First of all, holiday greetings to all our friends and neighbors on Interlachen, Lachenview, and Blue Lake Road. We have had a great year with many activities and improvements to our great neighborhood; which we are looking forward to sharing with you at the annual meeting next April 14th. More on that next year.
The main purpose of this note is to make you aware of the information below and the emergency meeting held by the board Thursday December 19th. First a little background.
For over a year we have been keeping an eye on a proposal to build a 652-megawatt natural gas fueled power plant next to the Troutdale airport, about 2 miles from where we live.
Last February, we wrote a letter to the Energy Facility Siting Division of the Oregon Department of Energy. In that letter we expressed concern about the effect on our Blue Lake and Interlachen Water PUD aquifers caused by a well being sunk at the site of the facility for cooling purposes. The facility will use 5.3 million gallons of water a day, mostly sourced from the Troutdale water reclamation facility and discharged into the Sandy River. We expressed concern about the powerlines that run past our neighborhood being activated for the first time in over forty years. We expressed concern about the noise generated by the facility. And finally we asked about air pollution from carbon based combustion processes. We received no answers to our questions. In September we testified at a hearing that we had not received any answers and were therefore opposed to the plan to build the plant close to our neighborhood. At that hearing there was also testimony in opposition from Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, the Troutdale Airport, and the President of the Oregon Pilots Association. Easily 90% of the testimony was in opposition. Also at the hearing, the lawyers for the New York investment firm planning to build the facility explained that they had responded to the State of Oregon about the concerns Interlachen Inc expressed, and our issues were addressed in appendices R, S, and X; which we knew nothing about and were full of legal jargon that communicated nothing to us.
At the board meeting, there was agreement that we need to work with the other organizations to see if we can prevent the building of this facility which would, as near as we can tell, have a negative impact on our lifestyles and possibly affect our property values. We would welcome assistance from any residents with a legal background who can help us make sense of the mountains of documents we have as reference material.
Our next step is to request an extension due to receiving the notice on December 16th, just days before the holiday break, which doesn’t allow us time to review materials and evaluate next steps. We have until January 6th to respond and if we do not file a notice of intent to contest, then we have no further opportunity to oppose. We will continue to try to keep you informed as we go through this process.
Once again, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
Allen Johnson Board of Governors
President, Interlachen Inc.