Petition Drive Demands Halt To LADWP’s Plan To Build Solar Energy Facility Adjacent To Manzanar

LOS ANGELES — On December 14, the Manzanar Committee announced that it has launched an online petition drive calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to halt its efforts to build their proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, a 200-megawatt solar energy generating facility that would consist of solar photovoltaic panel modules and associated infrastructure. The approximately 1,200-acre project site would be located on City of Los Angeles-owned property east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight with the Manzanar National Historic Site, which lies to the immediate west, in California’s Owens Valley.

“The Manzanar National Historic Site stands as one of the most impressive, thorough exhibits on the Japanese American incarceration experience,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “The National Park Service staff does an incredible job, day in and day out, of telling the story. But now, a massive solar farm with thousands of solar panels could distract from, and negatively impact, the Manzanar National Historic Site. It is essential that LADWP understands the impact such a massive project would have on the site.”

“So many people fought so hard, endured and persevered to make sure our story, our history, is told and never forgotten,” added Embrey. “We have to be vigilant that none of that is denigrated in any way.”

“Make no mistake—those incarcerated, and their families, have no interest in any development that would alter the landscape in a manner that would obscure the memory of what happened during World War II.”

Embrey noted that organizations in the Owens Valley such as the Big Pine Paiute Tribe, the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, the Owens Valley Committee, and other concerned groups and individuals, also oppose the LADWP proposal.

“Many in the Owens Valley community stand against this project, citing that it is poorly conceived in its evaluation of the effect on the natural beauty of the area, the impact of maintenance, high fences and herbicides to wildlife, and the adverse effect to local tourist economies,” Embrey noted.

“Many residents of the Owens Valley worry about the LADWP,” Embrey added. “The owner of more than 80 percent of the land in the Owens Valley—by far, the largest landowner in the area—they not only control the water, draining it for consumption in Los Angeles, but they have failed to mitigate the dangerous environmental threats to the Owens Valley that their work has created.”

Embrey stressed that the Manzanar Committee is not opposed to renewable energy, including solar. Nevertheless, this project is ill-conceived.

“Solar energy projects are essential to curb global climate change, but the proposed solar ranch is not the ideal site to meet the energy demands of Los Angeles,” said Embrey. “Solar projects located close to where energy is needed avoid expensive and inefficient long-distance transmission from industrial sites like the LADWP’s proposed solar ranch. Distributed solar projects in Los Angeles will be more efficient, cheaper and save ratepayers money.”

To view/sign the petition on Change.org, click on: Halt LADWP’s Plan To Build A 1,200-Acre Solar Energy Generating Station Adjacent to Manzanar National Historic Site.

For more information, please call the Manzanar Committee at (323) 662-5102, or send e-mail to info@manzanarcommittee.org.

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LEAD PHOTO: Looking east from the visitor’s center at Manzanar National Historic Site. The floor of the Owens Valley, along with the Inyo Mountains in the background, are visible. But this view could be destroyed by a massive solar energy generating station, proposed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Photo courtesy National Park Service.


Community members are urged to send letters to LADWP in opposition to the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch. Letters should be addressed to:

Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012-2607

Comments may also be sent via e-mail, and should be addressed to Ms. Parker at nadia.parker@ladwp.com, or to Charles Holloway, at charles.holloway@ladwp.com.

To download a form letter that can be used, click on the image at right.

All letters and e-mails must be received by LADWP no later than 5:00 PM PST on December 20, 2013.

Those who would like to review the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project can read it on the web at: http://www.ladwp.com/envnotices.

For more information, please call the Manzanar Committee at (323) 662-5102, or send e-mail to info@manzanarcommittee.org.

The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. You can also follow the Manzanar Commitee on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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Creative Commons License The Manzanar Committee’s Official web site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Manzanar Committee Official web site – Licensing and Copyright Information.

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26 thoughts on “Petition Drive Demands Halt To LADWP’s Plan To Build Solar Energy Facility Adjacent To Manzanar

Add yours

  1. I’m doing my part. A talk show host heard nationwide as well as worldwide on the Internet read my mail on the air to him to sign the petition (tinyurl.com/stopladwp). I don’t plan to stop there.

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