Local Mini-Sahara Moved

7/25/2018 - This week contractors removed much of the sand that was mounding, not only on Mountain View Road, but on residences directly opposite the Stace solar facility, one of which was being progressively buried by that sand. There had been a warning notice from San Bernardino County Code Enforcement to the owner of the facility to clean up that errant sand some months ago, threatening civil or criminal prosecution, but it still took some months for the owner to respond to that warning.

According to observers, the sand that was removed by front loaders was deposited inside that solar facility in a depression, then covered with about six inches of gravel. There was no immediate remediation of the original problem however by covering the surface of the facility with a sand stabilizing medium and by taking steps to redirect sand migration. In 2014 that site had been treated with a soil stabilizer but again according to observers hasn’t been treated since. Of course, with the problem unresolved by some sort of permanent remediation, it is certain that blowing sand will recreate the same conditions which prompted the warning from the county in the first place.

One would hope that the facility would try to be more of a good neighbor to those residents to their east and take remedial steps that would stop the inundation of their properties. Nevertheless, it is apparent that proposed ten square miles of new solar facilities now seeking permits in both Newberry and Daggett ,which plan (info available in their publicly available applications forms) to move many millions of tons of desert just in their construction phase, can present problems hundreds or thousands times greater than that created by this relatively tiny property on Mountain View Road. And without the types of soil stabilization necessary at those sites to prevent later sand migration, the existence of Newberry/Harvard communities themselves and their health may well be in serious jeopardy from blowing sand.