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Solar power plants should not be built in areas with abundant wetlands, waterways and fragile ecosystems, particularly those that are prone to excessive flooding. These solar power plants endanger the health and safety of the community by threatening neighboring farms and waterways with sediment pollution and stormwater runoff.
These images are pre and post recent moderate rainfall in Raccoon Ford, Culpeper, VA; immediately downstream from the proposed Maroon Solar power plant.
#1) Waist high flooding
#2) Must-see flood video - Wetlands are not for solar.
After 2 inches of rainfall over a 24hr period on December 23rd, the Racoon Ford area was submerged in deep floodwater - a frequent phenomenon. The removal of tree roots and the installation of thousands of impervious solar panels, a few hundred yards upstream, would have a catastrophic effect on this fragile wetland habitat.
#3) Submerged woodland
As some of you may be aware, Citizens for Responsible Solar originated in Culpeper and we are still working with our elected officials with the hope they will create a strong solar ordinance to protect the community.
The Raccoon Ford area of Culpeper is bounded to its east by the Rapidan River and its expansive bottomland meadows, collectively forming the Rapidan River basin. This low lying area is criss-crossed by multiple tributaries and creeks, including Summerduck Run, Cedar Run, and Potato Run. At times of only moderate rainfall the ground rapidly becomes sodden, the runs flood their banks and become fast moving currents. As they flow downhill, they meet a swollen Rapidan River causing the low lying area to be engulfed in flood water. As local residents know these are not isolated instances. On average, such flooding events take place over 10 times a year.
This fragile wetlands ecosystem makes up a critical part of the wider Chesapeake Bay Watershed and forms one of its best-protected river corridors. The expansive removal of tree root systems from slow percolating soil combined with the installation of thousands of impervious solar panels a few hundred yards upstream, will cause significantly increased stormwater runoff / levels of flooding and sediment pollution. Maroon Solar’s development poses an existential threat to this delicate habitat and the extensive farming practices that take place in Racoon Ford.
UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR PLANTS SHOULD NOT BE SITED ON AGRICULTURAL LAND. Solar power plants belong on industrial-zoned land, marginal or contaminated land, along highways and on commercial and residential rooftops.
Help us protect agricultural-forestry zoned land
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