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Pattern Energy, which is seeking to build a 112 turbine wind energy farm near Ocotillo just east of the Laguna Mountains, has pledged $3 million to set up three funds for education and community improvement if the project is completed.

The project was approved by the Imperial County Planning Commission on March 28, but on April 9 the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians filed an appeal with the Imperial County Board of Supervisors, along with four other groups. According to the Imperial Valley Press, most appeals focus on zoning violations and “allege that biological and cultural impacts aren’t adequately addressed by the environmental impact report” that was prepared on the project.

Pattern has also called for the Commission to clarify its jurisdiction in approving the project. None of the turbines would be built on county land, but instead on property controlled by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Despite the setback, Pattern has said that company officials “do not expect a delay from the appeal,” and intend to begin construction in May if the Board of Supervisors approves the project at a meeting to be held tomorrow.

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