Hundreds attend nuke hearing

Friday, April 24, 2009
The county commissioners probably will decide the fate of the rezone for the nuclear plant some time in the next three weeks.

The Mountain Home Junior High School auditorium was filled to capacity last Wednesday evening when the Elmore County Board of Commissioners conducted a public hearing on a rezone application submitted by Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc., the company proposing to build a 1,600 megawatt nuclear energy plant near Hammett.

The Board of Commissioners took oral testimony from both opponents and supporters of the rezone request during the hearing, which lasted just over four hours.

AEHI is requesting the rezoning of 1,280 acres of land from Agricultural use to M2-Heavy Industrial.

During the hearing it was incumbent upon the applicant to prove that the rezone was compatible with the Elmore County Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2004. Testimony by those who supported the rezone and those that opposed it was limited to the rezone application, but on several occasions presenters on both sides of the issue had to be reminded to keep their comments pertinent to the subject matter.

As is customary with such proceedings, the applicant was given the first opportunity to give testimony.

AEHI's testimony began with a brief summary of company CEO Don Gillispie's credentials by stockholder Bruce Wong. His testimony was quickly interrupted by hearing moderator Jerry Miller because it deviated from the subject of the hearing. Yet Wong prevailed, stating that the information provided the commissioners with important background on who was making application for the rezone.

Gillispie also spoke briefly before turning the microphone over to Mark Pecchenino, a land use planning consultant with Pecchenino and Associates, Inc., from Kuna.

Using a power-point presentation, Pecchenino offered a number of reasons why the rezone complied with the comprehensive plan's land use objectives.

Pecchenino pointed out that the rezone to M2 (heavy industrial) would pave the way for economic growth in both job creation and tax revenue, and that it would encourage other commercial growth and development.

Pecchenino said county commissioners have shown support for energy production citing the approval of two gas-fired energy production facilities, a hydrogen energy production facility, and multiple wind generation facilities.

Pecchenino also pointed out that the rezone does fit with the comp plan in that it complied with the section pertaining to the compatibility of development with existing land usage. He emphasized his point by showing slides of several nuclear facilities coexisting with farming.

He said the rezone fit the description of a light industrial zone as it would be used for a "clean" industry and, therefore, adhered to the objectives outlined in the Planned Unit Development (PUD) section of the county's comprehensive plan.

According to Pecchenino, the rezone would comply with the county's objective to bring diversity to the county that would provide for economic expansion, while maintaining community values. The rezone would pave the way for improvements to the county's infrastructure, schools and fire districts, he indicated.

Following Pecchenino's presentation the floor was opened to those supporting the rezone. More than a dozen individuals, many wearing tags that read "I Support AEHI" testified that the rezone would bring much-needed jobs to Elmore County.

Prior to the start of the hearing, AEHI had accepted resumes and handed out employment applications to over 400 individuals, a company spokesman said. Those turning in resumes or receiving applications where asked to sign a petition showing their support for the rezone. Many also decided to make oral testimony before the commissioners.

Michael Deverney and Trent Shelton, both of Mountain Home, took advantage of the mini-job fair and submitted their resumes to AEHI. Deverney believes the rezone will allow the company to build its nuclear plant, thereby providing jobs for local residents.

"We're not military -- there's not many jobs" in Mountain Home, Deverney said.

Shelton said the current economy makes finding employment difficult, and sees construction of the plant as a means to stay in Mountain Home.

Neither man was concerned about the safety of the nuclear power plant. "I'm pretty sure they're going to keep an eye on it," said Deverney, a 23-year resident of Mountain Home.

Elmore County's unemployment rate for March stood at 6.2 percent, down slightly from the previous month, primarily because the 2009 growing season is getting underway, said Albert Clement of the Idaho Department of Labor, Job Services Office in Mountain Home.

Last year, between 125 and 130 individuals lost their jobs when the potato plant in Glenns Ferry closed its doors. Clement said 70 local individuals who once worked for Micron lost their jobs between 2008 and the beginning of 2009, and future layoffs have been announced by that company.

But not everyone was convinced that the AEHI's claim about employment opportunity is accurate.

Since AEHI is only the plant developer, and would not be operating the facility once it went on-line, some question Gillispie's previous claims about job creation.

In his rebuttal following public testimony, Gillispie noted that employment statistics reported by AEHI were developed by an independent company.

The county comprehensive plan appears to contain contradictions. Under the Planned Unit Development section the document states: "The Planned Unit Development "PUD" designation is a zone specifically designed to allow flexibility in land use, site design and dimensional standards to develop residential, commercial, office and/or light industrial uses not allowed individually within a specific zoning district".

But in the Land Use Objective segment of the document it reads: "Allow heavy industry/manufacturing land uses and waste facilities to locate in Simco Road District only, subject to specific review and Conditional Use Permits".

K.C. Duerig, of King Hill, who sits on the Elmore County Planning and Zoning Commission, and was one of two P&Z commissioners that voted against rejecting the rezone application, gave testimony. Referring to section 12 of the Land Use Objectives segment of the comp plan, Duerig pointed out that there is no specific area, either in the comprehensive plan text or the accompanying land use map that specifically defines Simco Road as a district.

Also giving testimony was Courtney Ireland, who sat on the P&Z Commission during the rezone hearings. She has since stepped down from that post.

Ireland noted Hammett's centralized position in the county makes the site selected by AEHI more suitable and opportune for residents of Elmore County, whereas Simco Road's proximity to Ada County could jeopardize employment opportunities for local citizens.

Ireland also admonished Commission Larry Rose for a previous outburst, when he reprimanded Pecchenino for not staying on-topic. Ireland said it was important for commissioners to know who was asking for the rezone and what it was for. She reminded the commissioners that the rezone is directly related to the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant. She urged the commissioners to "put politics aside" and "look at the viability of the rezone." Ireland also voted against the P&Z's recommendation that the rezone application be denied.

Following testimony by those who support the rezone, one member of the audience testified on the neutral side of the issue. His concerns were whether transmission lines needed to carry power from the plant to the Idaho Power Company grid would interfere with the Birds of Prey area, and rumors that AEHI would sell all the power generated at the plant to other states.

After a brief break, those who opposed the rezone were allowed to give testimony.

Doran Duffin, representing the "Snake River Rats," a group of landowners in the Hammett and Indian Cove area, said the plant would have an irreversible impact on the county, including its infrastructure. He said the tax revenue quotes presented by AEHI need to be studied before the rezone is approved.

He expressed concern that a premature pull-out by the company after construction began would make reverting the property to agricultural use impossible.

Duffin said his group "can't think of any heavy industrial use that will be compatible with agriculture," and the rezone would "change Hammett from a close-knit community to a boom-bust community."

He also suggested that hydrology, geology, and other ecological features made the site unsuitable for heavy industrial use.

"How can we plan for the future if the comprehensive plan is compromised," Duffin asked. "This rezone violates ten objectives of the comprehensive plan."

Water would be a recurring theme during the evening. Several people expressed concern that the rezone would put existing water rights at risk, especially during years of drought.

Under the Land Use Objectives section of the comp plan, county officials are tasked with reviewing "all development proposals in areas that are critical to groundwater recharge and sources to determine impacts, if any, to surface and groundwater quantity and quality."

Yet, although county officials have made that part of the comprehensive plan, two state agencies are already charged with those duties: The Department of Water Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality. Any changes in diversion point or water use classification must be approved by the IDWR after that agency has conducted a public hearing.

Tracy Lauric and Cashia Brown, both of Mountain Home, were part of a handful of people displaying anti-nuclear signs outside the school prior to the hearing.

Lauric does not believe that IDWR has allocated water properly, and does not trust the agency to make appropriate decisions about water for the nuclear plant. "I don't think IDWR has allocated it (water) properly and if history repeats itself, we're in trouble," Lauric said.

Brown is concerned about waste storage and its potential for leakage into the Snake River.

"You commissioners have an opportunity to open a door--a door I believe should be shut," said Diane Hooley. In 2007, Hooley's family farmed a section of the land AEHI has chosen for its project. Although the company claims the land is not prime-agricultural land, Hooley and others disagree.

Bob Bledsoe indicated that the land is capable of producing high-yields of crops if properly managed, and noted that, at various times, it had produced crops of potatoes, beans, sugar beets, alfalfa and wheat.

Others would express concern that the rezone would compromise the farming history of the area, and lifestyles of those who make their living from the land. Others, citing a 1994 study by Cornell University, and reports from the US Department of Agriculture, said the rezone would further reduce available farmland not only in the county, but also in the nation.

Yet, a news release issued by the USDA on Feb. 4, 2009, indicates that the results of a 2007 Census of Agriculture shows that "the number of farms in the United States has grown 4 percent and the operators of those farms have become more diversified in the past five years." According to the census, "nearly 300,000 new farms have begun operation since the last census in 2002." Elmore County farm statistics, obtained from the county extension office, show that farm numbers in the county also increased between 2002 and 2007, from 364 to 381, even though, the average farm size, dropped from 951 acres to 910 acres.

Others testifying at the hearing called for more research on how the rezone would impact the county's economy and environment.

At the close of the hearing, AEHI was given an opportunity to rebut any statements made during the public testimony portion of the meeting. Pecchenino reiterated his previous statements, and Gillispie made a final bid for the rezone request.

The commissioners took no action on the rezone application last week and will likely begin deliberations in about three weeks. The board of county commissioners meets every Monday.

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  • They were correct to admonish Pecchenino for not staying on task. Nuclear is a polarizing issue that emotions run high and can cloud one's judgment. Playing on that element is unprofessional and would tell me that he does not have unbiased, impartial evidence to back him up.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 1:43 PM
  • A very well written and balanced story, it would have been helpful to say that supporters out numbered opponents about 5 to 1. Also, about half of the opponents spoke both as groups and individually compared to 10% of the supporters giving the appearance of more opponents. It was easy to tell because AEHI supporters green stickers filled the room compared to the red stop the rezone stickers of the opponents... I guess reporters don't like to count these days.

    -- Posted by Retired exec on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 3:44 PM
  • Very well written article.

    I hope that the County Commissioners will not only take into account the testimony given on April 22nd, but will also do their own research and look to the future as to how having a nuclear power plant could affect Elmore County and the surrounding area.

    For example immediately following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in concert with other federal agencies mandated restricted airspace be placed around the nuclear power plants in operating within the United States. That restricted airspace was a 10 nautical mile lateral restriction with a vertical restriction up to 18,000 feet.

    If a similar restriction were to be put in place in the future it would have a negative affect on all arriving, departing or operating air traffic on the east side of Mountain Home AFB. Which would be a major encroachment on the flight operations of the 366 Fighter Wing and could possibly jeopardize the future of the base?

    We have the base which currently puts just under one billion dollars a year into the economy here in Southern Idaho and need to insure its future and not jeopardize it with the approval of the nuclear power plant in its present proposed location. The Planning and Zoning board members are well educated and intelligent individuals and voted against the request to rezone the proposed area. We just have to trust that our elected County Commissioners will do the right thing.

    Best wishes,

    -- Posted by Albert Clement on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 4:24 PM
  • Cool runnings: That restriction applied to commercial and private aviation not US military. The base would probably have a greater chance of survival with the power plant nearby for low cost power and plant protection; a mutually beneficial relationship. You may be aware that the Secretary of Defense just called for the cancellation of the F-15 and F-22; if that happens...MHAFB has no planes. There are bigger issues facing the base's future today; a liberal Commander and Chief who wants to disarm the nation to save a buck for his social agenda. As a veteran, I am very concerned about national security which is threatened by our current leadership and lack of energy independence to defend ourselves. The nuclear plant helps.

    -- Posted by Retired exec on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 5:17 PM
  • Retired Exec, I couldn't agree more with your comments that "there are bigger issues facing the base's future today; a liberal Commander and Chief who wants to disarm the nation to save a buck for his social agenda. As a veteran, I am very concerned about national security which is threatened by our current leadership..."

    As a retired Air Traffic Controller who went the changes brought on by 9/11, I just want the County Commissioners to look at the big picture and not focus only on what took place on April 22nd.

    I am not opposed to the proposed power plant. I just want an intelligent decision to be made.

    Best wishes,

    -- Posted by Albert Clement on Fri, Apr 24, 2009, at 5:57 PM
  • I wont comment on the security and such but according to the sign up sheet there were 47 opposed and 30 that supported it. That does not have a translation barrier. Mr. Pecchenino should be a politician. He dodges a question like no other and cant give evidence that does not have bias. Truth in any situation does not have to be advertised or shown in a particular light.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Sat, Apr 25, 2009, at 12:00 AM
  • Mr. Wilcox, your comments and math are misleading...just counting the green pro AEHI sticker to the red against the rezone stickers there were 400 for and 50 against and another 50 with no stickers. The supporters overwhelmed the opponents; the fact that multiple members of the same family or anti-nuke groups spoke in opposition after being given group time biased the figures, but that is consistent with the integrity of groups like the Snake River Alliance. Do you oppose MHAFB like they do as well?

    Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change, said the country needs legislation to help "re-establish the United States as a leader" in clean energy production and fighting climate change."Options include constructing millions of wind turbines and hundreds of nuclear power plants, doubling the fuel efficiency of cars to an average 60 miles per gallon, and developing solar panels for homes that are as cheap as paint."

    -- Posted by Retired exec on Sat, Apr 25, 2009, at 2:53 PM
  • Geez Retired exec, with your fuzzy accounting I have to wonder if you retired from Enron!

    You claim there were 400 green AEHI stickers for starters, but there wasn't even 400 people present! Two people from the same local farm family that testify against the plant actually count as TWO people, don't they? Elmore uses the American standard of one man, one vote. Do you think next election should allow just one vote per family? Being part of a group does not obscure or add anything either. Come next election the group leader gets one vote, and so does each member of the group, doen't they?

    I wore no sticker, but you better believe I support our troops, and Mt Home Air Force base! Don't try to label opponents as unpatriotic! I consider energy independence as a National Security issue. We would have no soldiers dying in the oil fields if we had done this when I started fighting after the 1970's oil OPECKERS fiasco in the 70's. The first years $85 Billion wasted in Iraq could have built 1/4 of the windmills needed for this energy independence. We have exceeded the total cost now, but it has also cost soldiers their arms, legs, and lives. Folks like Bush & Cheney, who make millions from oil, are kissing the rings of Saudi Arabi's princes. If we weren't supporting dictators for decades in the middle east we wouldn't be hated, and wouldn't be at war.

    If you check the references at you will see geothermal alone could provide 5 times the US electric consumption. We don't need nuclear risks to achieve energy independence. Using wide spread wind and geothermal power is much better for Nat'l Security, from a defense perspective. Having millions dependent on a single nuclear power plant provides a target for the enemy, and sets us up for a disaster.

    Butch and our delegation want to cluster multiple commercial reactors at INL, where the new transmission grids cross. They figure we can do all the dirty work while we send the power to states that ban nukes, like California and Oregon. BRILLIANT! Sincerely stickerless...Peter

    -- Posted by DrPeterRickardsDPM on Sat, Apr 25, 2009, at 5:42 PM
  • I am really sick and tired of these execs that keep trying to shove this nuclear plant down our throats...WE DONT WANT IT HERE!!!! Go away already. The statistics that I have read online show an increased number of many different types of cancer in areas where nuclear power plants are present. And I too believe that their plan does not fit in with the County Comprehensive Plan. 400 people submitted applications and resume's my behind!!!!

    -- Posted by resqfireman on Sat, Apr 25, 2009, at 10:32 PM
  • twilcox1978,

    What do you mean by "I wont comment on the security and such"? was there a problem or kudos with the security that evening? If so, please explain...

    -- Posted by Reserve ID on Sun, Apr 26, 2009, at 7:55 PM
  • when i mentioned "security" it was about the security of a nuclear plant and supposed terrorist attacks. I feel that its fear mongering and does not represent what is most likely to happen. Why care about what only has a one in a billion and why not focus on the more applicable and more likely. It is a waste of time and energy to fret about the abysmally small chances that some nut case will target one nuclear reactor in Idaho (if it is built).

    There may have been multiple people for the same group but i could reproduce the sign up sheets if you need proof.

    Finally, citizens of elmore county apparently dont realize that this pot of gold is at least 8 years from seeing the light of day. That is significant for reasons that i dont need to bring up. Overall, if this was better managed and more realistic in its promises that would force us to listen. When Warren Buffett was going to build in Payette he was completely open and left no question unanswered. This company has no answers but rather empty propaganda that leaves little concrete backing or logic.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Sun, Apr 26, 2009, at 11:33 PM
  • Hi twilcox,

    I respect your right to say I am fear-mongering about a one in a billion chance of a disgruntled employee or terrorist attack. But from my heart, these are realitistic fears that have Homeland Security extremely concerned as well established real threats. I consider fear-mongering making up info solely to scare people. These are real threats that are attempted daily in cyber-attacks on the Pentagon etc, and they even succeeded in stealing F-22 info last week. I do talk on all bad aspects of nukes, from the orphaned waste on up the threat list. If an issue doesn't seem fair or important to me, I would not mention it.

    The original meltdown at INL in 1961 was said to be from a lover's triangle gone haywire. The old "If I can't have her, then no one can" OJ syndrome. INL had an armed security guard go psycho a couple of New Years Day ago, and baricaded himself in a no-go area. Lucky they talked him down that time, but to claim it is not a real threat, or a one in a billion chance seems as foolish as Bush & Rice ignoring the memos about plane hijackings and "Bin Laden determined to attack America." Yah, what are the chances of 19 arabs hijacking 4 planes and crashing into the Twin Towers? Terrorists have already been caught with blueprints of nuke plants. When wind and geothermal can produce much more electricity than the US consumes, why risk a meltdown that can cause forced evacuation and impoundment of crops? Respectfully...Peter

    "I think the important thing to keep in mind is the adversaries don't stand still when technologies

    are being developed," said Mike Sparks, director of the DOE Office of Technology. "The

    adversary has full use of the technology in advance to being made. And if we stand still and

    don't take the initiative to stay a step ahead on the technology, I think we're setting ourselves up

    for a disaster sometime down in the future."

    Also see on cyber-terrorism

    Dams, Postal and Shipping, Agriculture and Food, Defense Industrial Base, Public Heath and Healthcare, National Monuments and Icons, Transportation Systems, Commercial Facilities, and Commercial Nuclear Reactors and Materials and Waste.

    Although each of these critical infrastructure industries is vastly different, they all have one thing in common. They are all dependent on control systems -- computer based systems used within our nation's critical infrastructures -- to monitor, control, and safeguard their vital processes.

    -- Posted by DrPeterRickardsDPM on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 4:40 PM
  • Retired exec, I notice that there is still no response as to which reactor will be used, how many will be located on that site total and how much water EACH will use. How about the finance situation? That is unclear as well. What will really end up on this land in the end IF the rezone is granted, which is not likely, due to the CP of Elmore County. But then again, the rules will probably just be rewritten (oh, they already have been and by an AEHI employee/consultant) which in the end will probably just allow this anyway.

    There is a new study out regarding nuclear power plants and terrorist attacks. It is being done because many nuclear power plants in the US are due to come off line over the next several years but the corporations that own them want that time extended (to remain online). Funny, the government does not appear to feel they are as safe as once thought from terrorist attacks. Imagine that! Add a few dams, a military base and a nuclear plant and we might as well just put an X on the location.

    As far as more supporters than opposed...what hearing were you at. There were not even 400 people there total. Most of the "pro" people did not even speak. They listened to part of the AEHI story and left (some not all). More people opposed spoke than "pro" by far. 400 applications for jobs that are 8 years out. Most of those people will not even live here IF this thing ever comes to be. Nice math skills there RE. It explains why AEHI is in the shape they are in...2 + 2 for you is 400 not 4. Best regards as always.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Mon, Apr 27, 2009, at 8:52 PM
  • I really feel bad for the fear/hate mongers. Is life that horrible that you continually need to attack from behind a keyboard? I'm really, really sorry.

    I think the time for intelligent discourse has come rather then the finger pointing. Maybe it would help if the constant barrage of findings and emotional baggage was dropped.(Yes I can find anything to prove my point on the internet too. Just because its in print, does make it right.)

    Of course, why waste time if the site is not approved.

    Have a great day!

    -- Posted by Spudn8tor on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 9:46 AM
  • DrPeterRickardsDPM

    Your concerns are legitimate. The general public that does not know economics, urban planning, the science of nuclear power, medicine tend to respond to the superlative. That is why we have ESPN, the National Enquirer, Star, FOX news, etc. They dont care how one gets to the conclusion but rather the grand or epic finish.

    I am an economist and being that we double as Nytol for most people. The point is that I feel that the public should know about things that they are more likely to face. The end of the world could be in the next 14 minutes but should we focus our attention on that. About this plant, the public should know that their externalities. These are costs borne outside of the production process. These could be monetary, physical, emotional, etc.If this plant is developed as per the predictable path, what will most likely happen? This company could make a plant that can withstand fighter jets flying into it. Simple expectations and profit maximizing. If they know that this element will win them the battle in the court of public opinion, they will do it. I wont get into the science of that, you do a fine job of that.

    Overall, I feel that the focus should be on the effects that this area will feel following a predictable path. Investing time, resources, energy, money to prepare for the unlikely is not going to win us the battle.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 2:51 PM
  • Thanks for explaining twilcox! And also thanks for the best laugh of the day with your line "I am an economist and being that we double as Nytol for most people." ...Peter

    -- Posted by DrPeterRickardsDPM on Tue, Apr 28, 2009, at 5:06 PM
  • I grew up in Mountain Home, graduated from MHHS, and proceeded to get my Mechanical Engineering Degree from Boise State Univeristy. I am now employed at the Naval Reactor's Facility at the INL near Idaho Falls. At first I was skeptical about the thought of Nuclear Energy. But opposing a nuclear plant because of the risks should be investigated further before you make a decision. I agree that the Job opportunities and rezoning should be investigated further before a decision is made, but deciding that a nuclear plant shouldn't be built because of the "risks" doesn't give the plant a fair chance.

    I have learned that nuclear power is one of the safest forms of energy and that it emits a minimal amount of C02 to the atmosphere. In fact the amount of CO2 release by manufacturing Wind Turbines is greater (per Kilowatt hour energy produced) than is produced by a nuclear plant. The co-founder of Greenpeace (Patrick Moore) is also pro-nuclear and wrote an insightful article that shows the pros of nuclear energy. An excellent book to read for those skeptical about nuclear power is "Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy" by Gwyneth Cravens explains how it works.

    Finally, the Naval Reactor's Facility houses the first nuclear power plant that produced energy in the world. Arco Idaho was also the first city in the world that was powered by nuclear power. Idaho has a history of nuclear power, but is not known by many people. I work around nuclear fuel often and I don't have a third eye or limb growing where it shouldn't. I'm not saying to just approve the plant, but I am saying that if you fear the risks of a nuclear plant to consider why you fear it. Most fear stems from not knowing, so do some research and learn about nuclear power. Then make a decision about the risks.

    -- Posted by CamaroGuyZ28 on Wed, Apr 29, 2009, at 10:07 PM
  • Yes, Idaho has a "record" in nuclear history and it is not a good one. Good point in support of why we do not need this.

    As far as 3 eyes or an extra limb or glowing green (someone else said that)...we based our "anti" testimony on the facts as opposed to myth. Maybe give the people of Elmore County a bit more credit for an ability sort through the fact and fiction of the AEHI story. There was nothing about glowing in the dark or people with 3 arms. Many of the people who are "anti" are college educated/college grads. Does INL have 50-60 homes within a 5 mile radius? Is the Snake River less than 1-2 miles from INL? Was INL built on prime farm ground? Did the comprehensive plan for the area where INL is located prohibit such use of land (from Ag A/B to M2? This is what testimony was based on. Not 3 eyes or 3 arms. Give us a little more credit.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 2:51 PM
  • So RE, still no answers on the reactor, how many we could have or how much water could be used. You can tell us what a bunch of idiots we are but you stink at responding to the real questions. We have you figured out. So, when you lose this round...will you leave Idaho alone as you stated or will you fight as Ms. Ireland indicated in her letter? Are you a man of your word? I doubt it but that is of course just my opinion based on your actions over the last year (or more). Time shall tell your story.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 2:58 PM
  • There is a planning and zoning meeting on monday so all those that are interested please attend. Information is key to either side. I think that they chose this site because they felt that the citizens would not object due to economic hardship. They felt that they would leap at the first pot of gold and follow without question. Well, I hope that we keep it and hopefully we can distill the truth from them. If one hides behind a veil, they obviously are not confident to bear their true intentions.

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Fri, May 1, 2009, at 4:49 PM
  • Cool Runnings

    I think you may have the wrong perception of the impact the facility would have. It would be the air base that monitors and controls the air space above the facility in question. The only aircraft allowed in the airspace would be military. The additional tasking would only increase the neccessity for keeping the air base around for air interdiction. Due to the rural nature of Elmore County air threats to the facility would have free reign without the air base. The A-10s at Gowen Field are air-to-ground with the nearest aircraft at Hill are too far away to respond. I "personally" think that with BRAC being re-examined that the power plant and MtHome AFB have a mutal interest in survivability. Not to mention the survivability of Elmore county if nothing happens.

    As a side note: Commercial aircraft would be affected if they were not already impacted by the air bases control of local airspace.

    -- Posted by ID@heart on Mon, May 4, 2009, at 10:03 AM
  • Why choose this site when there are much better sites in respect to water, political climate, distance from end user, available infrastructure, etc. Well that would the golden question and one that few will ever know the true answer to?

    -- Posted by twilcox1978 on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 10:14 AM
  • Opinion Missy,

    Idaho does have a great history of Nuclear Power, which is a good point on why this plant would be a great addition to the state. I also agreed that you should look into rezoning more. No, the INL does not have 50-60 homes within a five mile radius, but we have more people than would live in 50-60 homes on site 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No the snake river isn't within a half mile of the site, but we are above one of the largest (if not the largest) aquifers in the west. The snake river aquifer. As for farm land, no it's not farm land. And I wasn't arguing that point. I just feel that there is more to this than arguing over fam land. There are feelings, beyond the ability to farm, that are playing on this decision. Which is understandable. I love Mountain Home, and Elmore County, and I plan to move back someday. I just wanted to give a different opinion besides nay.

    -- Posted by CamaroGuyZ28 on Mon, May 11, 2009, at 1:21 PM
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