Huxley College Graduate and Undergraduate Publications

College Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Department or Program Affiliation

Department of Environmental Studies

Abstract

Around the world, wind energy is becoming an increasingly popular renewable alternative to fossil fuels. The U.S alone has installed roughly 35% of the world's wind capacity over the past four years, a capacity double that of recent coal and nuclear installation combined. Washington State's total amount of installed wind capacity is among the top five in the country (AWEA, 2011). Cascade Community Wind has acquired a conditional use permit to construct the first large, 2.5-megawatt wind turbine in Whatcom County on Galbraith Mountain, near Bellingham, Washington. The 2.5 megawatts of wind capacity is expected to provide enough energy to power 1,000 energy-efficient homes. The intended site is located on land owned by Bertch Timblerlands LLC and is zoned for commercial forestry. The timber company is interested in the turbine's capacity to produce income during the times that harvest is not occurring and has agreed to lease land to Cascade Community Wind (Stark, 2011). Currently Galbraith Mountain serves as a recreational area for bicyclists and the project is not expected to have any long-term, adverse effects on this activity. The nearest home is over a mile away from the proposed site. This Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will consider potential impacts that this project will inflict on the surrounding environment, including impacts on soil, water, air, wildlife, vegetation, land use, transportation, utilities, public services, environmental health and energy and resources and assess their significance. The site is located on the boundary between the Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish watershed and has the greatest potential impacts on water, soil and wildlife. This assessment will also propose a solar array alternative to the proposed wind turbine installation. The solar array alternative is expected to mitigate all the Proposed Action's potential impacts.

Document Type

Environmental Impact Assessment

Subject – LCSH (for OAI)

Wind power--Environmental aspects--Washington (State)--Galbraith, Mount; Environmental impact analysis--Washington (State)--Galbraith, Mount

Geographic Coverage

Galbraith, Mount (Wash.)

Genre/Form

Environmental impact statement

Publisher

Western Washington University

Date

Winter 2012

First Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R.,

OCLC Number

789674443

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Date Permissions signed

3-9-2012

Type

Text

Format

application/pdf

Language

English

Language Code

eng

Department

Environmental Studies

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