East Bay Solar Project Halted After Trees Clear-Cut For Panels

RICHMOND (KCBS) – A solar power project that involved clear-cutting groves of eucalyptus and oak trees to install solar panels has been halted near Richmond after county supervisors said they were caught off guard on the tree removal.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors said it never signed off on a plan to remove the trees at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline Park to install solar panels for the county. By some estimates, nearly 100 eucalyptus trees and one dozen oak trees were chopped down.

”To say that we’re flabbergasted is to say something kind of mild,” said Beverly Lane, president of the East Bay Regional Park District Board.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

She maintained the district had nothing to do with extensive tree removal. Instead, the county signed a contract with Main Street Power to have solar panels installed on top of county buildings including the West County Detention Facility near the park.

”Had we known that these solar panels were going to be on the ground, near the entrance to a regional park, we would have definitely said no,” said County Supervisor John Gioia.

He said the work has been halted at Pt. Pinole Regional Park.

Jonathon Postal, a spokesman for Colorado-based solar company, said that company officials plan to meet with county officials this week to discuss the project.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Guapi

    I feel bad for the poor trees. But I have to confess it’s very amusing to see the greenies fumbling all over themselves. Imagine… A solar company rushed to cut down trees and install wonderous new solar panels at excessive cost before the greenie politicians figured out what a boondoggle it is. HAHAHA Oh thank you for making my sides hurt from laughing.

  • Craig

    Eucalyptus are not native to California and eucalyptus oil from the shed leaves inhibit the growth of native flora. I don’t understand why anyone would be sorry to see those awful trees go.

    • Guapi

      Because we are trying to lure the Koala Bears away from Australia…

      Seriously… Are you a dim bulb or what. They are very majestic trees that took years/decades to grow. How much natural flora do you think is going to grow under a 10 million dollar solar panel? Good grief… Get some common sense people!

  • Vince

    WOW. The Stupidvisors didn’t even know they were mounted on the ground. Are there no plans for the project, that anyone at all looked, at even at the staff level? Planning department, Building department? Nothing? And on County buildings??

    Typical, Government and it’s emplyees on auto-pilot. No consequences for doing a lousy job.

  • Bert

    All you have to say to do (and charge) ANYTHING these day is just say the words “It’s Green”. That phrase immediatly turns off any logic left in these polititians…

  • Guapi

    So true…

  • Roger

    The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and the East Bay Regional Park District Board should all be removed from office because they apparently are unable to properly oversee and protect our precious parks like Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline. In addition, the solar project should be cancelled and Main Street Power should be fined a substantial amount and also compelled to replace every inch of the trees they illegally removed.

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