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Rosamond Solar Array - Notice of Preparation - County of Kern

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					Eirssk06-10.Nop                              Los Angeles County                           Bureau of Land Management
                                             Department of Regional Planning              Caliente/Bakersfield
                                             320 West Temple Street, Room 1390            3801 Pegasus Drive
                                             Los Angeles, CA 90012                        Bakersfield, CA 93308-6837




China Lake Naval Weapons Center              Edwards Air Force Base                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Commanding Officer Code                      AFFTC/XRX Bldg 0001, Rm 110                  Region IX Office / Attn: David Tomsovic
Environmental Managment (O'Gara)             #1 South Rosamond Boulevard                  75 Hawthorn Street /Mail CMD -2
Mail Stop 4014                               Edwards AFB, CA 93524-1936                   San Francisco, CA 94105
China Lake, CA 93555-6108


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service                 U.S. Department of Agriculture               Antelope Valley Resource
Attn: Ashleigh Blackford                     Natural Resources Conservation Service       Conservation Dist.
2493 Portola Road, Suite B                   5000 California Avenue, Suite 100            44811 Date Avenue, #G
Ventura, CA 93003                            Bakersfield, CA 93309-0711                   Lancaster, CA 93534-3136



Kern County Agriculture Department           Kern County Air Pollution Control District   Community Development




Kern County Administrative Officer           Kern County Engineering & Survey Svs/        Kern County Engineering & Survey Svs/
                                             Floodplain                                   Survey




Kern County Env Health Services Department   Kern County Fire Department                  Kern County Library/Diane Duquette




Kern County Parks and Recreation             Resource Management Agency                   Kern County Roads Department
                                             Special Projects/Fiscal Analysis




Kern County Waste Management Department      Southern Kern Unified School Dist.           Kern High School District
                                             P.O. Box CC                                  5801 Sundale Avenue
                                             Rosamond, CA 93560                           Bakersfield, CA 93309




KernCOG                                      Local Agency Formation Commission            Antelope Valley-East Kern
                                             5300 Lennox Avenue, Suite 303                Water Agency
                                             Bakersfield, CA 93309                        6500 West Avenue N
                                                                                          Palmdale, CA 93551



Kern County Water Agency                     Native American Heritage Council             Sierra Club/Kern Keaweah Chapter
P.O. Box 58                                  of Kern County                               Arthur Unger
Bakersfield, CA 93302-0058                   P.O. Box 1507
                                             Bakersfield, CA 93302                        ****PUT IN BUCKET ***
Smart Growth Coalition                   California Farm Bureau Federation            Stationary Resource Division
302 South Mojave Street                  2300 River Plaza Drive, NRED                 (California Air Resources Board)
Tehachapi, CA 93561                      Sacramento, CA 95833                         Attention Barbara Fry
                                                                                      P.O. Box 2815
                                                                                      Sacramento, CA 95812


Southern San Joaquin Valley              Caltrans/Dist. 9                             State Mining and Geology Board
Archaeological Information Center        Planning Department                          801 "K" Street, MS 20-15
California State University              500 South Main Street                        Sacramento, CA 95814
9001 Stockdale Highway                   Bishop, CA 93514
Bakersfield, CA 93311


State Clearinghouse                      State Dept. of Conservation                  State Dept. of Fish & Game
Office of Planning and Research          Division of Oil & Gas                        1234 East Shaw Avenue
P.O. Box 3044                            4800 Stockdale Highway, Ste 417              Fresno, CA 93710
Sacramento, CA 95812-3044 - CERTIFIED    Bakersfield, CA 93309
MAIL


California Energy Commission             California Food and Agriculture              California Highway Patrol
1516 Ninth Street, Room 200              1220 "N" Street                              Planning and Analysis Division
Sacramento, CA 95814                     Sacramento, CA 95814                         P.O. Box 942898
                                                                                      Sacramento, CA 94298-0001



Integrated Waste Management              Public Utilities Commission                  California Regional Water Quality
Attention Sue O'Leary, MS #15            Energy Division                              Control Board/Central Valley Region
P.O. Box 4025                            505 Van Ness Avenue                          1685 E Street
Sacramento, CA 95812-4025                San Francisco, CA 94102                      Fresno, CA 93706-2020



Kern Valley Tribal Council               Tejon Indian Tribe                           Kitanemuk & Yowlumne Tejon Indians
P.O. Box 168                             Kathy Morgan, Chairperson                    Delia Dominguez
Kernville, CA 93238                      2234 4th Street                              981 North Virginia
                                         Wasco, CA 93280                              Covina, CA 91722



Chumash Council of Bakersfield           Santa Rosa Rancheria                         Tule River Indian Tribe
P.O. Box 902                             Clarence Atwell, Chairperson                 Neal Peyron, Chairperson
Bakersfield, CA 93302                    P.O. Box 8                                   P.O. Box 589
                                         Lemoore, CA 93245                            Porterville, CA 93258



Tubatulabals of Kern County              U.S. Air Force                               U.S. Army
P.O. Box 226                             Western Regional Environmental Office        Dir of Public Works/Master Plan Div
Lake Isabella, CA 93240                  50 Fremont Street, Suite 2450                P.O. Box 105097
                                         San Francisco, CA 94105-2230                 Fort Irwin, CA 92310-5097



U.S. Army                                U.S. Navy                                    U.S. Marine Corps
Peter Rubin                              Sheila Donovan                               Patrick Christman
B790 5th Street                          1220 Pacific Highway                         Building 1164/Box 555246
Parks RFTA                               San Diego, CA 92132                          Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
Dublin, CA 94568


Calif. Dept ofToxic Substances Control   Center on Race, Poverty, & the Environment   Center on Race, Poverty, & the Environment
1001 "I" Street                          Attention: Executive Director                Attention Caroline Farrell
P.O. Box 806                             47 Kearny Street, Suite 804                  1302 Jefferson Street, Suite 2
Sacramento, CA 95812-0806                San Francisco, CA 94108-5528                 Delano, CA 93215
Cuddy Valley Statistical              Defenders of Wildlife                    Eight Bar Ranch
11667 Steinhoff Road                  P.O. Box 953                             Jon and Helen Lantz
Frazier Park, CA 93222                Joshua Tree, CA 92252                    11300 Cameron Canyon Road
                                                                               Mojave, CA 93501




Rosamond Municipal Advisory Council   Kern County Library                      Kern County Fire Department/Brian Marshall
P.O. Box 626                          Wanda Kirk/Rosamond Branch
Rosamond, CA 93560                    3611 Rosamond Boulevard
                                      Rosamond, CA 93560



Beth Boyst                            Eric Mason                               Suzanne Wilson
Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager   Pacific Crest Trail Association          Pacific Crest Trail Association
1323 Club Drive                       P.O. Box 3398                            26121-A Hemstreet Place
Vallejo, CA 94592                     Idyllwild, CA 92549                      Idyllwild, CA 92549



State Dept. of Conservation           State Dept. of Public Health             State Department of Health Services/Drinking
Director's Office                     Drinking Water Field Operations Branch   Water
801 "K" Street, MS 24-01              265 W Bullard Avenue, Suite 101          Jesse Dhaliwal
Sacramento, CA 95814-3528             Fresno, CA 93704-1755                    1200 Discovery Drive, Ste 100
                                                                               Bakersfield, CA 93309



David Laughing Horse Robinson         State Dept. of Conservation              City of Arvin
P.O. Box 1547                         Office of Land Conservation              P.O. Box 548
Kernville, CA 93238                   801 "K" Street, MS 18-01                 Arvin, CA 93203
                                      Sacramento, CA 95814



City of Bakersfield                   California City Planning                 City of Delano
Planning Department                   21000 Hacienda Boulevard                 P.O. Box 3010
1715 Chester Avenue                   California City, CA 93515                Delano, CA 93216
Bakersfield, CA 93301



City of Maricopa                      City of McFarland                        City of Ridgecrest
P.O. Box 548                          401 West Kern Avenue                     100 West California Avenue
Maricopa, CA 93252                    McFarland, CA 93250                      Ridgecrest, CA 93555




City of Shafter                       City of Taft                             City of Tehachapi
336 Pacific Avenue                    Planning and Building                    115 South Robinson Street
Shafter, CA 93263                     209 East Kern Street                     Tehachapi, CA 93561-1722
                                      Taft, CA 93268



City of Wasco                         Inyo County Planning Department          Kings County Planning Agency
764 "E" Street                        P.O. Drawer "L"                          Kings County Government Building #6
Wasco, CA 93280-1930                  Independence, CA 93526                   1400 West Lacey Boulevard
                                                                               Hanford, CA 93230



Los Angeles County                    San Bernardino County                    San Luis Obispo County
Department of Regional Planning       Office of Planning                       Planning and Building Department
320 West Temple Street, Room 1390     385 North Arrowhead Avenue, 1st Floor    County Government Center
Los Angeles, CA 90012                 San Bernardino, CA 92415-0182            San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
Santa Barbara County           Tulare County                            Ventura County RMA Planning Div.
Planning and Development       Planning & Development Dept.             Attention Kim Rodriquez, Director
123 East Anapamu Street        Room 105-111                             800 South Victoria Avenue, L1740
Santa Barbara, CA 93101        County Civic Center                      Ventura, CA 93009-1740
                               Visalia, CA 93291-4503


U.S. Department of Energy      Office of Historical Preservation        Southern California Edison
Office of NEPA                 Susan Stratton                           Attn: Cathy Hart
Director Carol Borgstrom       P.O. Box 942896                          42060 10th Street, West
1000 Independence Avenue, SW   Sacramento, CA 942896                    Lanchester, CA 93534
Washington, D.C. 20585-0119


San Diego Gas and Electric     California Department of Fish and Game   Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
P.O. Box 129831                Dave Hacker                              Shaw Office/Land Projects
San Diego, CA 92112-9831       Region 4 Renewable Energy Projects       650 "O" Street, First Floor
                               3196 South Higuera Street, Suite A       Fresno, CA 93760-0001
                               San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
      INITIAL STUDY/NOTICE OF PREPARATION



Rosamond Solar Array by First Solar, Inc.

SPA No. 14, ZCC No. 31, CUP No. 25, Map 232, Easement Vacation




                      LEAD AGENCY:




               Kern County Planning Department
                    2700 M Street, Suite 100
                   Bakersfield, CA 93301-2370


                       Contact: Sara Kopp
                         (661) 862-8793


                TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE BY:



          ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE ASSOCIATES
           707 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, SUITE 1450
                  LOS ANGELES, CA 90017



                          March 2010
                                                                        KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                  ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



1. Project Description
1.1 Location
The Rosamond Solar Array (proposed project) site is located within unincorporated Kern County,
approximately nine miles west of downtown Rosamond within the jurisdiction of the Willow Springs
Specific Plan. The project site is located approximately eight miles west of State Route (SR) 14,
approximately 24 miles west of Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), and approximately 20 miles south of
SR 58. The project site is comprised of approximately 1,177 acres and is generally bordered by Irone
Avenue to the north, 105th Street West to the east, Astoria Avenue to the south and 140th Street West to
the west. The project site is comprised of the following Assessor's Parcel Numbers (APNs): 358-030-03,
358-040-01, 04, 358-170-06, 359-011-28, 359-051-01, 02 which are a portion of Sections 15, 16, 23, and
24 of Township 9 North, Range 14 West, San Bernadino Base and Meridian (SBB&M).

1.2 Environmental Setting
The majority of the project site has been disturbed and is either active or fallow agricultural land.
Portions of the project site are classified as Prime Farmland, Farmland of Statewide Importance, and
Unique Farmland. The project site generally slopes to the southeast, ranging from approximately
2,660 feet above mean sea level (msl) in the northwest corner of the site to approximately 2,480 feet
above msl in the southeast corner of the site. On-site vegetation includes, but is not limited to, small
rabbitbrush (Ericamerie nauseosus), Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), red brome (Bromus madritensis
rubens), cheesebush (Ambrosia salsola), allscale (Atriplex polycarpa) and heron’s bill (Erodium
cicutarium). A Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power (LADWP) easement, associated
with transmission lines, crosses the project site diagonally from southwest to northeast. There is a
Southern California Edison (SCE) easement, associated with transmission lines, running north-south
through the eastern portion of the project site.
Land uses surrounding the project site consist primarily of vacant agricultural lands, with a few rural
residences located within the project vicinity. Specifically, land uses to the north, east, and west include
vacant land and rural residences. Land uses to the south include vacant land, rural residences, agricultural
land, and transmission corridors.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, soils at the
project site consist mainly Hesperia fine sandy loam, with areas of Rosamond loam, Sunrise sandy loam,
and Cajon loamy sand. The project site is not located within an agricultural preserve or under Williamson
Act Contract, is not within a 100-year floodplain, and is not located within the boundaries of any oilfield.
The proposed project is located approximately seven miles west of the nearest fire station (Fire Station
No. 15) and approximately nine miles west of the nearest Sheriff’s station (Rosamond Substation). The
project site is not located within two miles of a public airport; the closest airport is the Rosamond
Skypark, which is located approximately six miles east of the project site. There are seven public schools
located within ten miles of the project site including Tropico Middle School (approximately 4.5 miles east
of the project site), West Park Elementary School (6.5 miles east), Hamilton Elementary School (seven
miles east), Rosamond High School (seven miles east), Abraham Lincoln Alternative School (eight miles
east), Rare Earth (Continuation) High School (eight miles east), and Rosamond Elementary School (eight
miles east). There are no parks or other recreational areas located within five miles of the project site.
According to the Willow Springs Specific Plan, the project site is currently designated 5.3 (max.
10 Dwelling Units per acre), 5.3/4.4 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per acre/Comprehensive Planning Area),



IS/NOP                                               1                                           March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

and 6.2 (General Commercial). The project site has a Kern County Zoning Ordinance classification of A
FPS (Exclusive Agriculture Floodplain Secondary Combining) and E (5) RS FPS (Estate Residential
5 Acre minimum Floodplain Secondary Combining). Please refer to Table 1-1 Proposed Project Site and
Surrounding Land Uses.
                                              Table 1-1
                          Proposed Project Site and Surrounding Land Uses

Direction From     Existing
  Project Site    Land Use          Existing Land Use Designation                  Existing Zoning
Project Site     Vacant and     5.3 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per acre);   A FPS (Exclusive Agriculture
                  Agriculture   5.3/4.4 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per        Floodplain Secondary
                                  acre/Comprehensive Planning Area);       Combining);
                                6.2 (General Commercial)                 E (5) RS FPS (Estate Residential 5
                                                                           Acre min. Residential Suburban
                                                                           Combining Floodplain Secondary
                                                                           Combining)
North            Vacant         5.3/4.4 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per      A FPS (Exclusive Agriculture
                                  acre/Comprehensive Planning Area);       Floodplain Secondary
                                5.6 (Min. 2.5 Gross Acres per unit);       Combining);
                                5.7 (Min. 5 Gross Acres per unit);       E (5) RS FPS (Estate Residential 5
                                5.75 (Min. 10 Gross Acres per unit);       Acre min. Residential Suburban
                                8.5 (Resource Management)                  Combining Floodplain Secondary
                                                                           Combining);
                                                                         E (10) RS FPS (Estate Residential
                                                                           10 Acre min. Residential
                                                                           Suburban Combining Floodplain
                                                                           Secondary Combining)
East             Vacant         3.3 (Other Facilities);                  E (2 1/2) RS FPS (Estate Residential
                                5.3/4.4 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per        2.5 Acre min. Residential
                                  acre/Comprehensive Planning Area);       Suburban Combining Floodplain
                                5.6 (Min. 2.5 Gross Acres per unit)        Secondary Combining)
South            Vacant and     3.3 (Other Facilities);                  A FPS (Exclusive Agriculture
                  Agriculture   5.3/4.4 (Max. 10 Dwelling Units per        Floodplain Secondary
                                  acre/Comprehensive Planning Area);       Combining);
                                5.6 (Min. 2.5 Gross Acres per unit)      E (1) RS MH FPS (Estate
                                                                           Residential 1 Acre min.
                                                                           Residential Suburban Combining
                                                                           Mobile Home Combining
                                                                           Floodplain Secondary
                                                                           Combining);
                                                                         E (2 1/2) RS FPS (Estate Residential
                                                                           2.5 Acre min. Residential
                                                                           Suburban Combining Floodplain
                                                                           Secondary Combining)
West             Vacant and     5.7 (Min. 5 Gross Acres per unit)        E (5) RS FPS (Estate Residential 5
                  Agriculture                                              Acre min. Residential Suburban
                                                                           Combining Floodplain Secondary
                                                                           Combining)




IS/NOP                                               2                                           March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.


1.3 Proposed Project
The applicant is proposing: (1) Specific Plan Amendment to the Willow Springs Specific Plan from
5.3/4.4 to 5.3; (2) an amendment to the Circulation Element of the Willow Springs Specific Plan to
remove the public easement along the section and midsection line road reservations that are internal to the
project site; (3) Zone Change from E(5) RS FPS to A; (4) Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow a solar
electrical generating facility in the A zone; and (5) Vacation of public access easements internal to the
project site. The proposed project would convert 1,177 acres of active or fallow agricultural land into a
155 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) facility. The power produced by the proposed project would
be conveyed to the local power grid via a 66 kilovolt (kV) generation tie-line. The generation tie-line
would be located within a public right-of-way (ROW) en route to SCE’s Antelope Substation, located
approximately 13 miles southeast of the project site.
The proposed project is intended to operate year-round, and is expected to produce up to
358,000 megawatts hours (MWh) of solar power annually at full build out. This equates to the annual
electricity consumption of 47,000 households. The solar electric power would be produced during
daylight hours when electricity demand is highest. The proposed project would generate greenhouse gas-
free electricity that would offset over 87,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and other emissions that
would have resulted from producing an equivalent amount of electricity from the existing sources that
supply the grid. The proposed project would consist of the following project components, which are
described in detail below: (1) approximately 155 solar arrays arranged in a grid pattern over the site, and
(2) a 13.5-mile generation tie-line that would deliver the generated power to the local grid at the Antelope
Substation.

1.4 Project Characteristics
Project Facilities
The proposed project would consist of a 155 MW-AC solar PV generating facility. The proposed project
would utilize arrays of thin-film PV modules to convert solar energy directly to electrical power for
export to the local electrical grid. The thin-film PV modules would convert the sunlight striking the
modules directly into low voltage direct current (DC) power, which is then transformed into alternative
current (AC) power through the use of an inverter.
The proposed project would consist of approximately 155 solar arrays, arranged in a grid pattern
throughout the project site. Each PV module would be constructed out of cadmium telluride (CdTe)
semiconductor material encapsulated in glass, in which the PV effect would allow the electrons to flow
through that material to produce electricity [The PV effect is defined as the process of converting light
(i.e., photons) to electricity (i.e., voltage)]. Each PV module would be approximately two feet by four feet
and would be mounted on fixed-tilt arrays. The proposed project’s PV array rows would be aligned east to
west, with each individual panel tilted to the south for maximum exposure. The electrical output from
each of the PV modules would be low voltage DC power that would be collected and routed to a series of
inverters and their associated pad-mounted transformers.
Each solar array would be accompanied by two 500 kilowatt (kW) inverters and a one megavolt-ampere
(MVA) pad-mounted transformer, collectively referred to as the Power Conversion Station (PCS) [A volt-
ampere (VA) is defined as the amount of apparent power in a circuit equal to the product of voltage and
current. A MVA is equivalent to 1,000 VA]. The inverters would convert the DC power to AC power
while the pad-mounted transformers would step-up the voltage to a 34.5 voltage level. The 34.5 kV
outputs from the pad-mounted transformers would be grouped together in PV combining switchgear




IS/NOP                                               3                                           March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

(PVCS), which in turn supply the plant switchyard. Within the plant switchyard, the power would be
stepped up to 66 kV for interconnection with the transmission line.

Interconnection with the Statewide Grid
The project’s proposed construction of a 66 kV generation tie-line would deliver generated power to the
local grid at the Antelope Substation. Power generated at the western portion of the site would be
delivered to the eastern portion via three miles of 34.5 kV underground and aboveground collector lines
and, along with the power generated on the eastern portion, would be transformed into 66 kV. The
proposed project’s generation tie-line would extend south for 2.5 miles along the 110th Street West
alignment, from Astoria Avenue to Avenue A. At that point, the power would be delivered to the
Antelope Substation by an approximately 11-mile generation tie-line that would travel south from Avenue
A to West Avenue H, then east from 110th Street West to 90th Street west, then south from West Avenue
H to West Avenue J, ending at the Antelope Substation on West Avenue J. This 11-mile portion of the
generation tie-line would either be a single circuit 66kV generation tie-line or one side of a double circuit
66 kV generation tie-line. The generation tie-line would be supported from either wooden or steel poles.
Assuming a 300-foot span between poles, the poles would be approximately 65 feet tall with an
approximate ROW width of 32 feet and conductor ground clearance of 35 feet.

Construction Activities
Project construction work is expected to last for approximately 16 months and would include site
preparation, PV system installation, testing, and site cleanup work. Construction of the PV facility would
begin with clearing of existing trash and rubbish, and the installation of fencing along the project
boundary. Equipment and material staging areas would be established. The staging areas would include
air-conditioned construction offices, a first aid station and other buildings, worker parking, truck loading
and unloading facilities, and an area for assembling the support structures. First Solar Electric, the
project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, would then survey, clear, and
grade road corridors to bring equipment, materials, and workers to various areas under construction
within the project site.
The construction workers would consist of laborers, electricians, supervisory personnel, support
personnel, and construction management personnel. Construction work would generally be done during
daylight hours, Monday through Friday. Non-daylight work hours may be necessary to make up schedule
deficiencies, or to complete critical construction activities, including activities that cannot be completed
during daylight. For instance, during hot weather, it may be necessary to start work earlier to avoid
pouring concrete during high ambient temperatures.
The construction activities would be accomplished in approximately 16 months, including 1.5 months of
site preparation and 15 months for the PV facility installation, testing, and cleanup work.

Project Operation and Maintenance
Once placed into service, the proposed project would be operated on an unstaffed basis and monitored
remotely, with on-site personnel visitations by two to five part-time staff, for security and maintenance
activities.
As the proposed project’s PV arrays would produce electricity passively with no moving parts,
maintenance requirements would be minimal. Any required planned maintenance would be scheduled to
avoid peak load periods, and unplanned maintenance would typically be responded to as needed
depending on the event. Preventive maintenance kits and certain critical spares would be typically stored
on-site, while all other components would be readily available from a remote warehouse facility.



IS/NOP                                               4                                            March 2010
                                                                    KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                        ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

Project maintenance performed on the site would consist of equipment inspection and replacement, and
would occur primarily during daylight hours. Maintenance during non-daylight hours may be necessary to
complete critical maintenance activities.

1.5 Project Objectives
The specific objectives for the project are as follows:
   • Establish a solar photovoltaic power-generating facility that is of a sufficient size and
       configuration to produce at least 155 MW-AC of electricity in order to assist the State of
       California in achieving the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards for 2010 and 2020 by
       providing a significant new source of renewable energy.
   • Produce and transmit electricity at a competitive cost.
   • Locate a facility in the rural part of southeastern Kern County in proximity to an available
       connection to the existing electrical distribution infrastructure and customer loads.
   • Minimize environmental effects by:
       – Utilizing land that is disturbed or previously degraded;
       – Using existing electrical distribution facilities, ROW, roads, and other existing infrastructure
            where practicable;
       – Minimizing impacts to threatened species and endangered species;
       – Minimizing water use; and
       – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
   • Use technology that is available, proven, efficient, and easily maintained, recyclable, and
       environmentally sound.

1.6 Proposed Discretionary Actions/Required Approvals
Construction and operation of the proposed project may require the following discretionary actions and
approvals:

Kern County
    •    Consideration and Certification of a Final Environmental Impact Report with appropriate findings
         and Mitigation Measure Monitoring Program, if applicable, by the Kern County Board of
         Supervisors
    •    Specific Plan Amendment
    •    Zone Change
    •    CUP
    •    Public Access Easements and Street Vacations
    •    Lot Line Adjustment or Parcel Merger to Combine Parcels.
    •    Grading Permit
    •    Building Permit
    •    Drainage Plan
Other Responsible Agencies
    •    State Water Resources Control Board – National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
         (NPDES)
    •    Kern County Air Pollution Control District (KCAPCD)
    •    California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG)
    •    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Other additional permits from responsible agencies may be required for the proposed project.



IS/NOP                                              5                                          March 2010
                                                                                                                                         KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                  ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                      SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation



                                                              T E H AC H A PI
                                                                                                                58

                               Kern County
                                                                                                                                                 CALIFORNIA CIT Y
                                                                                                                     M O J AV E


                                     Area of Detail
                                                                                                                                                            58




                                                                                     W
                                                                                     illo
                                                                                         w
                                                                                         Sp
                                                                                           rin
                                                                                              gs
                                                                                                 Rd
                                                      Project Location                                                                 ROSAMOND
                                                                                                                                         Rosamond Blvd




                                                                                                 90th St West
                                                                   Kern County
                                                                Los Angeles County                                                14


                                                                      Avenue D
                                                        138
                     GORMAN
                                                                                                                                         L ANCASTER



                     5




                                                                                                                                          PA L M DA L E
    0                      6

             Miles



Source: ESRI; ESA, 2010.                                                                                                                                  Figure 1: SITE VICINITY MAP

IS/NOP                                                                           6                                                                                           March 2010
                                                                                                                                         KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                  ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                      SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation




                                                  IRONE AVE




                                                                                                                                              110TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                  105TH ST WEST
                 140TH ST WEST




                                                 FISHER AVE




                                                                                                   ROSAMOND BLVD
                                 130TH ST WEST




                                                                                   120TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                  115TH ST WEST
                                                               125TH ST WEST




                                                                                                    ASTORIA AVE




                                                 HOLIDAY AVE
     Legend                                                                                                                                                   0                             3000

              Project Location                                                                                                                                                    Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA, 2010.                                                                                  Figure 2: PROJECT SITE BOUNDARY AND ACCESS MAP

IS/NOP                                                                         7                                                                                                         March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                    ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                                                                        SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A FPS
                                                                                 E(10) RS FPS

                                                                                                                                                     A FPS

                                               E(10) RS FPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A GH FPS


      E(5) RS FPS
                                                                                      IRONE AVE
                                 E(5) RS FPS




                                                                                                                                                                                                 110TH ST WEST
                                                                                        A FPS                         E(5) RS FPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A FPS
                                                                                                                                                      E(5) RS FPS

                                 E(5) RS FPS
                                                                                     FISHER AVE




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  105TH ST WEST
                 140TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                    120TH ST WEST
                                                                                                                                                       E(2 1/2) RS FPS                                                                                 E(2 1/2) RS FPS
                                               A FPS                                                   A FPS


                                                                                                                                                    ROSAMOND BLVD
                                                                 130TH ST WEST




                                                                                                      125TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                    115TH ST WEST
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E(2 1/2) RS FPS
                                                                                                                                                                                               A FPS
     Legend FPS
      E(5) RS                                                                                                                   E(1) RS MH FPS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E(2 1/2) RS MH FPS
     A - Exclusive Agriculture
                                                       A FPS
     C-2 - General Commercial
     E(1) - Estate 1 Acre                                                                                                                            ASTORIA AVE
     E(2 1/2) - Estate 2.5 Acres
                                                                                   E(2 1/2) RS FPS
     E(5) - Estate 5 Acres
                                                                                                                                                                                     E(2 1/2) RS FPS                                                         E(1) RS FPS
     E(10) - Estate 10 Acres
     E(20) - Estate 20 Acres                                                                                                                                                                                          A FPS
     FPS - Floodplain Secondary Combining
     RS - Residential Suburban Combining                                                          E(2 1/2) RS FPS
     PD - Precise Develpment Combining                                            HOLIDAY AVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              0                                   3000
     GH - Geologic Hazard Combining                                                                                              C-2 PD                                                                                                              E(2 1/2) RS FPS*
                                                       E(5) RS FPS                              E(2 1/2) RS MH FPS
     MH - Mobilehome Combining                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Feet




Source: ESRI; ESA; Kern County, 2010.                                                                                                                                                                            Figure 3: EXISTING ZONING MAP

IS/NOP                                                                                                                      8                                                                                                                                  March 2010
                                                                                                                                                KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                             SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation




                                                         IRONE AVE




                                                                                                                                                    110TH ST WEST
                                                         FISHER AVE
                 140TH ST WEST




                                                                                                          ROSAMOND BLVD




                                                                                          120TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                         115TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                         105TH ST WEST
                                                                      125TH ST WEST
                                        130TH ST WEST




                                                                                                           ASTORIA AVE




                                                        HOLIDAY AVE
      Legend                                                                                                                                                         0                             3000

             Proposed Rezoning Area                                                                                                                                                      Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA; Kern County, 2010.                            Figure 4: AREA PROPOSED FOR REZONING WITHIN THE PROJECT SITE BOUNDARY

IS/NOP                                                                                9                                                                                                         March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Legend
                                                                                                                                                                                                 3.1 - Public or Private Recreation Area
                                                                                                                                                                                                 3.2 - Educational Facilities
       3.1                                                                                                                                                                                       3.3 - Other Facilities
                                                            5.75                                                                                                                                 4.4 - Comprehensive Plan Area
                                                                                                                                                                                                 5.3 - Maximum 10 Units / Net Acre
                                                                                                                                                                                                 5.6 - Minimum 2.5 Gross Acres / Unit
                                                                                                      8.5
                                                                                                                                    5.7                                                          5.7 - Minimum 5 Gross Acres / Unit
                                                                                                                                                                                                 5.75 - Minimum 10 Gross Acres / Unit
                                                                                                 IRONE AVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                 5.8 - Minimum 20 Gross Acres / Unit
                                                                                                                                                                                                 6.2 - General Commercial
                                                                                                                                                                                                 8.1 - Intensive Agriculture (Min. 20 Acre Parcel Size)
                                                                                                                                     5.6                                                         8.5 - Resource Management (Min. 20 Acre Parcel Size)
                 5.7                                                                                                                                            5.7



                                                                                                FISHER AVE
     5.8
                       140TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 105TH ST WEST
                                                                                                                                                                      5.6

                                                  5.3/4.4                                                                                                                                                                                                 6.2
                                                                                                                 5.3/4.4


                                                                                         6.2                                                   6.2
                                                                                                            ROSAMOND BLVD
                                                                                                                                                                                                            6.2




                                                                                                                                                120TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                        115TH ST WEST
                                                                                                                  125TH ST WEST
                                                                         130TH ST WEST




           5.7                                                                                                                                                                                              5.3/4.4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 5.3


                                                                                                                                           5.3/4.4                                      ASTORIA AVE


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   5.6
                                             5.3/4.4
                                                                                                     5.3/4.4                                                                                                          3.3
                                                                                                                                                                                        5.6



                                                                                               HOLIDAY AVE                   3.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             0                              3000
                                                                                                                              3.1                                                               5.3/4.4
                                       6.2                         5.7                         5.6                                              6.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA; Kern County, 2010.                                                                                                                                                                      Figure 5: EXISTING LAND USE MAP

IS/NOP                                                                                                                                    10                                                                                                             March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                                                 ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                                                     SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation




                                                                               IRONE AVE




                                                                                                                                                                              110TH ST WEST
                                                    161.3ac

                                 79.2ac
                                                                               FISHER AVE
                 140TH ST WEST




                                          314.5ac                                           317.2ac



                                                                                                                                  ROSAMOND BLVD


                                                                                                                                                                                               74.5ac




                                                                                                                  120TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                 115TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                                                             105TH ST WEST
                                                                                             125TH ST WEST
                                                              130TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                    159.8ac

                                                                                                                                                                                              70.8ac

                                                                                                                                   ASTORIA AVE




                                                                              HOLIDAY AVE
      Legend                                                                                                                                                                                            0                              3000

             Project Parcels                                                                                                                                                                                                 Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA; Kern County, 2010.                                                                                                                                                                       Figure 6: APN MAP

IS/NOP                                                                                                       11                                                                                                                     March 2010
                                                                                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                                                                                   ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                                                                                                       SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation




                                                  IRONE AVE




                                                                                                                                               110TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                                                                   105TH ST WEST
                 140TH ST WEST




                                                 FISHER AVE




                                                                                                    ROSAMOND BLVD
                                 130TH ST WEST




                                                                                    120TH ST WEST




                                                                                                                   115TH ST WEST
                                                               125TH ST WEST




                                                                                                     ASTORIA AVE

                                                                                                                                    LADWP Easement




     Legend                                      HOLIDAY AVE
                                                                                                                                                               0                             3000
              Easements
              Project Location                                                                                                                                                     Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA, 2010.                                                                                Figure 7: STREET AND PUBLIC EASEMENT VACATION MAP

IS/NOP                                                                         12                                                                                                         March 2010
                                                   KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                            ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.
                                                SPA 14, ZCC 31, CUP 25, Map 232 Easement Vacation




                                                                       0                  3000

                                                                                Feet



Source: ESRI; ESA; Kern County, 2010.                                      Figure 8: SITE PLAN

IS/NOP                                  x                                              March 2010
                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



Kern County Environmental Checklist Form
Environmental Factors Potentially Affected
The environmental factors checked below would be potentially affected by this project, involving at least
one impact that is a “potentially significant impact” as indicated by the Kern County Environmental
Checklist in Chapter 3.

     Aesthetics                            Agricultural Resources                   Air Quality
     Biological Resources                  Cultural Resources                       Geology and Soils
     Greenhouse Gas Emissions              Hazards and Hazardous Materials          Hydrology and Water Quality
     Land Use and Planning                 Mineral Resources                        Noise
     Population and Housing                Public Services                          Recreation
     Transportation and Traffic            Utilities and Service Systems            Mandatory     Findings     of
                                                                                    Significance

         Determination
On the basis of this initial evaluation:
         I find that the proposed project COULD NOT have a significant effect on the environment, and a
         NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.
         I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not
         be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been made by or agreed to by the
         project proponent. A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION will be prepared.
         I find that the proposed project MAY have a significant effect on the environment, and an
         ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT is required.
         I find that the proposed project MAY have a “potentially significant impact” or “potentially significant
         unless mitigated” impact on the environment, but at least one effect (a) has been adequately analyzed in an
         earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and (b) has been addressed by mitigation measures
         based on the earlier analysis as described on attached sheets. An ENVIRONMENT IMPACT REPORT is
         required, but it must analyze only the effects that remain to be addressed.
         I find that although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, because all
         potentially significant effects (a) have been analyzed adequately in an earlier EIR or NEGATIVE
         DECLARATION pursuant to applicable standards, and (b) have been avoided or mitigated pursuant to that
         earlier EIR or NEGATIVE DECLARATION, including revisions or mitigation measures that are imposed
         upon the proposed project, nothing further is required.



 Signature                                                                       Date




 Printed Name                                                                    For




IS/NOP                                                   14                                              March 2010
                                                                         KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                             ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.


         Evaluation of Environmental Impacts
1. A brief explanation is required for all answers except “No Impact” answers that are adequately supported
   by the information sources a lead agency cites in the parentheses following each question. A “No Impact”
   answer is adequately supported if the referenced information sources show that the impact simply does not
   apply to projects like the one involved (e.g., the project falls outside a fault rupture zone). A “No Impact”
   answer should be explained where it is based on project-specific factors as well as general standards (e.g.,
   the project will not expose sensitive receptors to pollutants, based on a project-specific screening analysis).
2. All answers must take account of the whole action involved, including offsite as well as onsite, cumulative
   as well as project-level, indirect as well as direct, and construction as well as operational impacts.
3. Once the lead agency has determined that a particular physical impact may occur, then the checklist
   answers must indicate whether the impact is potentially significant, less than significant with mitigation, or
   less than significant. “Potentially Significant Impact” is appropriate if there is substantial evidence that an
   effect may be significant. If there are one or more “Potentially Significant Impact” entries when the
   determination is made, an EIR is required.
4. Negative Declaration: “Less than Significant with Mitigation Incorporated” applies where the
   incorporation of mitigation measures has reduced an effect from “Potentially Significant Impact” to a
   “Less-than-Significant Impact.” The lead agency must describe the mitigation measure and briefly explain
   how they reduce the effect to a less than significant level (mitigation measures from Section XVII, “Earlier
   Analyses,” may be cross-referenced).
5. Earlier analyses may be used where, pursuant to the tiering, program EIR, or other CEQA process, an
   effect has been adequately analyzed in an earlier EIR or negative declaration, Section 15063(c)(3)(D). In
   this case, a brief discussion should identify the following:
    a.   Earlier Analysis Used. Identify and state where they are available for review.
    b. Impacts Adequately Addressed. Identify which effects from the above checklist where within the
       scope of and adequately analyzed in an earlier document pursuant to applicable legal standards, and
       state whether such effects were addressed by mitigation measures based on the earlier analysis.
    c.   Mitigation Measures. For effects that are “Less than Significant with Mitigation Incorporated,”
         describe the mitigation measures that were incorporated or refined from the earlier document and the
         extent to which they address site-specific conditions for the project.
6. Lead agencies are encouraged to incorporate into the checklist references to information sources for
   potential impacts (e.g., general plans, zoning ordinances). Reference to a previously prepared or outside
   document should, where appropriate, include a reference to the page or pages where the statement is
   substantiated.
7. Supporting Information Sources: A source list should be attached, and other sources used or individuals
   contacted should be cited in the discussion.
8. This is only a suggested form, and lead agencies are free to use different formats; however, lead agencies
   should normally address the questions from this checklist that are relevant to a project’s environmental
   effects in whatever format is selected.
9. The explanation of each issue should identify:
    a.   the significance criteria or threshold, if any, used to evaluate each question; and
    b. the mitigation measure identified, if any, to reduce the impact to a less-than–significant level.




IS/NOP                                                  15                                            March 2010
                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                         Less than
                                                                        Significant
                                                         Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                         Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):               Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

I.  AESTHETICS.
Would the project:

a.   Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic
     vista?

b.   Substantially    damage    scenic   resources,
     including, but not limited to, trees, rock
     outcroppings, and historic buildings within a
     state scenic highway?

c.   Substantially degrade the existing visual
     character or quality of the site and its
     surroundings?

d.   Create a new source of substantial light or glare
     that would adversely affect day or nighttime
     views in the area?

Discussion:

a.   Placement of PV solar panels in the Rosamond area would alter the views of the project area.
     Persons traveling in passenger vehicles on nearby roads would observe alterations. Two residences
     are located within a quarter-mile radius of the project site and may have views of the project panels.
     However, the project site is not located within an area designated for or identified as having a
     scenic vista or scenic views. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is
     warranted.
b.   The area surrounding the project site is mostly undeveloped land. Both SR 14 and SR 58, located
     within the County, are in close proximity to the project site, and are considered Eligible Scenic
     Highways under California’s Scenic Highways Program. Construction of PV solar panels would
     change the viewshed from these public roads. This impact will be further evaluated in the EIR.
c.   The area surrounding the project site is mostly undeveloped land. The construction of PV solar
     panels would substantially change the existing character of the mostly vacant site. This impact will
     be further evaluated in the EIR.
d.   Existing light sources in the project area are primarily associated with rural residences and
     vehicular travel in the area. Lighting proposed for the project site is security lighting only. This type
     of lighting is regulated by the Kern County Zoning Ordinance. Further analysis of the specific
     lighting required and the effects of nighttime light and glare is warranted, and these impacts will be
     further evaluated in the EIR.




IS/NOP                                                   16                                         March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

II.   AGRICULTURE AND
      FOREST RESOURCES.
In determining whether impacts to agricultural
resources are significant environmental effects, lead
agencies may refer to the California Agricultural Land
Evaluation and Site Assessment Model (1997)
prepared by the California Department of
Conservation as an optional model to use in assessing
impacts on agriculture and farmland. In determining
whether impacts to forest resources, including
timberland, are significant environmental effects, lead
agencies may refer to information compiled by the
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
regarding the state’s inventory of forest land,
including the Forest and Range Assessment Project
and the Forest Legacy Assessment project, and the
forest carbon measurement methodology provided in
the Forest Protocols adopted by the California Air
Resources Board. Would the project:

a.    Convert Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, or
      Farmland of Statewide Importance (Farmland),
      as shown on the maps prepared pursuant to the
      Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program of
      the California Resources Agency, to nonagricul-
      tural use?

b.    Conflict with existing zoning for agricultural use
      or a Williamson Act Contract?

c.    Conflict with existing zoning for, or cause
      rezoning of, forest land (as defined in Public
      Resources Code section 12220(g)), timberland
      (as defined by Public Resources Code section
      4526), or timberland zoned Timberland
      Production (as defined by Government Code
      section 51104(g))?

d.    Result in the loss of forest land or conversion of
      forest land to non-forest use?

e.    Involve other changes in the existing
      environment which, due to their location or
      nature, could result in conversion of Farmland to
      non-agricultural use or conversion of forest land
      to non-forest use?




IS/NOP                                                     17                                         March 2010
                                                                       KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                           ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.


                                                                       Less than
                                                                      Significant
                                                       Potentially       with         Less-than-
                                                       Significant    Mitigation      Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):             Impact      Incorporated       Impact       Impact

f.   Result in the cancellation of an open space
     contract made pursuant to the California Land
     Conservation Act of 1965 or Farmland Security
     Zone Contract for any parcel of 100 or more
     acres (Section 15205(b)(3) Public Resources
     Code)?

Discussion:

a.    There is designated Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, and Farmland of Statewide Importance
      within the proposed project area. According to the California Department of Conservation (CDC),
      Division of Land Resources Protection’s Kern County Important Farmland 2008 map, the project
      site primarily consists of land classified as Prime Farmland, which is defined as having the best
      combination of physical and chemical features able to sustain long-term agricultural production.
      Prime Farmland has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce
      sustained high yields and must have been used for irrigated agricultural production at some time
      during the four years prior to the mapping date (in this case, 2008). The southeastern corner of the
      project site has both Unique Farmland and Farmland of Statewide Importance. Farmland of
      Statewide Importance is similar to Prime Farmland, but with minor shortcomings such as greater
      slopes or less ability to store soil moisture. Unique Farmland consists of lesser quality soils used for
      the production of the state's leading agricultural crops. The project site is not within the boundaries
      of an Agricultural Preserve. The conversion of Prime Farmland, Unique Farmland, and Farmland of
      Statewide Importance to non-agricultural use will be discussed further in the EIR.
b.       The proposed project site is located within Kern County Agricultural Preserve No. 24. The Kern
         County zone classifications for the project site are A FPS (Exclusive Agriculture, Floodplain
         Secondary Combining) and E (5) RS FPS (Estate 5 acres; Residential Suburban Combining
         Floodplain Secondary Combining). The project applicant is requesting a zone change to A
         (Exclusive Agriculture) on the portions of the project site that are currently classified as E (5) RS
         FPS. Land uses allowed under the A zone are limited to primarily agricultural uses and other
         activities compatible with agricultural uses (Kern County Zoning Ordinance 19.12.010).
         Commercial solar PV power generating facilities are included as allowable uses under the A zone
         with a CUP (Kern County Ordinance 19.12.030 G). The proposed discretionary actions are
         consistent with the Kern County Zoning Ordinance regulations for agriculture. Currently, the
         project site is not under Williamson Act Contract, and there is no Williamson Act land within the
         immediate vicinity surrounding the site. Therefore, the proposed project would not have the ability
         to conflict with existing zoning for agricultural use or with a Williamson Act Contract. Impacts
         would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
c, d. Currently, the project site is vacant/open space or is fallow agricultural land. The project site does
      not contain any forest land or timberland. Therefore, no impacts would occur and no further
      analysis is warranted.


e.    As discussed above, the project site does contain land currently used in agricultural production. The
      project site does not contain any forestland or timberland. The proposed project would convert
      actively cultivated farmland to non-agricultural uses and will be further analyzed in the EIR.


IS/NOP                                                18                                            March 2010
                                                                    KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                        ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



f.   The project site is not currently subject to open space contract made pursuant to the California Land
     Conservation Act of 1965 or the Farmland Security Zone Contract. As stated above, the project site
     is not under a Williamson Act Contract. The proposed project would have no impact and no further
     analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                             19                                          March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

III. AIR QUALITY.
Where available, the significance criteria established
by the applicable air quality management or air
pollution control district may be relied upon to make
the following determinations. Would the project:

a.   Conflict with or obstruct implementation of the
     applicable air quality plan?

b.   Violate any air quality standard as adopted in
     (c)i or (c)ii, or as established by EPA or air
     district or contribute substantially to an existing
     or projected air quality violation?

c.   Result in a cumulatively considerable net
     increase of any criteria pollutant for which the
     project region is in nonattainment under an
     applicable federal or state ambient air quality
     standard (including releasing emissions which
     exceed quantitative thresholds for ozone
     precursors)? Specifically, would implementation
     of the project exceed any of the following
     adopted thresholds:

     i. San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution
        Control District:

         Operational and Area Sources

         Reactive organic gases (ROG)
           10 tons per year.
         Oxides of nitrogen (NOX)
           10 tons per year.
         Particulate matter (PM10)
           15 tons per year.

         Stationary Sources - as Determined by
         District Rules
         Severe nonattainment
           25 tons per year.
         Extreme nonattainment
           10 tons per year.

     ii. Kern County Air Pollution Control District.
         Desert




IS/NOP                                                     20                                         March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

         Operational and Area Sources
         Reactive organic gases (ROG)
           25 tons per year.
         Oxides of nitrogen (NOX)
           25 tons per year.
         Particulate matter (PM10)
           15 tons per year.

         Stationary Sources – as Determined by
         District Rules
         25 tons per year.

d.   Expose sensitive receptors      to     substantial
     pollutant concentrations?

e.   Create objectionable odors           affecting   a
     substantial number of people?

Discussion:

a.    The project would be located entirely within the jurisdiction of the KCAPCD, in the Mojave Desert
      Air Basin (MDAB). The KCAPCD is designated nonattainment for the state and federal ozone
      (8-hour) standards, the state ozone (1-hour) standard, and the state particulate matter (PM10)
      standard. Project construction would generate emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and PM10 that
      could result in significant impacts to air quality in the area. Equipment usage and activities during
      construction of the proposed project would result in emissions of PM10 and ozone precursors,
      including NOX and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which could result in significant impacts
      to air quality in the area. The sources of emissions would include heavy equipment used to excavate
      and grade the array pads and access areas, cranes, and on-road motor vehicles for equipment and
      material deliveries and workers commuting to and from the site. Grading and activity on unpaved
      roads and lay-down areas would contribute to PM10 emissions. This impact is potentially
      significant. Further analysis of air quality impacts is warranted to determine whether the project
      would conflict with or obstruct implementation of the applicable plans for attainment and, if so, to
      determine the reasonable and feasible mitigation measures that could be imposed. These issues will
      be evaluated further in the EIR.
b.    Short-term construction emission could significantly contribute to an existing or projected air
      quality violation of PM10 or ozone standards, requiring the consideration of mitigation measures.
      This impact is potentially significant and will be evaluated further in the EIR.
c.    KCAPCD is a nonattainment area for the state and federal ozone (8-hour) standards, the state ozone
      (1-hour) standard, and state PM10 standard. KCAPCD rules and regulations apply to all project
      activities. The air quality analysis will include a quantitative discussion of emissions created by this
      project regardless of the air basin. This will include activities such as truck trips to deliver panels or
      employees to the site. Cumulative contributions to this basin could be potentially significant.
      Construction and operational emissions will be analyzed in the EIR.



IS/NOP                                                    21                                         March 2010
                                                                    KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                        ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

d.   Two residences have been identified within one quarter-mile of the project area, one is 280 feet
     from the project site and the other is 1,200 feet from the project site. No schools or hospitals are
     located within one quarter-mile of the project site. Construction-related activities would result in
     diesel exhaust emissions and dust that could adversely affect air quality for the nearest sensitive
     receptors. Mitigation measures for diesel equipment and dust control that are recommended by the
     KCAPCD will be evaluated as part of the EIR to avoid or reduce the impacts to construction
     workers and occupants of nearby residences.
e.   Aside from odors associated with vehicle exhaust and fueling, no odors would result from the
     proposed project. Because there are only a few residences in the vicinity, fueling odors during
     project construction would not result in impacts on a substantial number of people. Therefore, the
     proposed project is not expected to result in significant air quality impacts related to objectionable
     odors, and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                             22                                           March 2010
                                                                             KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                 ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                            Less than
                                                                           Significant
                                                            Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                            Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                  Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

IV. BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES.
Would the project:

a.   Have a substantial adverse effect, either directly
     or through habitat modifications, on any species
     identified as a candidate, sensitive, or special-
     status species in local or regional plans, policies,
     or regulations or by the California Department
     of Fish and Game (CDFG) or U.S. Fish and
     Wildlife Service (USFWS)?

b.   Have a substantial adverse effect on any riparian
     habitat or other sensitive natural community
     identified in local or regional plans, policies,
     regulations, or by the CDFG or USFWS?

c.   Have a substantial adverse effect on federally
     protected wetlands as defined by Section 404 of
     the Clean Water Act (including, but not limited
     to, marsh, vernal pool, coastal, etc.) through
     direct removal, filling, hydrological interruption,
     or other means?

d.   Interfere substantially with the movement of any
     native resident or migratory fish or wildlife
     species, or with established native resident or
     migratory wildlife corridors, or impede the use
     of native wildlife nursery sites?

e.   Conflict with any local policies or ordinances
     protecting biological resources, such as a tree
     preservation policy or ordinance?

f.   Conflict with the provisions of an adopted
     habitat conservation plan, natural community
     conservation plan, or other approved local,
     regional, or state habitat conservation plan?

Discussion:

a.    On-site vegetation includes, but is not limited to, small rabbitbrush (Ericamerie nauseosus),
      Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), red brome (Bromus madritensis rubens), cheesebush (Ambrosia
      salsola), allscale (Atriplex polycarpa) and heron’s bill (Erodium cicutarium). According to the
      materials the applicant submitted to the County, Swainson’s hawk, burrowing owl, Le Conte’s
      thrasher and American badger could all have the potential to be located within two miles of the
      project site. Field surveys for special-status plant and animal species, and species listed as either



IS/NOP                                                      23                                         March 2010
                                                                   KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                       ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     threatened or endangered by either the state or federal government will be included in the EIR.
     Impacts to biological resources are potentially significant and will be analyzed in the EIR.
b.   The project’s impact to sensitive plant communities will be further evaluated in the EIR. In
     addition, project-related access roads and transmission lines may cross streams and washes that
     require evaluation for riparian habitat and may also require streambed alteration permits from the
     CDFG.
c.   Wetlands, as defined by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, may be present on the project site;
     therefore, the project’s impacts on potential wetlands will be evaluated in the EIR.
d.   The project site and surrounding area may be used for migration or dispersal by some avian species.
     Project construction and operation would also remove foraging habitat. This impact is potentially
     significant and will be evaluated in the EIR.
e.   The proposed project would not conflict with goals and policies outlined in the Kern County
     General Plan or the Willow Springs Specific Plan. The site is located within the covered area of the
     draft West Mojave Plan (WMP). No ordinances have been adopted in Kern County that protect any
     specific fauna species. Impacts are considered less than significant and no further analysis is
     warranted.
f.   The project site is located within the WMP, which is an amendment to the California Desert
     Conservation Area Plan. The WMP covers 9.3 million acres of the Mojave Desert in southern
     California. The WMP applies to both public and private land and is consistent with the resource
     management plans adopted by the military bases within the region and the desert tortoise recovery
     plan. The WMP is slated to be evaluated for amendment or revisions in 2011. The WMP includes a
     proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP); however, the HCP has not been completed. Impacts are
     considered less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                            24                                          March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

V. CULTURAL RESOURCES.
Would the project:

a.   Cause a substantial adverse change in the
     significance of a historical resource as defined in
     Section 15064.5?

b.   Cause a substantial adverse change in the
     significance of an archaeological resource
     pursuant to Section 15064.5?

c.   Directly or indirectly destroy a unique
     paleontological resource or site or unique
     geologic feature?

d.   Disturb any human remains, including those
     interred outside of formal cemeteries?

Discussion:

a.    The project site consists of active or fallow agricultural land. There are no known historic resources
      on the project site. A cultural resources survey is being completed for the site to determine the
      potential for historic resources within the proposed project site. Further evaluation is necessary to
      identify potential impacts and to formulate avoidance or mitigation measures, if applicable.
b.    As stated above, the project site consists of active or fallow agricultural land. There are no known
      archaeological resources within the project site; however, there are two previously recorded sites
      within one-quarter mile of the proposed project. An archaeological survey of the site is being
      completed to determine the potential for archaeological resources to be present within the proposed
      project site. Further evaluation is necessary to identify potential impacts and to formulate avoidance
      or mitigation measures, if applicable.
c.    As stated above, the project site consists of vacant and undisturbed land. A paleontological records
      search within the proposed project area has not yet been completed. However, a known fossil
      locality exists nearby to the project area. Therefore, potential impacts to paleontological resources
      and proposed mitigation measures will be evaluated in the EIR.
d.    As stated above, the project site consists of active or fallow agricultural land. Development of the
      project would require some ground disturbance. Given the sensitivity of the project area, the
      potential for locating human remains is reasonably foreseeable and, therefore, potentially
      significant. The EIR will evaluate this potential impact and identify measures to be implemented if
      any are unexpectedly uncovered during the course of development.




IS/NOP                                                     25                                         March 2010
                                                                              KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                  ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                             Less than
                                                                            Significant
                                                             Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                             Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                   Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

VI. GEOLOGY AND SOILS.
Would the project:

a.    Expose people or structures to potential
      substantial adverse effects, including the risk of
      loss, injury, or death involving:

      i. Rupture of a known earthquake fault, as
         delineated on the most recent Alquist-Priolo
         Earthquake Fault Zoning Map issued by the
         State Geologist for the area or based on other
         substantial evidence of a known fault? Refer
         to Division of Mines and Geology Special
         Publication 42.

      ii. Strong seismic ground shaking?

      iii. Seismic-related ground failure, including
           liquefaction?

      iv. Landslides?

b.    Result in substantial soil erosion or the loss of
      topsoil?

c.    Be located on a geologic unit or soil that is
      unstable, or that would become unstable as a
      result of the project, and potentially result in on-
      or offsite landslide, lateral spreading,
      subsidence, liquefaction, or collapse?

d.    Be located on expansive soil, as defined in
      Table 18-1-B of the Uniform Building Code
      (1994), creating substantial risks to life or
      property?

e.    Have soils incapable of adequately supporting
      the use of septic tanks or alternative wastewater
      disposal systems in areas where sewers are not
      available for the disposal of wastewater?

Discussion:

a.i      The Willow Springs fault is located approximately one mile north of the project site and is the
         closest fault to the project site. There are no active faults underlying the project site, nor are there
         any active faults located within close proximity to the project site. Due to the distance from the
         nearest active fault to the project site, the potential for surface fault rupture at the project site is
         considered negligible. In addition, construction of the proposed project would be subject to all


IS/NOP                                                       26                                         March 2010
                                                                       KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                           ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

         applicable ordinances of the Kern County Building Code (Chapter 17.08). Kern County has
         adopted the California Building Standards Code, 2007 Edition (CCR Title 24), which imposes
         substantially the same requirements as the International Building Code (IBC), 2006 Edition, with
         some modifications and amendments. The entire County is located in seismic Zone 4, a
         designation previously used in the Uniform Building Code (UBC) (the predecessor to the IBC) to
         denote the areas of the highest risk to earthquake ground motion. Adherence to all applicable
         regulations would mitigate any potential impacts associated with the proposed project. Therefore,
         the proposed project would not have the ability to expose people or structures to adverse impacts
         resulting from surface rupture of a known earthquake fault. Impacts would be less than significant
         no further analysis is warranted.
a.ii     Similar to the majority of Southern California, strong seismic ground shaking could occur at the
         project site, resulting in damage to structures that are not properly designed to withstand strong
         ground shaking. The project area consists primarily of active or fallow agricultural land. As
         discussed above, the proposed project would not require full-time staff for operational activities,
         nor would it involve structures that would be occupied for any significant amount of time during
         either construction or operational activities. Should strong seismic ground shaking occur at the
         project site, damage to the PV modules and other ancillary facilities (i.e., the PCS) would likely
         result. However, because the proposed project would not establish a permanent on-site
         population, damage to these on-site structures would not expose substantial numbers of people to
         potential adverse effects. In addition, construction of the proposed project would be subject to all
         applicable ordinances of the Kern County Building Code (Chapter 17.08). Furthermore, the
         structures constructed as part of the proposed project would be required by state law to be
         constructed in accordance with all applicable IBC and CBC earthquake construction standards,
         including those relating to soil characteristics. Adherence to all applicable regulations would
         mitigate any potential impacts associated with seismic groundshaking at the project site.
         Adherence to all applicable regulations would mitigate any potential impacts associated with
         seismic groundshaking at the project site. Therefore, although the project site would potentially
         be subject to moderate to strong ground shaking from local and regional earthquakes, the
         proposed project would not have the ability to expose substantial numbers of people to adverse
         impacts as a result. Potential impacts for this issue area would be less than significant and no
         further analysis is warranted.
a.iii    The project site is underlain by alluvial soils derived from granite. Liquefaction is unlikely at the
         project site as groundwater levels are more than 80 inches below ground surface. In addition,
         construction of the proposed project would be subject to all applicable ordinances of the Kern
         County Building Code (Chapter 17.08). Furthermore, the structures constructed as part of the
         project would be required by state law to be constructed in accordance with all applicable IBC
         and CBC earthquake construction standards, including those relating to soil characteristics.
         Adherence to all applicable regulations would mitigate any potential impacts to structures
         resulting from liquefaction at the project site. Adherence to all applicable regulations would
         mitigate any potential impacts to structures resulting from liquefaction at the project site. Impacts
         would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
a.iv     The project site’s topography generally slopes to the southeast, with elevations ranging from
         approximately 2,660 feet above msl in the northwest corner to approximately 2,480 feet above
         msl in the southeast corner of the site. The project site does not contain any steep slopes and is
         not considered to be in a high risk area for landslides. Impacts from landslides would be less than
         significant and no further analysis is warranted.
b.       Grading and excavation would be required for foundations for each PV panel. Construction
         activities could result in substantial soil erosion at the project site if not properly designed.


IS/NOP                                                27                                           March 2010
                                                                       KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                           ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

         However, in compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
         General Construction Permit requirements, the applicant would be required to devise and submit
         a site-specific Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP) to minimize the discharge of
         wastewater during construction. The SWPPP includes steps for implementation of best
         management practices (BMPs) aimed at sediment control and erosion control, and could include
         soil stabilization, silt fencing, straw bale and temporary catch basins. These BMPs would be
         implemented during construction of the proposed project as a condition of required permits,
         therefore minimizing soil erosion and loss of topsoil to the extent feasible. With implementation
         of the SWPPP and all required BMPs, the proposed project would not have the ability result in
         substantial soil erosion at the site or in the surrounding area. Potential impacts would be less than
         significant and no further analysis is warranted.
c.       Soils at the project site consist primarily of Hesperia fine sandy loam, with areas of Rosamond
         loam, sunrise sandy loam, and Cajon loamy sand. These soil types are not typically associated
         with geological events such as lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction or collapse. In addition,
         construction of the proposed project would be subject to all applicable ordinances of the Kern
         County Building Code (Chapter 17.08). Furthermore, the structures constructed as part of the
         project would be required by state law to be constructed in accordance with all applicable IBC
         and CBC earthquake construction standards, including those relating to soil characteristics.
         Adherence to all applicable regulations would mitigate any potential impacts associated with
         landslide, lateral spreading, subsidence, liquefaction, or collapse at the project site. Impacts
         would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
d.       Soils at the project site consist primarily of Hesperia fine sandy loam, with areas of Rosamond
         loam, sunrise sandy loam, and Cajon loamy sand. These soil types are not typically associated
         with expansion. In addition, construction of the proposed project would be subject to all
         applicable ordinances of the Kern County Building Code (Chapter 17.08). Furthermore, the
         structures constructed as part of the project would be required by state law to be constructed in
         accordance with all applicable IBC and CBC earthquake construction standards, including those
         relating to soil characteristics. Adherence to all applicable regulations would mitigate any
         potential impacts associated with expansion at the project site. Impacts would be less than
         significant and no further analysis is warranted.
e.       Operation of the proposed project would not require full-time staff at the project site. Therefore,
         the proposed project does not propose the construction of any on-site septic systems or alternative
         wastewater disposal systems. The proposed project would have no impact and no further analysis
         is warranted.




IS/NOP                                                28                                           March 2010
                                                                        KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                            ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                       Less than
                                                                      Significant
                                                       Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                       Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):             Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

VII. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.
Would the project:

a.   Generate greenhouse gas emissions, either
     directly or indirectly, that may have a
     significant impact on the environment?

b.   Conflict with any applicable plan, policy, or
     regulation of an agency adopted for the purpose
     of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases?

Discussion:

a.    Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity are implicated in global climate change or
      global warming. The principal GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), NOX, ozone, water
      vapor, and fluorinated gases. Fossil fuel consumption in the transportation sector (on-road motor
      vehicles, off-highway mobile sources, and aircraft) is the single largest source of GHG emissions,
      accounting for approximately one-half of GHG emissions globally. Construction activities
      associated with heavy equipment operation, truck deliveries, and construction worker commute
      trips would temporarily generate GHGs; however, operation of the project is intended to offset
      GHGs generated by traditional sources of electricity. Potential impacts will be further evaluated in
      the EIR.
b.    California has passed several bills and the governor has signed at least three executive orders
      regarding GHGs. Assembly Bill (AB) 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act) was passed by the
      California legislature on August 31, 2006. It requires the state’s global warming emissions to be
      reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. The reduction will be accomplished through an enforceable
      statewide cap on GHG emissions that will be phased in starting in 2012.
      In 2002, California established its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program, with the goal of
      increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the state’s electricity mix to 20 percent renewable
      energy by 2017. In 2006, under Senate Bill (SB) 107, the RPS program codified the 20 percent
      goal. The RPS program requires electric utilities and providers to increase procurement from
      eligible renewable energy resources by at least one percent of their retail sales annually until they
      reach 20 percent by 2010. On November 17, 2008, the governor signed Executive Order S-14-08,
      requiring California utilities to reach the 33 percent renewable goal by 2020. The proposed project
      is intended to: (1) reduce importation of power from fossil fuel power plants; and (2) contribute to a
      reduction in GHGs. Therefore, impacts are considered less than significant.




IS/NOP                                                 29                                         March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

VIII. HAZARDS AND
      HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.
Would the project:

a.   Create a significant hazard to the public or the
     environment through the routine transport, use,
     or disposal of hazardous materials?

b.   Create a significant hazard to the public or the
     environment through reasonably foreseeable
     upset and accident conditions involving the
     release of hazardous materials into the
     environment?

c.   Emit hazardous emissions or involve handling
     hazardous or acutely hazardous materials,
     substances, or waste within 0.25 mile of an
     existing or proposed school?

d.   Be located on a site that is included on a list of
     hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to
     Government Code Section 65962.5 and, as a
     result, would it create a significant hazard to the
     public or the environment?

e.   Be located within an airport land use plan or,
     where such a plan has not been adopted, be
     within 2 miles of a public airport or public use
     airport, and result in a safety hazard for people
     residing or working in the project area?

f.   Be located within the vicinity of a private
     airstrip and result in a safety hazard for people
     residing or working in the project area?

g.   Impair implementation of, or physically
     interfere with, an adopted emergency response
     plan or emergency evacuation plan?

h.   Expose people or structures to a significant risk
     of loss, injury, or death involving wildland fires,
     including where wildlands are adjacent to
     urbanized areas or where residences are
     intermixed with wildlands?

i.   Generate vectors (flies, mosquitoes, rodents,
     etc.) or have a component that includes
     agricultural waste?



IS/NOP                                                     30                                         March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.


                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with        Less-than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation     Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated      Impact       Impact


     Specifically, would the project exceed the
     following qualitative threshold:
     The presence of domestic flies, mosquitoes,
     cockroaches, rodents, and/or any other vectors
     associated with the project is significant when
     the applicable enforcement agency determines
     that any of the vectors:

     i. Occur as immature stages and adults in
        numbers considerably in excess of those
        found in the surrounding environment; and

     ii. Are associated with design, layout, and
         management of project operations; and

     iii. Disseminate widely from the property; and

     iv. Cause detrimental effects on the public health
         or well being of the majority of the
         surrounding population.

Discussion:

a.     The proposed project is not expected to result in impacts from hazards and hazardous materials with
       respect to creating a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine
       transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials. This is because the proposed project would not
       involve the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials as defined by the Hazardous
       Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act. During construction, the proposed project would
       involve the transport of general construction materials (i.e., concrete, wood, metal, fuel, etc.) as
       well as the materials necessary to construct the proposed PV arrays. Project-related infrastructure
       would not emit hazardous materials, or be constructed of acutely hazardous materials or substances,
       that could adversely impact the public or on-site workers. Wastes to be generated during
       construction of the proposed project would also be non-hazardous, and would consist of cardboard,
       wood pallets, copper wire, scrap steel, common trash and wood wire spools. Although field
       equipment used during construction activities could contain various hazardous materials (i.e.,
       hydraulic oil, diesel fuel, grease, lubricants, solvents, adhesives, paints, etc.), these materials are not
       considered to be acutely hazardous and would be used in accordance with the manufacturers
       specifications and all applicable regulations. Impacts resulting from the transport, use or disposal of
       hazardous materials during construction of the proposed project would be less than significant and
       no further analysis is warranted.
       Once operational, the proposed project would not require the routine transport of hazardous
       material to or from the project site. On occasion, maintenance activities may require the use of
       certain chemicals such as solvents, cleaners or paints, however these chemicals would be used in
       limited quantities are not themselves considered to be acutely hazardous. On rare occasion,
       operation of the proposed project could generate hazardous wastes in the form of CdTe (cadmium



IS/NOP                                                    31                                          March 2010
                                                                      KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                          ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     telluride), used biodegradable dielectric fluid, and mineral oil from the transformers. However, the
     used oil would be collected and delivered to a recycling company at the time it is removed from the
     equipment thus eliminating any potential hazards. All on-site workers would be trained to properly
     identify and handle hazardous waste resulting from the proposed project.
     There are no designated routes for the transport of hazardous materials located on or immediately
     adjacent to the proposed project site; the closest route is SR 14, approximately nine miles east of
     the project site. This roadway is equipped to handle the transport of hazardous materials and would
     provide regional access to the site. Nonetheless, because operation of the proposed project would
     not involve the routine use of materials defined as hazardous, the proposed project would not have
     the ability to create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine
     transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials during either construction or operation. Impacts
     would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
b.   Potential impacts resulting from construction and operation of the proposed project may include the
     accidental release of certain storage materials such as CdTe, used biodegradable dielectric fluid,
     mineral oil, hydraulic oil, diesel fuel, grease, lubricants, solvents, adhesives and paints. The toxicity
     and potential release of these materials would depend on the quantity, the type of storage container,
     safety protocols used on-site. The used biodegradable dielectric fluid, CdTe, and mineral oil from
     the transformers would be collected and delivered to a recycling company at the time it is removed
     from the equipment thus eliminating any potential hazards. The proposed project would be subject
     to all local, state and federal laws pertaining to the use of hazardous materials on-site. Through the
     review process, the proposed project would be required to submit a complete list of all materials
     used on-site, how the materials would be transported, and in what form they will be used would be
     recorded to maintain safety and prevent possible environmental contamination or worker exposure.
     All on-site workers would be trained to properly identify and handle hazardous waste resulting from
     the proposed project. Therefore, with adherence to all applicable local, state and federal laws
     pertaining to the use and storage of hazardous materials, potential impacts would be less than
     significant and no further analysis is warranted.
c.   The proposed project site is located in a predominantly rural area of Kern County, and there are
     seven schools located within ten miles of the site. These schools include Tropico Middle School
     (approx. 4.5 miles east of the project site), West Park Elementary School (6.5 miles east), Hamilton
     Elementary School (seven miles east), Rosamond High School (eight miles east), Abraham Lincoln
     Alternative School (eight miles east), Rare Earth High (Continuation) School (eight miles east), and
     Rosamond Elementary School (eight miles east). There are no schools within one quarter-mile of
     the project site. The proposed project is a solar energy generation facility that involves using PV
     panels to generate electricity. Project-related infrastructure would not emit hazardous materials or
     involve handling hazardous or acutely hazardous materials, substances, or waste within one quarter-
     mile of an existing or proposed school. Therefore, no impacts would occur and further analysis is
     not warranted.
d.   Staff has reviewed the lists of projects relating to hazardous wastes pursuant to Section 65962.5 of
     the California Government Code and concluded the project site is not on the list. Therefore, no
     impacts would occur and further analysis is not warranted.
e.   The project area is not located within two miles of a public or public use airport or within an area
     covered by the Kern County Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP). Therefore, there are
     no anticipated safety hazards for people residing or working in the project area with respect to the
     project’s proximity to a public or public use airport. There would be no impacts and no further
     analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                               32                                            March 2010
                                                                    KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                        ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

f.   The nearest public airstrip is the Rosamond Skypark, which is approximately six miles from the
     project site. The Skyotee Ranch private airstrip is located 2.5 miles southwest of the project site.
     The proposed project is not located within two miles of a private airstrip. The proposed project
     would not result in safety hazards for people residing or working in the project area with respect to
     the project’s proximity to a private airstrip. There would be no impact and no further analysis is
     warranted.
g.   The proposed project would not physically impede the existing emergency response plans,
     emergency evacuation plan, emergency vehicle access, or personnel access to the site. The site is
     located in a rural area with several alternative access roads allowing easy access to the site in the
     event of an emergency. Therefore, no adverse impacts related to impairment of the implementation
     of or physical interference with an adopted emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan
     is anticipated. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
h.   The project site and surrounding area is comprised of active or fallow agricultural land and is not
     subject to wildland fires. The proposed project would be required to comply with all existing
     regulations and requirements of the Kern County General Plan Safety Element and the Kern County
     Fire Code (Chapter 17.32), and would be reviewed for adherence to prevention measures for
     wildland fires. With implementation of all applicable regulations to reduce wildfire ignitions and
     prevent the spread of wildfires, the proposed project would not result in significant impacts related
     to the exposure of people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury, or death involving
     wildland fires. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
i.   The proposed project is a solar energy generation facility that would result in the construction of
     PV arrays and other ancillary facilities. Project-related infrastructure is not expected to result in
     features or conditions (such as standing water, agricultural products, agricultural waste, or human
     waste) that would provide habitat for vectors such as mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, or rodents.
     Construction workers would generate small quantities of solid waste (i.e., trash) that would be
     appropriately stored for permanent disposal. Therefore, impacts would be less than significant and
     no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                             33                                          March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

IX. HYDROLOGY AND WATER QUALITY.
Would the project:

a.   Violate any water quality standards or waste
     discharge requirements?

b.   Substantially deplete groundwater supplies or
     interfere substantially with groundwater
     recharge such that there would be a net deficit
     in aquifer volume or a lowering of the local
     groundwater table level (e.g., the production
     rate of pre-existing nearby wells would drop to
     a level that would not support existing land
     uses or planned uses for which permits have
     been granted)?

c.   Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern
     of the site or area, including through the
     alteration of the course of a stream or river, in a
     manner that would result in substantial erosion
     or siltation on site or off site?

d.   Substantially alter the existing drainage pattern
     of the site or area, including through the
     alteration of the course of a stream or river, or
     substantially increase the rate or amount of
     surface runoff in a manner that would result in
     flooding on site or off site?

e.   Create or contribute runoff water that would
     exceed the capacity of existing or planned
     stormwater drainage systems or provide
     substantial additional sources of polluted
     runoff?

f.   Otherwise substantially degrade water quality?

g.   Place housing within a 100-year flood hazard
     area as mapped on a federal flood hazard
     boundary or flood insurance rate map or other
     flood hazard delineation map?

h.   Place within a 100-year flood hazard area
     structures that would impede or redirect flood
     flows?




IS/NOP                                                     34                                         March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

i.   Expose people or structures to a significant risk
     of loss, injury, or death involving flooding,
     including flooding as a result of the failure of a
     levee or dam?

j.   Contribute to inundation by seiche, tsunami, or
     mudflow?

Discussion:

a.    This project is located within the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) – Lahontan
      District. Construction activities associated with the proposed project could result in the discharge of
      wastewater and urban runoff at the project site. If not properly managed, this wastewater could
      violate the water quality standards or waste discharge requirements of the applicable RWQCB.
      However, in compliance with NPDES General Construction Permit requirements, the applicant
      would be required to devise and submit a site-specific SWPPP to minimize the discharge of
      wastewater and urban runoff during construction activities. The SWPPP would include the
      identification of sediment and pollutants sources that could affect the quality of stormwater
      discharge, as well as BMPs to reduce or eliminate sediment and other pollutants in stormwater
      discharges. These BMPs would be implemented during construction of the proposed project as a
      condition of required permits, therefore minimizing polluted discharge to the extent feasible. In
      addition, A Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan would also be prepared
      for the proposed project. With implementation of the SWPPP and all required BMPs, and the
      SPCC, the proposed project would not have the ability to violate any water quality standards or
      waste discharge requirements. Potential impacts would be less than significant and no further
      analysis is warranted.
b.    Water use for the proposed project would take place primarily during construction activities, with
      minimal water used during operation. During construction, potable water would be brought to the
      site for drinking and domestic needs, while non-potable water would be brought to the site for soil
      conditioning and dust suppression. It is anticipated that approximately 180 acre-feet of water would
      be required during the construction phase of the proposed project, which would be trucked on-site.
      This amount of water would not be supplied from local groundwater and therefore would not have
      the ability to substantially deplete groundwater supplies or interfere substantially with groundwater
      recharge. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
c.    The project site’s topography generally slopes to the southeast, with elevations ranging from
      approximately 2,660 feet above msl in the northwest corner to approximately 2,480 feet above msl
      in the southeast portion of the site. The panels would require the construction of concrete pads for
      each array and fencing around the entire site. However, evaluation of impacts to drainage patterns
      of the site, as well as the potential for increased erosion and/or siltation, will be evaluated in the
      EIR.
d.    In order to prepare the site for construction, certain existing drainage channels and low areas on the
      site would be filled through a combination of cut-and-fill and import of fill activities. These
      activities would be necessary to increase the amount of useable land available for the placement of
      PV modules and to protect the facility from greater than normal stormwater flows. The current



IS/NOP                                                    35                                         March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     project site drainage pattern is a combination of sheet flow and a small amount of channel flow; the
     aforementioned fill activities would result in the creation of sheet flow over the entire site.
     Evaluation of impacts to drainage patterns of the site, as well as the potential for increased flooding,
     will be evaluated in the EIR.
e.   During construction and following installation of the solar arrays, the vast majority of the site
     would remain as pervious soils. The design of the solar arrays is such that stormwater would
     receive full access to the pervious ground surface and infiltration would occur similar to existing
     conditions. No component of the project would concentrate runoff and exceed the capacity of
     existing or planned stormwater drainage systems. Similarly, no component of the project is
     considered a substantial source of polluted runoff. The construction period SWPPP and compliance
     with the new 2009 General Permit for Discharges of Storm Water Associated with Construction
     Activity requirements (which become effective July 1, 2010) per the California State Water
     Resources Control Board would ensure the proper control and treatment, if necessary, of any
     stormwater prior to discharge.. With adherence to site-specific BMPs, potential pollutants would be
     minimized to the extent practicable and would not exceed numeric thresholds for water quality
     protection. Impacts would be less than significant and no additional analysis is warranted.
f.   Project construction activities (such as grading) could potentially degrade water quality through
     erosion and subsequent sedimentation of streams. Additionally, accidental release of potentially
     harmful materials—such as engine oil, diesel fuel, and cement slurry—could degrade the water
     quality of nearby streams. However, as discussed above, the proposed project would be required to
     develop a SWPPP and implement BMPs that would reduce the impact of project activities on
     surrounding water quality. With required adherence to all BMP as identified in the project specific
     SWPPP, the proposed project would not have the ability to otherwise degrade water quality at the
     site or within the surrounding area. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is
     warranted.
g.   The proposed project does not include housing. Therefore, no housing-related impacts would occur
     and no further analysis is warranted.
h.   According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps
     (FIRM) designates the entire project site as Zone A. Zone A is classified as a special flood hazard
     area subject to inundation by the one percent annual chance flood. The 100-year flood, also known
     as the base flood, is the flood that has a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any
     given year. Flood insurance is mandatory in Kern County because the County participates in the
     National Flood Insurance Program. In addition, the Floodplain Secondary Combining (FPS) zoning
     district applies to the entire project site. The FPS zoning district prohibits any uses at the site that
     may increase the chance of flooding, as well as uses such as septic systems and water wells unless
     approved by the Kern County Engineering and Surveying Services Department. Further analysis is
     required to identify appropriate mitigation/design measures to reduce impacts from potential
     flooding and additional review will be provided in the EIR.
i.   The project is not located within an area that is subject to flooding due to failure of a levee or dam.
     The project would not expose people or structures to a significant risk of loss, injury, or death due
     to flooding as a result of levee or dam failure. Please refer to response to Question IX(h) above
     regarding impacts from other flood hazards at the site. Impacts would be less than significant and
     no further analysis is warranted.
j.   The project is not located near an ocean or enclosed body of water and would not be subject to
     inundation by seiche or tsunami. A mudflow is a type of mass wasting or landslide where earth and
     surface materials are rapidly transported downhill under the force of gravity. Mudflow events are
     caused by a combination of factors, including soil type, precipitation, and slope. Mudflows may be


IS/NOP                                              36                                            March 2010
                                                                      KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                          ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     triggered by heavy rainfall that the soil is not able to sufficiently drain or absorb. As a result of this
     super-saturation, soil and rock materials become unstable and eventually slide away from their
     existing location. However, the project site is relatively flat with slopes ranging between zero and
     5 percent, and is not located within an area of substantial slopes or slope instability. The potential
     for project structures to be inundated by mudflow would be less than significant and no further
     analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                               37                                            March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

X. LAND USE AND PLANNING.
Would the project:

a.   Physically divide an established community?

b.   Conflict with any applicable land use plan,
     policy, or regulation of an agency with
     jurisdiction over the project (including, but not
     limited to, the general plan, specific plan, local
     coastal program, or zoning ordinance) adopted
     for the purpose of avoiding or mitigating an
     environmental effect?

c.   Conflict with any           applicable habitat
     conservation plan or        natural community
     conservation plan?

Discussion:

a.    The project would be developed on active or fallow agricultural land, and the surrounding area is
      predominantly vacant desert land. The nearest residence to the project site is located approximately
      280 feet west. Therefore, the proposed project would not have the ability to physically divide an
      established community and no further analysis is warranted.
b.    The existing zoning designation of the project site consists of both A FPS (Exclusive Agriculture,
      Floodplain Secondary Combining) and E (5) RS FPS (Estate 5 Acres, Residential Suburban
      Combining, Floodplain Secondary Combining). The project applicant is requesting a zone change
      from E (5) RS FPS to A. In addition, the applicant is also requesting a CUP per Section 19.12.030
      G and 19.14.030 G of the Kern County Zoning Ordinance and a Specific Plan Amendment (SPA)
      to the Circulation Element to delete Fisher Avenue between 130th Street West and 140th Street
      West, 110th Street West between West Rosamond Boulevard and Astoria Avenue, 125th Street West
      between West Rosamond Boulevard and Fisher Avenue, and 135th Street West between West
      Rosamond Avenue and Irone Avenue. With approval of all discretionary requests, including the
      aforementioned zoning change, SPA, and CUP, the zoning designation at the project site would
      become consistent with the Willow Springs Specific Plan designations for the area. Therefore, with
      approval of the requested zoning change, the proposed project would not have the ability to conflict
      with any applicable land use plan, policy, or regulation of an agency with jurisdiction over the
      project adopted for the purpose avoiding or mitigating an environmental effect. Although it is
      anticipated that the impacts will be less than significant, it will be analyzed further in the EIR.
c.    The proposed project is not within the boundaries of any adopted habitat conservation plan (HCP)
      or natural community conservation plan. As stated in response to Question IV(e) above, the
      proposed project is located within the WMP, which is an amendment to the California Desert
      Conservation Area Plan. The WMP covers 9.3 million acres of the Mojave Desert in southern
      California. The WMP applies to both public and private land and is consistent with the resource
      management plans adopted by the military bases within the region and the desert tortoise recovery



IS/NOP                                                    38                                         March 2010
                                                                KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                    ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     plan. The WMP is slated to be evaluated for amendment or revisions in 2011. The WMP includes
     a proposed HCP; however, the HCP has not been completed. No impact would occur and no further
     analysis is warranted..




IS/NOP                                         39                                       March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with       Less–than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

XI. MINERAL RESOURCES.
Would the project:

a.   Result in the loss of availability of a known
     mineral resource that would be of value to the
     region and the residents of the state?

b.   Result in the loss of availability of a locally
     important mineral resource recovery site
     delineated on a local general plan, specific plan,
     or other land use plan?

Discussion:

a.    There are no mineral resources of regional or statewide significance or mining districts located
      within the project area. Kern County contains numerous mining operations that extract a variety of
      materials, including sand and gravel, stone, gold, dimensional stone, limestone, clay, shale,
      gypsum, pumice, decorative rock, silica, and specialty sand. However, due to the fact that the
      project is not located near known mineral resources, it would have no significant impact on future
      mineral development. The proposed project would have no impact and no further analysis is
      warranted.
b.    Based on a review of California Geological Survey publications, parts of Kern County are rich in
      mineral deposits. Although some properties in the area of the project site support aggregate mining
      operations (i.e., Golden Queen Mine, Bobtail Mines, Middle Butte Mines), neither the Kern County
      General Plan nor the Willow Springs Specific Plan designate the site for mineral and petroleum
      resource activities (Map Code 8.4). Therefore, installation of the arrays would not preclude future
      on-site mineral resource development, nor would it result in the loss of a locally important mineral
      resource recovery site. There would be no impact and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                                    40                                         March 2010
                                                                         KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                             ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                        Less than
                                                                       Significant
                                                        Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                        Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):              Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

XII. NOISE.
Would the project:

a.   Expose persons to, or generate, noise levels in
     excess of standards established in a local
     general plan or noise ordinance or applicable
     standards of other agencies?

b.   Expose persons to or generate excessive
     ground-borne vibration or ground-borne noise
     levels?

c.   Result in a substantial permanent increase in
     ambient noise levels in the project vicinity
     above levels existing without the project?

d.   Result in a substantial temporary or periodic
     increase in ambient noise levels in the project
     vicinity above levels existing without the
     project?

e.   Be located within the Kern County Airport
     Land Use Compatibility Plan, and expose
     people residing or working in the project area
     to excessive noise levels?

f.   Be located in the vicinity of a private airstrip
     and expose people residing or working in the
     project area to excessive noise levels?

Discussion:

a.    The Kern County General Plan Noise Element sets a 65 dBA Leq (10 minute) limit on exterior noise
      levels for stationary sources (i.e., non-transportation) at sensitive receptors. Land uses determined
      to be “sensitive” to noise, as defined by the Kern County General Plan, include residential areas,
      schools, convalescent and acute care hospitals, parks and recreational areas, and churches. There
      are two identified residential buildings located within one quarter-mile of the project site. There are
      no other sensitive land uses located within proximity to the project site.
         Construction activity associated with large earth moving equipment has the highest potential for
         creating noise since there could be intermittent high noise levels on and adjacent to the site during
         construction. The proposed project would be required to adhere to all applicable noise standards
         related to construction activities, as identified in the Willow Springs Specific Plan and Kern
         County Zoning Ordinance. Specifically, the Kern County Zoning Ordinance states that it is
         unlawful for any person to create noise from construction between the hours of 9:00 PM and
         6:00 AM on weekdays and 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM on weekends, which is audible to a person at a
         distance of 150 feet from the construction site. A noise analysis will be included in the EIR to



IS/NOP                                                  41                                         March 2010
                                                                      KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                          ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

         determine the project's consistency with the applicable provisions of the Kern County General Plan
         Noise Element, the Willow Springs Specific Plan and Kern County Zoning Ordinance. Thus,
         further analysis of ambient noise levels and the project’s potential impact on those levels will be
         included in the EIR.
b.   Groundborne vibration and groundborne noise could originate from earth movement during the
     construction phase of the proposed project as well as from the operation and maintenance of the
     facilities. Significant vibration is typically associated with activities such as blasting or the use of
     pile drivers; Pile drivers would be used to anchor the arrays. The project would be expected to
     comply with all applicable requirements for long-term operation, as well as with measures to reduce
     excessive groundborne vibration and noise to ensure that the project would not expose persons or
     structures to excessive groundborne vibration. Further analysis of groundborne vibration and
     groundborne noise will be included in the EIR.
c.   Operation of the project would generate very little noise. The solar facility would use limited staff
     during operation. Traffic on the access road for the solar facility would be for routine access and
     maintenance activities and would primarily consist of personal vehicles. Nonetheless, a noise
     analysis will be included in the EIR to determine the project's consistency with the applicable
     provisions of the Kern County General Plan Noise Element, the Willow Springs Specific Plan and
     Kern County Zoning Ordinance. Thus, further analysis of ambient noise levels and the project’s
     potential impact on those levels will be included in the EIR.
d.   Heavy equipment use during construction would cause a temporary or periodic increase in ambient
     noise levels. Temporary or periodic increases in ambient noise levels caused by construction
     activities could be reduced with the incorporation of mitigation measures. Project-related
     construction noise levels will be quantified and evaluated in the EIR.
e.   The proposed project is not located within the Kern County ALUCP. The nearest public airstrip is
     the Rosamond Skypark, which is approximately six miles from the project site. Because the nearest
     public airport/public use airport is located approximately six miles from the project site, the
     proposed project is not expected to result in impacts to noise. There would be no impact and no
     further analysis related to public airports is warranted.
f.   The Skyotee Ranch private airstrip is located 2.5 miles southwest of the project site. The project
     site is not located within two miles of any private airport or private airstrip. The proposed project
     would have no impact and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                               42                                           March 2010
                                                                         KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                             ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                        Less than
                                                                       Significant
                                                        Potentially       with       Less- than
                                                        Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):              Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

XIII. POPULATION AND HOUSING.
Would the project:

a.   Induce substantial population growth in an
     area, either directly (for example, by proposing
     new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for
     example, through extension of roads or other
     infrastructure)?

b.   Displace substantial numbers of existing
     housing, necessitating the construction of
     replacement housing elsewhere?

c.   Displace substantial numbers of people,
     necessitating the construction of replacement
     housing elsewhere?

Discussion:

a.    Although the proposed project would provide new employment consistent with adopted Kern
      County General Plan goals, plans, and policies, long-term employment opportunities would be
      minimal. Solar projects typically require between 200 and 240 temporary construction workers,
      which would be a minimal increase in employment over the 16 month construction period, given
      the project area’s existing population. Construction workers are expected to travel to the site from
      various locations throughout Southern California, and the number of workers expected to relocate
      to the surrounding area is not expected to be substantial. If temporary housing should be necessary,
      it is expected that accommodations would be available in the nearby community of Rosamond.
      Therefore, the proposed project would not directly or indirectly induce the development of any new
      housing or businesses. Operation of the proposed project would also require no permanent full-time
      and two to five part-time staff. Given the scope of the existing population and available housing in
      the area, this increase is not considered significant.
      Typical established local thresholds of significance for housing and population growth pursuant to
      the CEQA Guidelines, Section 15064.7, include effects that would induce substantial growth or
      concentration of a population beyond county projections; alter the location, distribution, density, or
      growth rate of the population beyond that projected in the Kern County General Plan Housing
      Element; result in a substantial increase in demand for additional housing; or create a development
      that significantly reduces the ability of the county to meet housing objectives set forth in the
      housing element. The effects of the proposed project in relation to these local thresholds are
      minimal.
      Although the project would produce additional electricity, it is intended to meet the demand for
      energy that is already projected based on growth in communities throughout California. As such,
      the generation of electricity by the proposed project would be considered growth accommodating,
      rather than growth inducing. The project’s electricity would replace electricity generated by fossil
      fuels, thereby contributing to California’s renewable energy goals. The production of additional


IS/NOP                                                  43                                         March 2010
                                                                    KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                        ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

       electricity by the proposed project would not be growth-inducing. Impacts would be less than
       significant and no further analysis is warranted.
b,c.   The project is proposed to be sited on lands that are currently in agricultural production or are
       fallow agricultural land. No residences would be condemned, and people would not be displaced.
       There would be no impact and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                             44                                        March 2010
                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                         Less than
                                                                        Significant
                                                         Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                         Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):               Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

XIV. PUBLIC SERVICES.
Would the project:

a.   Result in substantial adverse physical impacts
     associated with the provision of new or
     physically altered governmental facilities, need
     for new or physically altered governmental
     facilities, the construction of which could cause
     significant environmental impacts, in order to
     maintain acceptable service ratios, response
     times, or to other performance objectives for
     any of the public services:

         Fire protection?

         Police protection?

         Schools?

         Parks?

         Other public facilities?

Discussion:

a.    Fire Protection. The Kern County Fire Department provides fire suppression and emergency
      medical services to the project area. The primary fire station that would serve the project area is the
      Fire Station No. 15, located approximately seven miles east of the project site at 3219 35th Street
      West in the town of Rosamond. The majority of the proposed project site is within a Local
      Responsibility Area (LRA). Although as discussed in response to Question VIII(h), adherence to all
      applicable regulations would reduce wildfire ignitions and prevent the spread of wildfire,
      construction and operation activities may result in increased need of fire-fighting personnel and
      facilities in the area. Therefore, the potential impact on fire services from construction in an LRA
      and operation of the solar panels is therefore potentially significant and will be evaluated in the
      EIR.
      Police Protection. Police protection services in the proposed project area are provided by the Kern
      County Sheriff’s Department. The primary sheriff substation that would serve the project area is the
      Rosamond substation, located approximately nine miles southeast of the project site at 1379 Sierra
      Highway in the town of Rosamond. Although the potential is low, the project may attract vandals or
      other security risks, and construction activities could result in increases in traffic volumes along
      Rosamond Boulevard, which could increase demand on law enforcement services. On-site security
      would be provided and access would be limited to the areas surrounding the project site during
      construction and operation, thereby minimizing the need for police surveillance. Nonetheless, the
      project’s impact on sheriff services is potentially significant and will be evaluated in the EIR.




IS/NOP                                                   45                                         March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     Schools: During project construction, approximately 200 to 240 construction workers would be
     required. It is expected that most of these workers would commute to the project site from
     surrounding communities. Therefore substantial temporary increases in population that would
     adversely affect local school populations are not expected. There would be no impact and no further
     analysis is warranted.
     Parks/Libraries/Other Public Facilities: The project would result in increased demand for
     countywide public protection. The county will be evaluating the project to determine the
     appropriate fees required to pay for impacts to countywide public protection, sheriff patrol and
     investigation, and fire services. Impacts would be potentially significant and will be evaluated in
     the EIR. Conversely, the operation workforce would require no full-time staff and minimal part-
     time staff (for security, maintenance, etc., as needed), as the project could be operated and
     monitored remotely. Therefore, substantial permanent increases in population that would adversely
     affect local parks, libraries and other public facilities (such as post offices) are also not expected.
     The proposed project is expected to result in no impact on public services such as post offices,
     libraries, parks, and therefore no further analysis of these issue areas is warranted.




IS/NOP                                              46                                           March 2010
                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.



                                                                         Less than
                                                                        Significant
                                                         Potentially       with       Less–than-
                                                         Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):               Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact

XV. RECREATION.
Would the project:

a.     Increase the use of existing neighborhood and
       regional parks or other recreational facilities
       such that substantial physical deterioration of
       the facility would occur or be accelerated?

b.     Include recreational facilities or require the
       construction or expansion of recreational
       facilities that might have an adverse physical
       effect on the environment?

Discussion:

a,b.   The project does not include new recreational facilities. The temporary increase of population
       during construction that might be caused by an influx of workers would be minimal. As a result,
       there would not be a detectable increase in the use of parks. Impacts would be less than significant,
       and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                                   47                                         March 2010
                                                                            KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                                ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                           Less than
                                                                          Significant
                                                           Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                           Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                 Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

XVI. TRANSPORTATION AND TRAFFIC.
Would the project:

a.   Cause an increase in traffic that is substantial in
     relation to the existing traffic load and capacity
     of the street system (i.e., result in a substantial
     increase in the number of vehicle trips, the
     volume-to-capacity ratio on roads, or
     congestion at intersections)?

b.   Exceed, either individually or cumulatively, a
     level of service (LOS) standard established by
     the county congestion management agency or
     adopted county threshold for designated roads
     or highways?
     Specifically, would implementation of the
     project cause the LOS for roadways and/or
     intersections to decline below the following
     thresholds or further degrade already degraded
     segment(s):
     i. Metropolitan Bakersfield General Plan LOS
     “C”?
     ii. Kern County General Plan LOS “D”?
     (Transportation Impact Fee Areas LOS "C"?)

c.   Result in a change in air traffic patterns,
     including either an increase in traffic levels or a
     change in location that results in substantial
     safety risks?

d.   Substantially increase hazards due to a design
     feature (e.g., sharp curves or dangerous
     intersections) or incompatible uses (e.g., farm
     equipment)?

e.   Result in inadequate emergency access?

f.   Conflict with adopted policies, plans, or
     programs supporting alternative transportation
     (e.g., bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?

Discussion:

a.    Construction activities associated with the proposed project are anticipated to take approximately
      16 months, and could potentially affect traffic volumes on nearby roadways including, but not
      limited to, SR 14, Rosamond Boulevard and 100th Street West. In addition to vehicle trips generated
      by construction workers traveling to the site, construction of the proposed project would add


IS/NOP                                                     48                                         March 2010
                                                                        KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                            ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

       vehicle trips to the area roadway system during delivery of construction equipment and materials.
       Construction material delivery would require a number of trips for oversized vehicles that may
       travel at slower speeds than existing traffic and, due to their size, may intrude into adjacent travel
       lanes. These trips may decrease the existing level of service (LOS) on area freeways, roadways, and
       intersections. Additionally, the total number of vehicle trips associated with all construction-related
       traffic (including construction worker trips) could temporarily increase daily traffic volumes on
       local roadways and intersections. Furthermore, stringing activities required for transmission line
       infrastructure may require temporary lane closures that may result in temporary traffic delays on
       affected roadways. These potential impacts on the local roadway system from construction-related
       vehicle trips will be evaluated in the EIR.
b.     Once constructed, solar operations typically employ a relatively small number of staff, including
       solar panel technicians, operations and administrative personnel, and managers. Most to all of these
       employees would be located off-site. The potential impact of proposed project operational traffic on
       the area roadway system will be evaluated in the EIR.
       i.   The proposed project site is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Bakersfield.
            Construction and operation of the project would result in increased vehicle trips on roadways
            in the project area; however, construction workers are expected to travel to the site from
            various locations throughout central and southern California and a relatively small number of
            workers is expected. Therefore, the project would not be expected to result in a substantial
            number of trips on roadways in the metropolitan Bakersfield area. No further analysis of this
            impact is warranted.
     ii.    As detailed in the response to Question XVI(a) above, construction of the project would
            generate construction trips and may require roadway lane closures, which could temporarily
            increase the daily traffic volumes on local roadways and intersections. The small number of
            part-time employees required for maintenance of the proposed project are expected to originate
            from the local area and would not result in a substantial number of trips on local roadways.
            The LOS of area roadways would not experience a decline in the long term.
c.     Skyotee Ranch private airstrip is located 2.5 miles southwest of the project site. The proposed
       project is approximately six miles from the nearest public or private use airport. It is not anticipated
       that the project would interfere with airspace because of the relatively short height of the arrays and
       their non-reflective surfaces, which have about half the reflectance of standard residential and
       commercial glass. The proposed project would not result in an increase in air traffic levels or a
       change in location of air traffic patterns that would result in a substantial safety risk, as air traffic
       patterns would not be affected (i.e., the only mode of transport affected by the proposed project is
       automobile/truck operations). Impacts would be less than significant and no additional analysis is
       warranted.
d.     The project proposes access from existing public access roads including the intersections of
       Rosamond Boulevard and 140th Street West, Rosamond Boulevard and 120th Street West,
       Rosamond Boulevard and 115th Street West, and Rosamond Boulevard and 105th Street West. The
       proposed PV arrays would be surrounded by a six-foot-tall, chain-link boundary fence and would
       require little maintenance upon full build-out. The project would not be accessible to unauthorized
       members of the public during operation and would not include the development of sharp curves,
       dangerous intersections or other hazardous design features. Therefore, the proposed project would
       not substantially increase hazards due to a design feature or incompatible uses (e.g., farm
       equipment). Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
e.     As described in the response to Question XVI(a) above, construction of the project would generate
       construction trips and potential temporary roadway lane closures, which could temporarily increase


IS/NOP                                                 49                                           March 2010
                                                                     KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                         ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

     the daily traffic volumes on local roadways and intersections. However, the proposed project would
     not physically impede the existing emergency response plans, emergency vehicle access, or
     personnel access to the site. The site is located in a rural area with several alternative access roads
     allowing easy access to the site in the event of an emergency. Therefore, no adverse impacts related
     to impairment of the implementation of or physical interference with an adopted emergency
     response plan or emergency evacuation plan is anticipated. Impacts would be less than significant
     and no further analysis is warranted.
f.   As described in the response to Question XVI(a) above, construction of the project would generate
     construction trips and potential roadway lane closures, which could temporarily disrupt any bicycle
     traffic on local roadways. However, due to the rural nature of the project site area, no bus stops or
     designated bicycle lanes exist on the roadways likely to be used during construction and operation.
     The proposed project would be required to adhere to the goals and policies of the Willow Springs
     Specific Plan Circulation Element. Therefore, the proposed project would not have the ability to
     conflict with adopted policies, plans, or programs supporting alternative transportation. Impacts
     would be less than significant and no additional analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                              50                                           March 2010
                                                                           KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                               ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                          Less than
                                                                         Significant
                                                          Potentially       with       Less-than-
                                                          Significant    Mitigation    Significant     No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):                Impact      Incorporated     Impact      Impact

XVII. UTILITIES AND SERVICE SYSTEMS.
Would the project:

a.   Exceed wastewater treatment requirements of
     the applicable regional water quality control
     board?

b.   Require or result in the construction of new
     water or wastewater treatment facilities or
     expansion of existing facilities, the construction
     of which could cause significant environmental
     effects?

c.   Require or result in the construction of new
     stormwater drainage facilities or expansion of
     existing facilities, the construction of which
     could cause significant environmental effects?

d.   Have sufficient water supplies available to
     serve the project from existing entitlements and
     resources, or would new or expanded
     entitlements be needed?

e.   Result in a determination by the wastewater
     treatment provider that serves or may serve the
     project that it has adequate capacity to serve the
     project’s projected demand in addition to the
     provider’s existing commitments?

f.   Be served by a landfill with sufficient
     permitted capacity to accommodate the
     project’s solid waste disposal needs?

g.   Comply with federal, state, and local statutes
     and regulations related to solid waste?

Discussion:
a.    The proposed project would generate a minimal volume of wastewater. During construction,
      wastewater would be contained within portable toilet facilities and disposed of at an approved site.
      During operation, the proposed project would not generate any wastewater as there would be no
      permanent employees on-site. Employees would only be on-site twice a year to wash the panels and
      as necessary for security and other maintenance activities. At those times wastewater would be
      contained within portable toilet facilities and disposed of at an approved site. Therefore, the
      proposed project would not have the ability to exceed wastewater treatment requirements of the
      RWQCB Lahontan District. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is
      warranted.


IS/NOP                                                    51                                         March 2010
                                                                      KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                          ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

b.       The proposed project would not require new wastewater disposal systems to be constructed, as
         there would be no permanent employees on site. Potable water would be brought to the site for
         drinking and other domestic needs. Water for the washing of the panels would be purchased from
         the local purveyor and brought in by water trucks. Since the proposed project would provide its
         own water source, it would not impact existing water supply systems. Because the project is not
         proposing the construction of any new facilities, no impact would occur and no further analysis is
         warranted.
c.   Although the project would create a small amount of additional impervious surface and may require
     a small amount of imported water for dust suppression during construction and the washing of
     panels twice a year, these changes would not substantially increase the amount of stormwater
     runoff. The project area is drained by natural stream channels and does not rely on constructed
     stormwater drainage systems. As stated above, the pattern and concentration of runoff could be
     altered by project activities, such as grading of the site and roadways. However, the proposed
     project would be required to comply with the NPDES through submittal of a SWPPP or other
     means to contain water on-site from construction. As a condition of the CUP, a drainage plan will
     be required to be submitted and approved by the Kern County Engineering and Survey Services
     Department, Floodplain Division prior to issuance of a building permit. With adherence to all
     applicable regulations, the proposed project would not require or result in the construction of new
     stormwater drainage facilities or expansion of existing facilities, the construction of which could
     cause significant environmental effects. Impacts would be less than significant and no further
     analysis is warranted.
d.   Potable water would be brought to the site for drinking and domestic needs. Water for the washing
     of the panels would be purchased from the local purveyor and brought in by water trucks.
     Construction of the proposed project would require approximately 324 acre-feet of water. Since the
     proposed project would provide its own water source, it would not impact existing water supply
     systems. Therefore, the proposed project would have sufficient water supplies available to serve the
     project from existing entitlements and resources and no new or expanded entitlements would be
     required. Impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.
e.   The project would not require the construction of a septic system. Consequently, there is no
     wastewater treatment provider and no impacts to existing wastewater treatment facilities. No further
     analysis is warranted.
f.   The proposed project is not expected to generate a significant amount of waste that would exceed
     the capacity of local landfills. The nearest landfill to the project site is the Mojave-Rosamond
     Sanitary Landfill, located northeast of the project site. Materials brought to the proposed project site
     would be used to construct facilities and few residual materials are expected. Non-hazardous
     construction refuse and solid waste would be disposed of at a local landfill, while any hazardous
     waste generated during proposed project construction would be disposed of at an approved location.
     The manufacturer and supplier of the PV modules has established a Collection and Recycling
     Program to promote the collection and recycling of their modules. The program enables all module
     components to be recovered and recycled. The proposed project is not expected to generate a
     significant amount of waste that would exceed the capacity of local landfills. Materials brought to
     the proposed project site would be used to construct facilities, and few residual materials are
     expected. Non-hazardous construction refuse and solid waste would be disposed of at a local
     landfill, while any hazardous waste generated during construction would be disposed of at an
     approved location. It is not anticipated that the amount of solid waste generated by the proposed
     project would exceed the capacity of local landfills needed to accommodate the waste. Therefore,
     impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.



IS/NOP                                               52                                           March 2010
                                                                   KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                       ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.

g.   The proposed project would generate solid waste during construction and operation, thus requiring
     the consideration of waste reduction and recycling measures. The 1989 California Integrated Waste
     Management Act (AB 939) requires Kern County to attain specific waste diversion goals. In
     addition, the California Solid Waste Reuse and Recycling Access Act of 1991, as amended,
     requires expanded or new development projects to incorporate storage areas for recycling bins into
     the proposed project design. The project would be required to comply with the 1989 California
     Integrated Waste Management Act and the 1991 California Solid Waste Reuse and Recycling
     Access Act. Therefore, impacts would be less than significant and no further analysis is warranted.




IS/NOP                                            53                                         March 2010
                                                                          KERN COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT
                                                              ROSAMOND SOLAR ARRAY BY FIRST SOLAR, INC.




                                                                         Less than
                                                                        Significant
                                                         Potentially       with       Less than
                                                         Significant    Mitigation    Significant      No
Issues (and Supporting Information Sources):               Impact      Incorporated     Impact       Impact



XVIII. MANDATORY FINDINGS OF
       SIGNIFICANCE.

a.   Does the project have the potential to degrade
     the quality of the environment, substantially
     reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species,
     cause a fish or wildlife population to drop
     below self-sustaining levels, threaten to elimi-
     nate a plant or animal community, substantially
     reduce the number or restrict the range of a rare
     or endangered plant or animal, or eliminate
     important examples of the major periods of
     California history or prehistory?

b.   Does the project have impacts that are individ-
     ually limited, but cumulatively considerable?
     (“Cumulatively considerable” means that the
     incremental effects of a project are significant
     when viewed in connection with the effects of
     past projects, the effects of other current
     projects, and the effects of probable future
     projects.)

c.   Does the project have environmental effects
     that would cause substantial adverse effects on
     human beings, either directly or indirectly?

Discussion:

a.    The EIR’s biological resources section will discuss specific project impacts on plants and wildlife,
      including avian species. The document will also evaluate the project’s contribution to cumulative
      biological resources impacts and propose mitigation that will reduce the impacts, particularly on
      avian species, to less-than–significant levels.
b.    The project has the potential to contribute to cumulative aesthetics, agricultural resources,
      biological resources, public services, cultural resources and transportation and traffic. The EIR will
      evaluate the project’s contribution to cumulative impacts in these and other areas as further impacts
      are identified.
c.    Although there may be significant air quality impacts during construction, the long-term air quality
      impacts could be beneficial if fossil fuel use is reduced. The health impacts from the short-term
      cumulative contribution to air quality impacts will be evaluated in the EIR.




IS/NOP                                                   54                                         March 2010

				
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