College of the Environment Graduate and Undergraduate Publications

Date Permissions Signed


College Affiliation

Huxley College of the Environment

Date of Award

Winter 2012

Document Type

Environmental Impact Assessment

Department or Program Affiliation

Department of Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Bodensteiner, Leo R.,1957-


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.




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


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

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

Geographic Coverage

Galbraith, Mount (Wash.)




environmental impact statements




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