Citizens For Clean Energy, Inc.

Wind, Water, Solar, Hydo...Future is ecat



Two heroes today.  Mary Jolley and a neighbor of the proposed Highwood Plant.  Thanks.  Both are heroes. 

Please take time to write a comment opposing the zone change.  We have 30 days to comment.  Either fax it at 454-6903 or email to or mail to Cascade County Commissioners/ Courthouse Annex/325 2nd Ave. N. / Great Falls, MT 59401.  Please use Paul’s letter below as a basis for writing.   Any neighbors who are known to oppose this, please tell them to get a hold of Lisa Hardiman at 455-6412 or Richard Liebert at 736-5791.  All neighbors who come forth, your names will not be shared.  Thanks  lisa

To:  Cascade County Commissioners and Planners
Re:  Urquhart family request to rezone agricultural land to Heavy Industrial use
for the construction of a coal-fired power generation facility
A portion of the legal zoning regulation for heavy industrial is listed below. It can also be found on the county's website under planning and zoning regulations (on electronic page 77, actual page 73):
_______________ Site Plan Review and Approval
In each case where an I-2 industrial building or use is proposed, the Zoning Administrator shall review the site plan of the proposal in accordance with Section 9.7 and shall approve, or approve with modifications, or disapprove such site plan. In modifying or disapproving such site plan, the Zoning Administrator shall enter his reasons for such action in Office of Zoning Administrator's records. The Zoning Administrator shall also review the plan considering the noxious or injurious effects of the industrial operation for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the community. Affidavit Required
Any applicant applying for a permit in an I-2 Heavy Industrial District shall file with the Zoning Administrator, on forms provided, an affidavit together with description of industrial occupancy and operation relative to the following:
(a) Noise (b) Smoke (c) Odor (d) Dust and Dirt (e) Noxious Gases (f) Glare and Heat
(g) Fire Hazards (h) Industrial Wastes (j) Aesthetics (i) Transportation & Traffic
(k) Psychological Effects
Apparently, the Environmental Impact Statement (still in Draft form, and not approved or modified to include numerous corrections and objections to the conclusions reached therein) is being provided to serve as the "Affidavit Required" under County zoning rules. It is precisely the issues enumerated here which cause us to object to the zoning change.  Every category above, a-k, will be impacted by the Highwood Generating Station.  More importantly, these effects will extend far beyond the boundaries of the Urquhart property, which has arbitrarily been defined as its own "District" for zoning purposes, thus excluding neighbors and people downwind from having any say in this zoning change.  At least that was the "ruling" made by the County Attorney present at the Planning Board hearing last week. 
We insist that everyone impacted by this proposed Generating Station be allowed to protest, and their property rights, health, and welfare be seriously taken into account in this zoning change.  It is obvious to us that a corrected Environmental Impact Statement will show that the harm and costs to the people of Cascade and adjoining counties will absolutely preclude the construction of such a facility in this location, and that the Commissioners should refuse the request for a zoning change.  At the least, this request should be tabled until such time as the final Environmental Impact Statement has been approved, financing has been obtained for the plant, and other uncertainties answered. 
This is not simply a request for a zoning change:  it is a request by specific parties to site a specific facility at this location.  Since this is a major industrial facility which will forever change the character of the immediate environment, and the lives, health, and property values of everyone in the vicinity, as well as those downwind and downstream in the Missouri River Basin, it is imperative that the Commission not grant this application without a great deal of further study and testimony from those concerned. 
(s) Paul Stephens