments the lead agency may withdraw or modify the MDNS, or it may become final.

Responsible Official:        Loren Wiltse
Title:                                      Planning Director/Building Official
Address:                               425 E Main Street, Suite 200
                                              Othello, WA 99344
Date:                                     August 14, 2018

Appeals Notice:  Appeal shall be filed in writing in duplicate with the board of adjustment within ten days of the date of the threshold action being taken. 

NOTICE OF OPEN RECORD HEARING: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVENthat the Adams County Board of Adjustment will hold an open public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on September 18, 2018 in the Adams County district courtroom, 425 E. Main Ste.400, Othello, WA 99344. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive and consider verbal and written testimony regarding the Conditional Use Permit noted above.  The public and agency’s may comment in person or may provide written comment to the Adams County Planning Department at Adams County Building and Planning Department, 425 E. Main Street, in Othello Washington, 99344. 

A full text of the Conditional Use Permit Application, SEPA Checklist, Staff Report (when Completed), and other supporting documents will be available for viewing at the Building and Planning office noted above or at the Office of the County Commissioners at the County Courthouse, 210 W. Alder, Ritzville, Washington, 99169 and on County Web Site http://www.co.adams.wa.us/

DATED THIS 13th DAY OF AUGUST, 2018

ADAMS COUNTY BUILDING AND PLANNING DEPARTMENT.

Please publish on August 16, and August 23, 2018 in the Ritzville Journal.