Santa Paula Times
Letter to the Editor
Published:  March 18, 2016

Power Plant

This past weekend I got several urgent emails and phone calls about an application that has been filed with the California Energy Commission for a peaker-type power plant in the Mission Rock Road area. The email circulating refers to A NOTICE OF RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION FOR THE MISSION ROCK ENERGY CENTER BY THE CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION (CEC), and it lists an April 1 deadline for responses. This has caused a great deal of concern and confusion within the community. Some people felt as if the CEC was trying to do an end run around our city and City Council. I quickly did some research to find out the status of that application, and what this actually means.

I want everyone to be clear, no project application has been submitted to either the County or the City for their action. I contacted both the Ventura County Resource Management Agency, and Public Works Agency to see if they had received this notice. I spoke to the Directors of both agencies and they assured me that they received no such document and that no staff was currently reviewing the application for certification.  

Since we do not deal with a lot of applications that go through the CEC, at either the County or City, I thought it would be prudent to contact the CEC directly. The first thing Monday morning I called and spoke at length to the CEC Project Manager in charge of this application.  He was glad I called both as Chief of Staff to Supervisor Kathy Long and as Mayor of Santa Paula, for he had heard that the application which was intended for “Agency Only” distribution had been spread around town.  He went on to explain that this Notice of Application for Certification was for distribution to agencies like CalTrans etc. and the April 1 deadline was to determine if application was “Data Adequate” in order to begin the 12- month long review process. The first 6 months of the process are called the “Discovery” phase, where all stakeholders, elected officials at county and city levels, schools, and public at large learn about the project, including site tours with Commission staff.  This will be the first opportunity for the public and municipalities to provide input and comments. The Project Manager has assured me that his Executive Director is sending a letter to the City and to Supervisor Long, outlining the review process and offering meetings to answer questions and or do presentations.

I also called the principal at CalPine, which is the applicant to the CEC. I requested that he come and present before our City Council. He agreed to attend our April 4th meeting to give an update on their proposed project. 

Due to the level of community concern, the city manager has set this item for brief discussion at our March 21 meeting, so that the community can hear what we know so far. Additionally, you have my personal commitment to keeping Santa Paula residents informed on this application, and doing my very best to protect the interests of Santa Paula residents and the Valley we all love.


Martin Hernandez

Mayor, Santa Paula

Letter to CPUC re: proposed power plant

To the Editor:

I want to thank you for the consideration which you give to my comments.  I became aware of this hearing just minutes ago.\

I served two 4-year terms on our Ventura County APCD Advisory Committee so am familiar with the issues.   

I support the request of the City of Oxnard for a pause in the proceedings on this matter, and to request that Southern California Edison be required to go back and prepare alternative green/renewable energy facilities in lieu of this proposal.  

I also urge that any that any attempt to shift the fossil fuel facility proposed for Mandalay Beach in Oxnard to Mission Rock Road, Santa Paula, CA be included in this pause in the proceedings.  This location is strongly opposed by Phil White, the engineer who formerly headed our Ventura County APCD.

The Limoneira Corporation expects to profit greatly from locating this plant just west of and downwind of Santa Paula.  This same corporation is also in the planning stage of a very large housing development just downwind of and about 5 miles east of the proposed power plant.  I believe this housing development will be the largest ever constructed in Ventura County.  This developer should, at the least, be required to install solar collectors on each housing unit and all other nearby facilities which they construct. With such an Letter to CPUC re proposed power plant Letter to CPUC re proposed power plantinstallations near an existing SCE facility, the need for this plant can be eliminated.  There is desperate need to move away from fossil fuels and this is a perfect opportunity.

Both the Oxnard site and proposed Santa Paula site are located in areas of natural beauty and are again near low income and minority communities.  It is wrong and contrary to CPUC written policy to push such facilities upon these communities.  

A California Public Utilities Commission decision from 2007 (D0712052) states that, some criteria for which we believe the IOUs need to provide greater weight include disproportionate resource sitings in low income and minority communities, and environmental impacts/benefits. For almost a decade, the CPUC has believed it should consider issues of environmental justice when making decisions and in 2013 the CPUC acknowledged that Southern California Edison remains bound by these requirements. 

The California Energy Commission’s and CPUC’s consideration of environmental justice issues are significantly distinct. The CEC’s review is project specific and lacks a robust consideration of alternative projects potentially available in the energy market. Only the CPUC is able to consider the full spectrum of market alternatives available to avoid environmental justice impacts.  I respectfully urge the CPUC to pause the process in this case so that environmental and renewable energy factors can be taken into account.

Dr. Delton Lee Johnson

Santa Paula

Club is open

To the Editor:

There was a comment in a previous issue of the Santa Paula Times that suggested The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley was at capacity . That was not correct. Spring break at school is just around the corner. The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley will be open during the school break and welcomes both new and current members to join us for a fun filled time at the Club. There will be recreation activities, Spring tournaments and field trips. Come to “The Positive Place to be for Kids”. For program questions please call 525-7910.

Jan Marholin

Santa Clara Valley 

Boys & Girls Club