citizens of the Cedar Valley address the proposal for a coal burning power plant

Waterloo, Iowa

City Council meeting

May 7, 2007

 

 

 

c e d a r v a l l e y s p e a k s

Elk Run Energy (St. Louis, Missouri )/LS Power/Dynergy
Mark Milburn, Elk Run Energy Project Development Manager

“Land Use”
Let me talk just a moment about landuse. You might have recognized that the acreages for the annexation and the rezone were slightly different. We’ve set aside a certain buffer area on our site within the property that we control to use for certain purposes. I mean the first purpose is simply that, a buffer zone between our facility and any of our neighbors, for noise, for visual, but also for the ability to reuse the additional land for beneficial purposes. In fact we sought out Ritland Architects and the local Soil Water Conservation District to help us identify things that we could to do with this additional land.

And I’d like to introduce Mark Keiper (sp) of Craig Ritland Landscape Architects to share with you briefly what we plan to do with the additional land around the plant.

Mark Keiper (sp)(his analysis, paid by Elk Run Associates)
As he said Elk Run Energy Associates approached our firm to create a Site Development plan which would improve the environmental quality of the land, both through improved water quality and through the use of native plant materials. They also wanted the plan to respond to the wishes of neighbors that were collected by Elk Run Energy Associates in meeting with residents. These included screening of views, both within and through the site, the continuation of farm production, and the current recreational uses. Possible incorporation of a fishing pond on the site, and potential recreational trail connections with the existing trail on Martin Luther King Dr. After visiting the site and reviewing the site opportunities, we saw several potential opportunities that included existing lands to explore for wetland creation. The elk run creak corridor which exists on the Western boundary of the site, existing wooded areas on the NW side of the site. The site also has varying topography and land values, soil conditions, and really offers a really good opportunity to explore different agricultural practices on one site.

And this farm production ground…There’s actually little of the overall site that’s being developed for the plant itself. Even within the site boundaries we’re exploring the possibility of doing native grass and prairie vegetation studies. And after looking at these opportunities we began to explore the concept of integrating agricultural best management practices for the site. As you know, best management practices are ways of improving water quality, and that would be through the prevention of erosion, increasing infiltration of storm water, and filtering and treating of runoff, ways of improving plant diversity and ways of improving wildlife habitat on the site.

We presented a preliminary concept to the Black Hawk County Soil and Water Conversation District, and they became interested in the project. It turns out they are in great need of a one-stop demonstration area for agricultural best management pratices. They often try to host events and seminars within the county and in doing so they run into logistical problems in trying to find one site that has more than one practice on it so they end up traveling around the county trying to identify or demonstrate these different practices to farmers or who anyone else who might be attending these seminars. This site presented an opportunity to show lots of different conservation practices on one contiguous site, thereby allowing them to possibly host conferences and even have revenue from being able to host larger regional conferences Because of the large contiguous size of the site and the various site opportunities this was an opportunity to accomplish that goal.

The best management practices board that we developed was based upon information that we got from NRCS—I don’t know if that board is here, but we have developed the board with different practices, and you wouldn’t be able to read through them, but we looked at all the different practices that you coculd implement on a particular site. It would be ah, crop residue and nutrient management, proper crop usage, ah, restoration of stream corridors, living snow fences, ah, just basically all the different practices that you’d find on the NRCS website Could actually be implemented on this site, again, because of the varying site topography, you could actually do contour farming and a lot of these other different practices that you wouldn’t be able to demonstrate on many of the lands around Waterloo.

We selected a variety of practices and developed a site plan based on these principles. Ah, and we believe that through the implementation of these various practices that the NRCS and other agencies will be able to model real world and the integration of best management practices on farm production grounds, which is increasingly important as the demand for crop production is on the rise in Iowa.