People who live in Boulevard, about an hour east of San Diego, are worried that a proposed wind turbine project could disrupt their quality of life, and also lead to health problems.
Right now, the Campo Wind project would build 60 turbines on land owned by the Campo Kumeyaay Nation. The U.S. Department of the Interior is drafting an Environmental Impact Statement.
According to federal documents, the turbines would each be 586 feet tall. The rotors would have a diameter of 450 feet.
The project would also include the construction of a new collection substation and a 230 kV overhead transmission line to connect it with the Sunrise Powerlink.
People who live near the Campo land say those turbines would ruin the views that drew them to the East County.
“We sacrifice a lot to live out in the country. We wear out vehicles, we drive an hour to work,” Boulevard resident Monica Fordyce said. “But we love our view. We want it to remain pristine.”
At 586 feet tall, the turbines would dwarf the tallest buildings in Downtown San Diego. One America Plaza stands at 500 feet tall, the Symphony Tower is 499 feet tall and the Manchester Grand Hyatt is 497 feet tall. The SeaWorld Tower is 320 feet tall.
The view isn’t the only issue. Donna Tisdale, who is the president of the Boulevard Planning Group and also the activist group Backcountry Against Dumps says the windmills can cause health problems for people who live nearby.
“It’s an invisible pollution, and most people don’t recognize it,” she says. “They may suffer from sleep deprivation, or heart issues unexplained. I think there are a lot more people out here that are affected by the turbines and not know it.”
In February, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency put out a report stating that “wind turbines are not related to adverse health effects.” It did state that they could cause added stress which could lead to health problems.
Tisdale and her group say they disagree with the report. They’re asking the county to revisit the findings and look at new information. They even had their lawyer send letters to the County and the US Department of the Interior about the issue.
The County Planning Commission will discuss the report at their meeting on Friday, April 26th at 9 a.m.
10News in San Diego reached out to the offices of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation for comment on the project. They have not responded.