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OCOTILLO RESIDENTS’ WOES CONTINUE AS NEW DUST STORM, FLOODING, WHITE SLUDGE FLOW STRIKES COMMUNITY

In a follow up to our article about Octillo, California about the devastation caused by Pattern Energy’s industrial wind development, the assault on the town’s residents continue.

Miriam Raftery — East County Magazine — September 8, 2013

A new dust storm, flooding and more white foam flowed through Ocotillo today, heightening residents’ concerns about impacts of Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Facility on this desert community.  At 4:40 p.m., a storm hit, sending massive amounts of dust into the air, this time coming directly from project access dirt roads created by Pattern Energy, according to Jim Pelley, who shot this video. Soon after, a storm brought flash flooding, which residents claim is worsened by drainage changes made by the wind developer.  The flood brought a repeat of an unknown white sludgy substance washing across the desert floor and into the town.

“The white foam is back moving across the project. It was a bit eerie,” said Pelly, who took video of today’s white foam flood as well.

Yesterday also brought flooding, along with a rare sign of beauty in Ocotillo these days: a double rainbow, arching over the project.

“Dust was never an issue in Ocotillo before the project,” Ocotillo resident Bill Pate observed.  Dust storms have become more frequent and more severe since the project’s completion, with some resembling Dust Bowl era dust storms – a phenomenon that has occurred in Texas and Arizona at places in close proximity to massive wind and solar projects that scraped bare the desert, as occurred in Ocotillo.

The dust storms raise concerns over Valley Fever and respiratory conditions such as asthma. Residents have advised ECM that Imperial Valley is not requiring testing of Valley Fever patients who present with pneumonia-like symptoms even though in Arizona, a high percentage of such patients are found to have Valley Fever.

Residents asking for a Valley Fever test in Ocotillo have been advised that unless a doctor recommends the test, the cost is prohibitively high – nearly a thousand dollars in some cases.

As for the foam that residents fear could be residue from herbicides sprayed at the site and/or chemicals used for dust suppression in the wind project’s construction—chemicals they fear may contaminate the town’s only drinking water supply–, authorities have provided no answers yet despite questions raised in our August 30th article titled “What’s polluting the waterways in Ocoitllo?” following the latest white foam flood.

We also ran a story in July 2012 raising the same questions.  Residents complained of third-world conditions after flammable dust suppression chemicals flooded the town, even washing onto yards where children play. No cleanup was ever ordered.  Read full article, here…..

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3 Comments on “OCOTILLO RESIDENTS’ WOES CONTINUE AS NEW DUST STORM, FLOODING, WHITE SLUDGE FLOW STRIKES COMMUNITY”

  1. 1957chev September 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Turbines create more problems than they “allegedly” help.

  2. 1957chev September 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    Turbines are a source of asthma problems for these people….

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pattern Energys wind field in Ocotillo, California — A case study in environmental devastation | Quixotes Last Stand - September 9, 2013

    […] UPDATE:  See latest article about the havoc put upon the town of Ocotillo, by Pattern Wind Energy, here&#8230… […]

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