Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment & PEIR
HELIX Environmental Planning assisted Inyo County with the preparation of a Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) and Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to address state-mandated renewable energy demands and potential future utility-scale renewable energy projects within the County’s footprint. In addition to the technical reports (e.g., air quality, biological resources, socioeconomic impacts, etc.) associated with the PEIR, HELIX was responsible for managing a proactive and large-scale public involvement campaign working directly with the County, residents, landowners, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, local tribal governments, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and applicable federal and state public resource agencies. The REGPA and PEIR were met with intense interest and generated public comments from hundreds of individuals and organizations. Primary issues of concern to County residents included the siting and placement of transmission lines, power delivery facilities, and solar/wind renewable energy infrastructure especially since the County is part of scenic Owens Valley, an area of unprecedented natural beauty and natural resources in central California. The final REGPA and PEIR were adopted by the County in March 2015.
In May 2015, a “Planning Award of Merit for Innovation in Green Community Planning” was awarded to Inyo County and HELIX for the Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment project. Both Inyo County and HELIX were recognized for outstanding achievement in land use planning and best practices by the American Planning Association Central Chapter.