To the citizens of Richmond and Northumberland counties:
Are you aware of the massive 1600 acre solar farm that is being proposed in lower Richmond County?
Did you realize that solar farms are not farms; but, industrial sites that convert farmland and forests into rows and rows of glass panels containing toxic materials?
Did you know that this proposal would eliminate a 1600 acre tract of forestland and removed all of its topsoil?
Can you picture the potential for erosion and contaminated soil? Will the elimination of this many trees affect the air you breathe?
Did you know the runoff from this project flows into Booker’s Mill Stream, Totuskey Creek, Farnham Creek, and Lancaster Creek to the Rappahannock River and beyond? How will that affect the Northern Neck’s seafood industry?
Are you aware that converting these 1600 acres of farm/timberland with 800 acres of solar panels could adversely affect the property values, health, and quality of life for citizens in Richmond and Northumberland counties?
That it could destroy habitats necessary for countless species of wildlife?
Did you realize that little is known of how to treat toxic waste, how to recycle the panels or how to decommission them?
Is there a reason why Strata Solar wishes to pay rent for 30 years for this vast space rather than purchase it? Will the land be worthless in 30 years?
We recognize that the County Administrator and the members of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission have been trying to educate themselves about this alternative energy source, and are perhaps trying to mitigate some of these concerns. They are certainly aware of the catastrophic erosion problems from a much small site in Essex County. And they should be in communication with Lancaster County officials and citizens who are being proactive in seeking solutions to protect their natural resources
Is what they are doing enough to potentially keep from destroying what makes Richmond County and the Northern Neck unique? The area is a haven for unspoiled natural resources and waterways including beautiful forests, rivers, acres of farmland, as well as numerous species of wildlife and abundant seafood.
If you think the county needs to acquire additional information about the potential consequences of this proposal and the ways that may be available to minimize them before acting, please voice your concerns to the County Administrator and members of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission. Show up at their monthly meetings and public hearings which will be scheduled and make your concerns known.
Neighbors of the 1600 acre tract Farnham,
Click here to see January's article about the pros and cons of this possible solar farm