Gas Pipeline Threatens Park – Your Action Requested!

View of Mission Trails from East Fortuna Staging AreaSUMMARY:  SDG&E and SoCalGas have applied to the CPUC to build a new natural gas pipeline from Rainbow through MCAS Miramar to Mission Valley. Miramar wants the pipelines to go through Mission Trails Regional Park, East Elliott, and Goodman Ranch INSTEAD OF Miramar. The alternative routes would be a major degradation to our natural areas and a disruption to park visitors and native flora and fauna. They are unacceptable.

UPDATE: At this time, the Pipeline Safety and Reliability Project is undergoing an Environmental Impact Review (EIR). Save Mission Trails opposes the Spring Canyon Firebreak and Rainbow to Santee Non-Miramar alternative pipeline routes. Sign up on our Take Action page to stay informed and to be ready to act. Thank you.

KEY ACTION ITEM:  The number one action is to send an email or letter NOW – before the close of public comments on June 12. Your letter should explain why the pipeline should NOT travel through MTRP, East Elliott, or Goodan Ranch.
You may use the sample letter below (copy and paste) or (better) craft your own letter. ***Be sure to add your name and city to the bottom of the sample letter at the bottom of this post.
EMAIL your letter to SDgaspipeline@ene.com OR submit comments online here:  http://sdgaspipeline.cores.ene.com/SubmitComment/

DETAILS:  A 36″ high pressure natural gas “transmission line” is being built from Rainbow to Mission Valley to replace the 70 year-old pipeline currently in use. Unfortunately, Colonel Woodworth, the Miramar CO, wants the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and SDG&E to consider alternative routes that avoid Miramar completely. The two alternative routes would impact MTRP, the Goodan Ranch, and the City of Santee.

SDG&E would like the pipeline to pass through Miramar providing the cheapest and most direct route for this infrastructural upgrade project. However, without action by the affected communities, the alternatives could become reality.

The two alternative routes proposed by SDG&E pass through MTRP and the City of Santee. The first alternative route travels from Poway through the MTRP West Sycamore Area, the Goodan Ranch, the Fanita Ranch property, under Fanita Parkway, turning west under Carlton Oaks Blvd, and terminating at the Rumson Rd Natural Gas Pipeline access point. The second alternative route travels from Poway through East Elliott, down MTRP’s Spring Canyon, through the East Mission Trails Staging Area, under the SR-52/Mast intersection, under the West Hills Pkwy/Mast intersection terminating at the Rumson Rd Natural Gas access point.

Both of these alternatives are unacceptable! SMT will oppose this project through the grassroots methods which we employed to stop the Quail Brush Power Plant! That means YOU taking action NOW. If this Transmission Pipeline is placed in Santee and MTRP, we have strong concerns that another Power Plant proposal will follow.

MORE INFO:  View the CPUC’s PSRP website or SDG&E’s pipeline project website.

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS TO TAKE:
A) ATTEND a PUBLIC SCOPING MEETING to comment in writing or verbally. The May 25 meeting is in San Diego. These meetings provide another opportunity to comment and share info on the proposed project and the environmental review.

The public scoping meetings will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. AND 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., each day, at the following locations:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Pala Mesa Resort, Ballroom, 2001 Old Highway 395, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Park Avenue Community Center, Auditorium 210 E. Park Ave., Escondido, CA 92025

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Alliant International University, San Diego Campus, Green Hall, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131

Project Name: Pipeline Safety and Reliability Project – New Natural Gas Line 3602 and De-rating Line 1600 (PSRP) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Notification – Legal Notice process.

B) ATTEND the SANTEE CITY COUNCIL MEETING on Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 PM. You may address this issue as a “communication” item. Turn in your speaker slip at the start of the meeting. A vote by the SCC is not planned, as the city already opposes the pipeline project passing through Santee. Regardless, attendance at Wednesday’s SCC meeting is always good, just in case a council member begins to waffle on this issue.

THANK YOU very much for your concern, attention, and ACTION!
~SMT Volunteers

Copy and paste the letter below or write your own comments.
——————————

Robert Peterson
California Public Utilities Commission
RE: Pipeline Safety and Reliability Project
c/o Ecology and Environment, Inc.
505 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: Pipeline Safety and Reliability Project (Application No. A.15-09-013)

I oppose both alternative routes of the proposed gas pipeline (Line 3602). Alternative routes through Mission Trails Regional Park and surrounding park expansion areas are not acceptable.

The first proposed alternative would disrupt the use of and degrade Mission Trails Regional Park’s West Sycamore Area including parts of the new Stowe Trail, as well as the Goodan Ranch, and Fanita Ranch. These preserved areas and parklands are used by hundreds of visitors daily. Maintaining the integrity of the preservation of these natural lands is imperative for existing wildlife, flora, and habitat.

The second proposed alternative is equally unacceptable and would degrade Mission Trails’s Spring Canyon and East Fortuna Staging Area, and also East Elliott, part of MTRP’s larger ecosystem. The park and its surrounding expansion area must be protected. A new gas pipeline does not belong in these natural habitats which are used recreationally by park visitors.

Please drop or oppose these alternative routes. Thank you.

###

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SMT Upcoming Events – Join us!

It’s spring! And that means EarthFair in Balboa Park and Explore MTRP Day in east Mission Trails. Stop by our booths and say hello to Save Mission Trails volunteers!

EarthFair in Balboa Park
Sunday, April 17, 10 am to 5 pm
Kick off the day with the Children’s Earth Parade at 10:30 am – about 30 minutes long. Hang out by our booth for a great view! Or…have kids? Dress them as their favorite animal and join our contingent!
At the SMT booth (space #235 at El Prado East near the Natural History Museum), children can create a cool nature craft, and grown ups can view a map to find out about all the slated development encroaching Mission Trails — and what can be done to preserve our park, community, and the adjacent East Elliott area.
If you’d like to volunteer to help out at the SMT booth, please contact us right away at savemissiontrails@gmail.com.
Here is the EarthFair website with details, including public transportation and parking.

Explore Mission Trails Day
Saturday, May 21, 9 am to 2 pm
Look for the SMT booth in the East Fortuna Staging Area (formerly known as the Equestrian Area), which can be accessed from Mast Blvd at West Hills Pkwy.
Children can create a cool nature craft, and grown ups can view a map to find out about all the slated development encroaching Mission Trails — and what can be done to preserve our park, community, and the adjacent East Elliott area. Also, there will be free pony rides (until 12:30), a mini mountain bike track, a climbing wall, live animals, and other crafts and fun for children. Family events will take place throughout the park.
If you’d like to volunteer to help out at the SMT booth, please contact us at savemissiontrails@gmail.com.
Here is the MTRP website with event details, including a schedule, map, and parking.

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

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.

securedownload-3
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

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
————–

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:
———————————————————-
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!

CPUC Win is Temporary – Now CEC Decision Looms

UPDATE:  On April 8, 2013, Cogentrix requested the California Energy Commission (CEC) allow the corporation a one-year suspension of the Quail Brush Generation Project. The CEC approved the suspension on April 16. CEC staff and responsible agencies “shall cease work on the Application and any pending motions are stayed.” The suspension will expire April 15, 2014.  During this time, Save Mission Trails will continue to build awareness of the proposed fossil fuel plant, work on coalition-building and growing the opposition, and remain alert for any threats to the land near Mission Trails. Please support our work!

With a standing room only crowd as witness, the CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously on March 21, 2013, that SDG&E currently has enough power, and therefore cannot purchase power from the proposed Quail Brush gas plant (QB) sited next to Mission Trails Regional Park. However, SDG&E can reapply for QB and/or other power plants by stating a need for more power to come online in 2018.
Click here to help protect the park FOR GOOD today!

Save Mission Trails now invites you to address the CEC, which is slated to deny or approve QB based on siting issues (environmental, air quality, fire, land use regulations, etc.) – irregardless of need. If the CEC votes to deny QB, our park and local communities are protected for good, not just for a couple years. But a vote to approve QB would allow for the grading and perpetual destruction surrounding our park and neighborhoods to begin. The CEC decision looms; QB must be rejected. You can help right now by urging the CEC to deny this gas plant FOR GOOD. Been there, done that? Please ask a friend or neighbor to do so. Thanks!

Below is more info on the outcome of the March 21 CPUC Vote, including the actual text of the order (NOTE #3), a video clip, articles, and quotes.

March 21 2013 CPUC Mtg

The CPUC ORDER, March 21, 2013, last page reads (NOTE #3):

“D1303029 Determining San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Local Capacity Requirement and Granting Partial Authority to Enter into Purchase Power Tolling Agreements.
IT IS ORDERED that: 

1. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for authority to enter into a purchase power tolling agreement with Escondido Energy Center is approved. 

2. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for authority to enter into purchase power tolling agreements with Pio Pico Energy Center and Quail Brush Energy Project is denied without prejudice.

3. San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is authorized to meet a local capacity requirement need of up to 298 MW beginning in 2018. SDG&E shall meet this need either by issuing a new request for offers or, in the alternative, it may bring an application for approval of purchase power tolling agreements with either Pio Pico Energy Center and/or Quail Brush Power amended to coordinate with the anticipated retirement in 2018 of once-through cooling generation units. SDG&E shall adjust the commencement date, as appropriate, to coordinate with the anticipated retirement of once-through cooling generation units and other changing conditions in its service territory. 

4. San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s July 9, 2012, and August 15, 2012, motions to supplement the evidentiary record are granted. 

5. San Diego Gas & Electric Company shall create a Local Generation Balancing Account for the Escondido Energy Center. The Local Generation Balancing Account shall be applied to all customers in San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s service area, on an equal per kilowatt-hour basis by customer class. 

6. San Diego Gas & Electric Company shall create a Local Generation Charge to recover new generation costs on a non-bypassable basis from all customers. 

7. All pending motions that are not otherwise granted in this order are deemed denied. 

8. Application 11-05-023 is closed. 
This order is effective immediately. 
Dated March 21, 2013, at San Diego, California. MICHAEL R. PEEVEY President, 
MICHEL PETER FLORIO, CATHERINE J.K. SANDOVAL, MARK J. FERRON, CARLA J. PETERMAN Commissioners”

VIDEO 
TV coverage on 5 news stations

A COUPLE ARTICLES
East County Magazine articles about CPUC decision and ramifications
San Diego Free Press article with comment by Sierra Club’s Pete Hasapopoulos

QUOTES FROM THE DAY – Heard at the podium…
“One step for SDG&E’s pockets, one giant step backward for mankind.”
“Sunny San Diego = a Golden Opportunity to be Solar San Diego. If Germany can do it, so can San Diego.”
“It’s a math problem:  More peaker plants means needing more renewables to meet the mandates.”
“A three-year-old can walk from Quail Brush to the nearest playground. This isn’t right.”
“The choice is between need and greed.”
and from Commissioner Ferron, “This meeting has confirmed what I’ve always known about San Diegans. You are passionate, well-informed, and courteous.”

Save Mission Trails (and that means you!) continues to be passionate about our cause to stop the power plant, and to keep our hills green and our air clean! 

What’s Going On Behind Closed Doors? What Can I Do?

What’s Going on Behind Closed Doors regarding power plants at Mission Trails/Santee and in Chula Vista? Turko Video The CPUC, CEC, Cogentrix, SDGE, CleanTech, and other industry and corporate stakeholders (excluding the public and the press) will meet in San Diego one day before the CPUC votes on whether the power plants are actually needed, four months after the CPUC correctly rejected these fossil fuel-burning plants as not needed.
Click above for what Turko says on 3/6/13 about this secret meeting.
UPDATE: Turko File Follow-Up 3/11/13 says a lawsuit has been filed to stop the meeting.

What You Can Do Now to Prevent new unneeded Fossil Fuel-burning Plants in our region, including grading hills for an 11-stack monster adjacent to majestic Mission Trails park and open space area. Want to stop a massive waste of taxpayer dollars?

1. MOST IMPORTANT – Attend the CPUC meeting THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 8:00 AM  [NOTE TIME REVISION: RALLY AT 8:00, PUBLIC COMMENT SIGN-IN AT 8:30, COMMENT SIGN-IN CLOSED and MEETING STARTS AT 9:00 AM. COME AT 8:00 IF YOU CAN!]
We need a huge show of force–yes, again!–to tell the CPUC to uphold the November draft decision which rejects these power plants. Take off work to attend, if you can.
PRE-MEETING RALLY: 8:00 AM at the site – Public Comment sign-in 8:30 AM
LOCATION: 5520 Overland Avenue, San Diego, 92123 — County Operations Center’s Conference Center (Campus Center) in Kearny Mesa. Check this website for any changes before you go.
BE COUNTED! We encourage EVERYONE to speak (1 minute or less), or at least submit a written comment on a speaker slip. Arrive by 8:30 AM to sign in.
SIMPLY STATE: “I support the CPUC’s A.L.J. and alternate draft decisions”
(at a minimum) and your name.

2. If you can’t attend, you still have a voice. Email and/or phone the CPUC today and ask two friends to do the same.

3. Over 600 letters opposing Cogentrix’s Quail Brush are on the CA Energy Commission (CEC)’s public docket. Let’s make it 1,000! Read some of the letters and send yours — or commit two friends to do so — today. Easy instructions on the Email Activism Page No. (2). PLEASE NOTE: The CEC will reject, approve, or withdraw the Mission Trails/Santee power plant application this spring, regardless of the CPUC vote. Don’t let the CEC and Cogentrix grade our beautiful park hills and pollute our air.

4. Ask Governor Brown to speak on behalf of the public interest and to relieve the pressure on the CPUC to rewrite their decision in favor of SDG&E/Cogentrix allowing another ratepayer rip-off.

5. Have fun at a SMT volunteer community outreach event! Join an early-morning hike up Cowles Mountain and/or petition-signing at the trailhead on March 16. Details on the Meetings Page.

6. “Like” and share our Facebook page and tweet us!

FAST FACTS: Peak electricity demand has been stable in San Diego and statewide since 1999. Generation capacity of gas-fired plants is in excess of 30% now. The Los Angeles basin will add 2,000 MW of gas-fired power plants this summer that will further balloon generation capacity. And yet another 2,000 MW are slated for construction elsewhere in California.

SDG&E has ample power generation without San Onofre. The required reserves is 15 to 17%. On the hottest hour of the year on Sept. 14, 2012, SDG&E still had reserves of about 24% without San Onofre.

BOTTOM LINE: The public would be saddled with at least $1.2 billion in construction and finance costs for just Pio Pico and Quail Brush in exchange for only 23 permanent jobs in our region. Claims by SDG&E that peak demand is rising and new peaker plants are needed for the hottest days are false.

We are steadfast in fighting the good fight. Thank you for all your hard work!