Here are the six additional document Pine Gate Renewables sent to the Brooks County Commission on the day of the Public Hearing for Morven Solar.
Interestingly, none of these documents say Pine Gate would not use herbicides on the project. The Maintenance and Operations document does say no fertilizers: “ During the operation of the Morven Solar Project, we will control vegetation mechanically (mowing and string trimming) and will not use fertilizers.”
But the Health and Safety Document says (page 14) pesticide use is industry standard practice:
- Herbicides — The industry standard practice for maintaining the vegetation at solar facilities is similar to how most cities maintain their parks, which is they primarily rely on mowing and string trimmers for vegetation and use herbicides along fences, on roads, and under some equipment. Parks and solar facilities also use herbicides to strategically remove problem weeds, especially woody weeds, to maintain a healthy cover of the desired species of grasses and other low- growing vegetation. This mode of herbicide use applies significantly less herbicide volume than is commonly applied in GA agriculture. For example, Round-Up-Ready crops are common row crops that have been engineered for the entire field to be sprayed with Round-Up (glyphosate) several times each season. Additionally, farmers applying most types of herbicides to their fields are not required to be certified or licensed, but a GA commercial pesticide applicators license is required to apply any herbicide to a solar facility.
Yes, we all already knew that solar projects use less herbicides than for example cotton growing. I alluded to that in the WWALS letter to Brooks County. Using no herbicides would be even better.
Perhaps all this is moot now that the Brooks County Commission denied the Special Exception for Morven Solar.
These documents were received in response to a WWALS open records request to Brooks County:
- The main board packet
We will be sending another request for the seventh document, the draft road agreement.
For images of each page of each of these documents, see the WWALS website.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®