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Wind farm neighbors respond to Global Chevron, county

Neighbors of the proposed wind farm northeast of Evansville reasserted their claim this week that they did not receive adequate notice of the county's final vote to approve conditional use permits for the project, according to court documents. They still want 7th District Court to review and declare invalid the Natrona County Board of County Commissioners' approval of the permits because the county violated the terms of its own Wind Energy Conversion System Emergency Regulations approved last fall.

Neighbors of the proposed wind farm northeast of Evansville reasserted their claim this week that they did not receive adequate notice of the county's final vote to approve conditional use permits for the project, according to court documents.

They still want 7th District Court to review and declare invalid the Natrona County Board of County Commissioners' approval of the permits because the county violated the terms of its own Wind Energy Conversion System Emergency Regulations approved last fall.

To reach that point, they first need the court to throw out Chevron Global Power Co.'s and the county's motions to dismiss the petition, which is why they filed a response on Wednesday.

The company and county claim only they, and not the petitioners, are the legal parties to the permitting issue.

As such, the petitioners -- Michael Tescher, Carol Fields, Stan Mundy, Veronica Mundy, Ernest Linton, Carole Linton, Steve Cox, and the Elkhorn Creek Ranch LLC -- were not entitled to a formal notification even though some of them attended the Feb. 3 commission meeting.

But their attorney Michael McGrady asked interim County Attorney Heather Duncan-Malone for... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Neighbors of the proposed wind farm northeast of Evansville reasserted their claim this week that they did not receive adequate notice of the county's final vote to approve conditional use permits for the project, according to court documents.

They still want 7th District Court to review and declare invalid the Natrona County Board of County Commissioners' approval of the permits because the county violated the terms of its own Wind Energy Conversion System Emergency Regulations approved last fall.

To reach that point, they first need the court to throw out Chevron Global Power Co.'s and the county's motions to dismiss the petition, which is why they filed a response on Wednesday.

The company and county claim only they, and not the petitioners, are the legal parties to the permitting issue.

As such, the petitioners -- Michael Tescher, Carol Fields, Stan Mundy, Veronica Mundy, Ernest Linton, Carole Linton, Steve Cox, and the Elkhorn Creek Ranch LLC -- were not entitled to a formal notification even though some of them attended the Feb. 3 commission meeting.

But their attorney Michael McGrady asked interim County Attorney Heather Duncan-Malone for documents about the permits, and they finally received copies on March 25. The attorney claims that was the first time he learned the board had approved the permits, which set in motion the 30-day time to file an appeal.

Chevron Global and Natrona County responded the petitioners were fully aware of the county's "final agency action" on the subject on Feb. 3, which renders their April 24 filing invalid.

In Wednesday's response, the neighbors detailed their objections to that argument.

"Petitioners' attorneys were told on more than one occasion by the County Attorney that the Board's decision was not final and there were conditions or restrictions required of Chevron before the Board's action would become final," McGrady wrote.

The company had planned to begin construction in mid-May, but still needs to finish a plan to decommission the 880-acre site when the wind farm's life ends before receiving its building permits, Duncan-Malone said Thursday.

But the petitioners say more serious issues must be considered by the county.

"Permitting the County to approve any permit or variance in violation of its own regulations contravenes the public policy of compliance and calls into question the trust the public places in its elected officials," McGrady wrote.

"Furthermore, permitting the development of a wind farm in violation of the regulations it has approved violates the policy of uniformity in dealing with the residents of the County. The County simply cannot be permitted to misrepresent the status of a final agency decision to the detriment of those Petitioners who have a statutory right to challenge that decision," he wrote.

Duncan-Malone has read the most recent filing by the petitioners, and said the county has 10 days to file its response.

The court has set a June 30 hearing for the company and the county to hear these motions.

Last we knew: Chevron Global Power Co. and the Natrona County Commission said neighbors of the 11-turbine wind farm site northeast of Evansville took too much time to petition 7th District Court to invalidate the conditional use permits approved by the commission on Feb. 3.

The latest: Wednesday, the neighbors responded the county did not provide them adequate notice of the full intent of the Feb. 3 meeting.their petition was timely because they did not receive actual notice of the permits' approval until March 23

What's next: The county and Chevron have 10 days to file a response.


Source: http://www.casperstartribun...

JUN 5 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20553-wind-farm-neighbors-respond-to-global-chevron-county
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