Spotsylvania Solar Farm: Watershed Environmental Analysis: Material and Chemical Impacts

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The purpose of this compiled review is to answer the research question: What are the implications of the materials being used in the Spotsylvania sPower solar farm and the impacts of any contributing chemicals? I will approach this question using a theoretical framework to investigate the public participation (PP) process (Munch-Petersen, 2017) in the preliminary environmental analysis research done by sPower (in accordance with their special use permit [SUP]). This will be a context-specific framework, in which I will navigate the discrepancies between the environmental SUP information and citizen concerns about the chemicals and materials used in the sPower solar plant. The ultimate goal of this research is to address the most pertinent concerns of Spotsylvania’s citizens and present the most up to date and easy to understand information in the form of condensed informational flyers. As part of a larger informational project, this paper will elaborate on, and supplement, the content of these flyers. I hope to build on the theoretical framework of this project by presenting a report that properly addresses the questions and needs of the PP in sPower’s SUP. In the end, the larger informational product, Spotsylvania Solar Farm: Watershed Environmental Analysis (story map), will incorporate this paper’s core conclusion that the larger problem in the sPower debate is a lack of streamlined information to citizens about sPower’s SUP. Overall, by illuminating and further clarifying these discrepancies, we hope to contribute to a larger literature of EIA analysis to better incorporate and address the citizens directly involved.

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