Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
Small Solar Renewable Energy Projects Permit Regulation [9 VAC 15 ‑ 60]
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1/9/23  10:00 am
Commenter: Paul Murphy, Ph.D.

Energix Must Not Disrupt Nature's Plan

I own and operate Rosendale Inn Bed and Breakfast located on Rt. 620. just slightly up the road from the proposed solar industrial facility. I also own 17888 Mountain Valley Road (Rt. 620) next door to the Inn. I am opposed to the Caden Energix Endless South project (hereafter referred to as "Project") on numerous grounds.

First, I grew up in a farming family in Missouri—a family which believed agricultural land is sacred and must be preserved for the future of humankind, the environment, and generations to come. It is shameful to desecrate prime agricultural land (A1). The Project will do that and forever change the pristine nature that abounds in and around proposed Project land and adjoining Smith Creek, altering the ecological balance of a Chesapeake Bay tributary by dangerous water runoff.

Secondly, The Project will be located in an area that is a major tourist attraction thanks to  Mother Nature. Rt, 620 (Mountain Valley Road) running along Smith Creek is a popular bicyclist route from New Market to Harrisonburg.  It attracts bicyclists and bicycle clubs from all over. Nearby Endless Caverns is a significant tourist attraction and RV camp ground, and my Bed & Breakfast was is usually full in the summer and fall. Bird watchers come here. Wildlife is abundant. There is fishing in Smith Creek. Bald Eagles soar overhead. The Project will significantly impact all this.

Thirdly, the rich history of the area will be impacted. Endless Caverns and Rosendale Inn is associated with three U.S. Presidents, Will Rogers, the Dean of the National Cathedral, aviation world record setters, and other luminaries. Before them, George Rosenburger, who built the Rosendale farmhouse and farmed 3000 plus acres (including the proposed Project land), was known far and wide for his contributions to Virginia agricultural conservation and farming excellence. A famous Virginia educator, Joseph Salyards (who lived at Rosendale in the Civil War years) penned this epic poem about the area:

It is a green and smiling swell

A spot for happiness to dwell

It seems that Nature shapes a plan

And molds a dwelling spot for man

And this was meant to be home

Of loves and joys that never roam

Wouldn't we be the wiser to heed Nature's Plan?


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