Ding-Dong! Quail Brush is Dead! “Undeniably and reliably dead.”

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We did it! You did it! Cogentrix withdrew! All proceedings for Quail Brush Power Plant are terminated. We won!

With every letter, rally, meeting, and donation, we fought hard to protect our park, communities, health, quality of life, and the planet. Folks like you, of all political stripes, united and said NO to Quail Brush. We joined efforts with many outstanding organizations (see list of supporters) and became a formidable alliance. Our coalition said NO to an immensely expensive taxpayer-funded project for energy which the Public Utilities Commission ruled was not needed. We said NO to industrializing open space near Mission Trails Park, grading hills and destroying wildlife and tranquility. We said NO to an unhealthy polluting gas plant in a high-fire zone just a stone’s throw from schools, homes, hospitals, and neighborhood playgrounds. We said NO to more fossil fuel in Southern California. And we are saying YES to rooftop solar and community choice aggregation (CCA).

On September 12, Cogentrix requested to withdraw the application for Quail Brush. Docketed on September 15, 2014, the California Energy Commission ordered termination for all proceedings on the plant. Victory! Power to the People!

Our first mission is complete. Our second mission is to protect Mission Trails and the East Elliott open space area from future encroachment. Save Mission Trails will continue to monitor and to raise funds to make sure this never happens again. Stay with us. And THANK YOU for caring and taking the effort to keep our world clean and green.

CEC Order to Terminate QB

Re-connect with SMT – now a 501 (c)(3) – at Santee’s Blues & BBQ on 7/17!

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Can you imagine an 11-acre power plant stuck on graded hillsides in dry, dry chaparral habitat, spewing toxic fumes over our communities on a hot summer day? No Way!
On Thursday evening, July 17, Save Mission Trails will celebrate its new 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and another year of successful volunteer efforts to say no to the power plant near Mission Trails Park, Santee, Tierrasanta, and other nearby communities. All volunteers and friends of SMT are invited to meet up at the high-energy Blues & BBQ Concert in Santee. The first band, Mercedes Moore Band with the Blues Diva, will ham it up from 5:30-6:30 PM, and the Bayou Brothers with special guest Bill Magee –winner of the 2013 Best Blues Band — will jam from 7:00-8:30 PM. Dancing at Santee's Park Families can enjoy the park’s swings, jungle gyms, and open space for frisbee, tossing ball, or soccer. Phil’s BBQ will provide food and drink, and there will be a beer garden, too. SMT will provide a cake – first come, first serve – for dessert! Wear some orange and come have some summer fun!  Location: Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive, Santee 92071 Directions here.

And remember, the fight to preserve the quality of life in and around Mission Trails Regional Park is ongoing.  SMT is an all-volunteer effort that relies on donations to maintain the website, print flyers, pay legal fees, and communicate with the public at EarthFair and other events. A successful non-profit organization needs support. We appreciate your help – no matter how big or small – and your donations are fully tax-deductible. More info here.

 

Power Plant Application is Suspended for Second Time…and Continues to Fester

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On April 24, 2014, the California Energy Commission (CEC) ordered that all proceedings on the Cogentrix application for certification (AFC) for the Quail Brush power plant bordering Mission Trails Park and Santee are on hold until April 15, 2015. While the plant cannot move forward for another year, (unless Cogentrix files a motion to revive the AFC sooner and the CEC approves this motion), no evidentiary hearings will take place this year that would have likely terminated this ill-conceived fossil fuel project once and for all.

Concerned citizens, including several elected officials, created a powerful response opposing the suspension and requesting the application be vacated, which was duly noted by the CEC. THANK YOU for your strong support. Community members like you are the David’s of this David and Goliath battle. The preservation of our beloved Mission Trails Regional Park and East Elliott Open Space area – and the health of our neighboring communities – Santee, Tierrasanta, Lakeside, El Cajon, Poway, La Mesa, San Diego – need your continued attention and diligence on the Quail Brush power plant issue.
STAY WITH US!

You can read the details of the CEC second-year suspension here. Or go to the CEC Docket Log and scroll down to TN# 202228. Letters of opposition, petitions against the gas power plant, and other important project documents are archived here as well.

Join SMT on EXPLORE MISSION TRAILS DAY in Mission Trails Regional Park
Sat, May 17, 2014, 8 AM – 3 PM
 The Save Mission Trails booth will be in the East Fortuna (Equestrian) Staging Area near Mast Blvd. and Rt. 52.
Connecting Children with Nature is the theme of this year’s event. Explore Mission Trails Day activities include free guided nature walks, pony rides for kids, live animals and educational programs for all ages, food for purchase, a climbing wall, nature discovery stations, and more. Email savemissiontrails@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out on this fun day. Wear an orange shirt or hat to identify yourself as a friend of SMT.

Below are photos of the Save Mission Trails booth at EarthFair 2014 in Balboa Park.

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Signing up to speak out against graded hills, fire danger, noise, visual blight, & pollution next to Mission Trails Regional Park

SMT at EarthFair 2014

Learning about the continued threat of the 11-acre gas plant with 11 smoke stacks proposed in an open-space / residential zone

Milestones in the fight to stop the power plant. Cogentrix pushes pause button, but don’t get too comfortable.

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Celebrate our victories, but stay vigilant for the sake of our park, our communities, and our health. Currently, the Quail Brush Power Plant bordering Mission Trails Regional Park and Santee is in a one-year suspension. Scroll down to read more about what a suspension means, what happens next, and for photos of recent events.

Milestones
August 29, 2011 – Cogentrix files application (AFC) for Quail Brush power plant (QB) with CA Energy Commission (CEC). With a few exceptions, the general public is not notified.
January 3, 2012 – Randomly attending a bimonthly Mission Trails Park meeting, a Santee resident learns of plans for QB and begins movement to alert citizenry.
March 12, 2012 – Stop the Santee Power Plant Rally informs hundreds during morning rush hour and alerts the media.
March 28, 2012 – Santee City Council unanimously passes a resolution opposing QB.
May 29, 2012 - Save Mission Trails incorporates.
Spring 2012 and continuing on – Thousands sign petitions, send letters, attend rallies and workshops. A strong coalition of environmental groups and local representatives both Democrat and Republican take a stand against QB.
July 19, 2012 – San Diego Planning Commission votes 4 to 1 rejecting re-zoning of open space land around park for power plant.
September 4, 2012 – Santee School District votes 4 to 1 to oppose QB.
September 24, 2012 – San Diego City Council unanimously denies Cogentrix’ appeal of Planning Commission’s decision.
December 18, 2012 - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner submits letter to CPUC opposing new fossil fuel plants and affirming a vision for the city to be a leader in better alternatives.
March 21, 2013 – CPUC unanimously denies SDG&E power purchase agreement for QB.
March 21, 2013 – Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force unanimously votes to officially oppose QB.
April 16, 2013 – CEC approves Cogentrix request for one-year suspension of QB.

The one-year suspension of Quail Brush will expire on April 15, 2014. Cogentrix needs to either wait until the expiration date or file a motion with the CEC to revive its review of the AFC sooner than April 16, 2014. If the CEC grants the motion, Cogentrix can restart at any time.

What happens when the suspension expires? Is the project canceled or automatically active? According to Eric Solorio, CEC project manager for QB, “My reading of the Order is staff will resume its review of the AFC on April 16, 2014.”

What now? Stay connected with Save Mission Trails. We remain active in the community to continue to get the word out about Cogentrix’ ill-conceived gas plant in a designated open space area, high fire-hazard zone, close to schools, residents, and the beautiful and peaceful (for now) Mission Trails.

Filner & SMT at EarthFair

Mayor Filner at SMT Booth, EarthFair, Balboa Park, April 21, 2013

EarthFair photo #2

Over 1,000 petitions opposing QB signed at EarthFair, April 21, 2013.

Dale at SMT party

Santee Councilmember Jack Dale addresses SMT celebration gathering, April 26, 2013.

SMT kids and cake!

SMT kids eat cake! Celebrating our victories….and looking to the future, April 26, 2013.

Explore MTRP Day

Explore Mission Trails Day at MTRP Equestrian Center (adjacent to proposed power plant site), May 18, 2013

MTRP Day Photo #2

Kids want clean air! Young citizens sign statements of opposition to a power plant by the park, May 18, 2013.

Thanks for your support. Let’s work together to keep our energy green and the air clean!

Biker in MTRP

Announcing SMTV & March 21 – UPDATED!!

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UPDATE! On 3/21/13, the CPUC unanimously rejected Quail Brush and Pio Pico…FOR NOW, but left the door open for SDG&E to re-apply if a future need is determined. NOW IT’S TIME for the California Energy Commission (CEC) to reject Quail Brush. We won’t stop until QB is RIP. 

More details coming soon. In the meantime, check out Our Supporters to see what a great coalition of support exists for saving Mission Trails and our communities, and for clean, green energy. Thank you!! (And there are more, too.) Then, click Email Activism to send your letter of opposition to the California Energy Commission (CEC) (#1) today!

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Join the Revolution! CPUC Final Vote Thursday, March 21, on new fossil fuel plants at Mission Trails and in Chula Vista. Arrive BEFORE 9AM to submit a speaker slip.
Too shy to speak? Just state your name and “I SUPPORT the original draft decisions which reject the new gas plants as not needed” either into the microphone or in writing. Or prepare a (one minute or less) statement – addressing LACK of NEED.
Rally: 8:00 AM  Speaker Slips must be submitted before 9:00 AM only – Come at 8:30 and sign a speaker slip!
Meeting Starts: 9:00 AM    Wear orange!
Location: 5520 Overland Avenue, S.D., 92123  Conference Center Hearing Room
Parking: Parking garage near the corner of Overland and Farnham.
Info: Sierra Club Revised Fact Sheet about San Diego’s Dirty Power Plant Scheme
Check savemissiontrails.org/meetings for any changes before you go OR to find out how to view online or listen in by phone.

Annoucing SMTV!  People who care about Mission Trails Regional Park speak out!

Click on the “Share icon” in the top right corner of each video to spread the word – next to the circular Info icon.
Stephen stands up for Mission Trails Park, and asks you to show up on 3/21.

Pauline requests your help in fighting the polluting power plant next to our park.

Robin argues Mission Trails is no place for a gas plant with 11 stacks, and we agree!

Retha reminds us natural gas is not clean, just cleaner than COAL, so get fired up!

S.D. City Council 9/24/12 voted NO to gas plant BUT Cogentrix is STILL a threat.

Save Mission Trails, Earth Day Fair – 2013

Say NO to Quail Brush AGAIN – Email CEC by Wed., April 23

Power Plant by Mission Trails – Just Say No!
Cogentrix asks for a second year suspension.
Urgent! Email the CEC by Wed., 4/23/14, to request a suspension denial.

On April 8, 2014, the power plant applicant Cogentrix made it clear they are not withdrawing the power plant siting near Mission Trails. Cogentrix asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) for an additional 12-month suspension for the Quail Brush Power Plant, stating the project “would be feasible.”

The CEC is requesting public comments as soon as possible in order for this input to be considered by the Committee. Please voice your opposition to the suspension, asking instead for the application to be vacated.  NOTE:  Comment deadline is April 23, 2014.

Use the electronic filing comment form at https://efiling.energy.ca.gov/Ecomment/Ecomment.aspx?docketnumber=11-AFC-03
or Email: publicadviser@energy.ca.gov
with Subject Line: Quail Brush Power Plant AFC (11-AFC-03) – Deny suspension

Write your own brief letter for the most impact, or copy this sample letter.

Dear Commissioners:

I am a concerned citizen opposed to an additional year suspension for the Quail Brush Generation Project 11-AFC-03 in the East Elliott Planning Area.

Please deny this suspension. Furthermore, I respectfully request that the application be vacated.

A fossil fuel power plant is completely inappropriate for the ecologically sensitive area adjacent to Mission Trails Regional Park and surrounding communities with nearby schools, hospitals, and homes. The project is inconsistent with the City of San Diego’s LORS. It was denied by the City of San Diego Planning Commission, the San Diego City Council, and the City of Santee. There is massive bipartisan public opposition to Quail Brush.

The proposed project is also located within the East Elliott Multi Habitat Planning Area, part of San Diego’s Multi Species Conservation Program (MSCP) open space area. The Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force opposes the siting of the power plant.

The taxpayers of San Diego County object to any further spending of California taxpayer dollars in pursuit of a project that violates so many key local land use provisions.

The cumulative air quality impact to low-lying Santee is not acceptable, no matter what mitigation the power plant offers. The high fire hazard of a gas plant here is too high a price to pay.

Please end the 11-AFC-03 process and focus on truly progressive projects– such as energy storage and rooftop solar–in appropriate places, to generate energy.

Sincerely,
Your Name,
City
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Thank you for taking a moment to submit your letter. The CEC Committee will issue a written ruling on the request no later than May 8, 2014. View details and sign up on the CEC Quail Brush listserv at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/quailbrush/.

Support “Scenic Highway” status for Rt. 52 through Mission Trails

The City of San Diego is now applying for Scenic Highway status for State Route 52 in Mission Trails Regional Park. Please take a moment to email your support! We are pleased that the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to request recognition of the scenic natural resources of SR 52 from Santo Rd. to Mast Blvd. through MTRP.
Send a brief note with positive comments of support today! Easy 1-step below.

view of the gorge

Write:
Ms. Melissa Garcia, Senior Planner
City of San Diego
Planning, Neighborhoods & Economic Development Department
1222 First Avenue, MS 413
San Diego, CA 92101-4101
or Email: magarcia@sandiego.gov
(Letters mut be received by February 28.)

Here is a sample letter:
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RE:  Support CA Scenic Highway Designation for SR 52
Dear Ms. Garcia,

I support the Scenic Highway designation of State Route 52 at Mission Trails Regional Park. This area’s beautiful unspoiled hills and canyons offer a tranquil and restorative experience for travelers heading from our county’s coast to its mountains, as well as for park visitors. Additionally, the status may help protect the natural habitats and the important wildlife in this region.

Thank you for considering my support.

Sincerely,
Your name
—————————————————————-

view from near highway

Click here for more information about Scenic Highway status.

Read below a letter from the City of San Diego to East Elliott landowners.

City of SD Ltr to Landowners

Once again, thank you for taking action to preserve our park and communities!

Because of You!


Save Mission Trails
was honored with the People’s Mic Award on Saturday, August 3, 2013, at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. YOU earned this award for your determination and resilience. Every letter written, sign waved, rally attended, comment spoken, and seat taken contributed to the CPUC denial of the SDG&E power purchase agreement and the one-year suspension of the Quail Brush Power Plant. A great big thank you to YOU!

The award was presented by new radio/online station KNSJ 89.1 FM / KNSJ.org during their launch party which celebrated San Diego’s Community Radio. KNSJ’s call letters stand for Networking for Social Justice. Please proudly view your award:

SMT Peoples Mic