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Huasna Valley Association files appeal 

Members of the Huasna Valley Association filed an appeal Feb. 24 challenging the County Planning Department’s assessment of a proposed oil development project in the area. The group filed an 88-page response to the county’s decision to grant the project a Mitigated Negative Declaration. The group wants the additional studies that would come with a full Environmental Impact Report.

The plan by Excelaron, a small energy company, to drill four new wells in the rural valley east of Arroyo Grande led local residents to form the Huasna Valley Association to make sure that proposed oil projects meet standards that would keep the valley safe for farming.

Many residents worry the project is being portrayed as much smaller than it actually will be and that the current conditional use permit the company applied for is just the beginning. An Environmental Impact Report would look at cumulative effects of drilling as well as alternatives for transportation. Excelaron representatives said they intend to comply with whatever conditions the county lays down. Excelaron’s Project Manager, Kit Matlick, said the company is taking the review seriously.

 The project goes before the Planning Commission March 26.

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