The letter—which is signed by GUHSD Superintendent Ralf Swenson—cites potential health, noise, traffic and visual impacts on the students and campus, which lies about 3,500 feet from the site. It was sent to the CEC in March, but only recently released to the public.
This portion of the letter details the reasons for the concerns (see a PDF of the full letter in the media box or download here):
The Application states "... that there will be no significant incremental public health risks from construction or operation of the proposed Project." While this may be true for the general public it should be noted that West Hills High School is located approximately 3500' down-wind from the plant to the physical education and sports fields which are used all day long. Accordingly, it is imperative that a specific analysis be done to assure parents, teachers and students that there will be no health hazard due to plant operations.
Since long term noise impacts on West Hills High School could cause a major disruption to teaching and learning, it is recommended that these impacts both during construction and during operation be reviewed again to insure there is no impact. In addition since construction will be limited to basically the same hours as school is in session it is recommended that the construction contract have a provision that the contractor must coordinate exceptionally noisy operations with the school schedule.
The Application states that visual impacts are assessed by identifying viewpoints that represent sensitive viewing areas ... such as schools. Since West Hills High School is within 3500' of the proposed plant, it should be assessed for visual impacts. Please develop a photographic simulation showing the view from West Hills High School. If the stacks are visible from the school it is recommended that mitigation measures be taken, such as combining stacks and lowering their height or lowering the plant.
Since there are two extremely heavy traffic peaks at West Hills High School every school day, it is recommended that the construction contract have a provision that work hours will be coordinated with the school schedule.
The planned Quail Brush Power Project was canceled because Cogentrix failed to file necessary paperwork in time, according to the CEC. , which will include discussion about re-zoning the proposed site from open space to industrial, a necessary step for the plant to be constructed, is set to go ahead at 9 a.m.