Swath’s damage irreparable | TheUnion.com

Swath’s damage irreparable

The Union editorial endorsing the Banner pipeline totally misses the issues. Cutting a five-mile swath, 40-60 feet wide through the heart of Banner Mountain will cause irreparable harm to the environment and our quality of life. Banner Mountain, and for that matter, all of Nevada County, should be considered a treasure for everyone to enjoy. I find it quite ironic that NID Director Ernie Bierwagen considers himself “champion of private property rights” and an adamant opponent of NH 2020 and the scenic designation of Highway 174. On the other hand, Bierwagen has shown a consistent indifference and hostile approach to any property owner who stands in the way of NID projects. NID directors, wake up and open your eyes.

I question the need for the proposed five-foot pipeline in the first place except for increasing revenues for NID. However, if the pipeline is going to be constructed, NID’s engineering staff has already indicated that the pipe can be placed below Banner Lava Cap and Idaho Maryland roads without cutting down trees or destroying the hillside. This will certainly cause a temporary inconvenience to all residents of Banner Mountain but will not create any permanent damage. NID does not want to spend the extra money to dig up these county roads despite having accumulated over $43 million dollars in reserves. On the other hand, one cannot place a value on the permanent desecration of the environment in the event NID runs the pipeline through private property.

We should all strongly commend NID Director Nancy Webber who has the integrity and conviction to place the concerns of her constituents above the self-interests of NID. Unlike the rest of the board, Nancy has always shown compassion for homeowners and weighs the adverse impact on the environment when determining the best course of action. Maybe it’s time to elect new NID directors to serve with Nancy.

Jeff Toff

Grass Valley

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