Could a small bat derail some big plans for an Oahu wind farm? It's the latest challenge to the controversial Na Pua Makani wind project in Kahuku. The endangered Hawaiian hoary bat or 'ope'ape'a calls that area home, and some people are saying the wind farm developers - AES US Generation- don't have a permit to move the bats.
Articles filed under Legal from Hawaii
Keep the North Shore Country announced it gave a 40-day notice to the wind farm, Na Pua Makani, and its owner, the AES Corp. The group alleges the project failed to obtain an environmental review after it added five additional parcels of land to its plans. Those parcels were not part of the project’s 2016 environmental impact statement, the group said in a news release.
“Today is not the end. We’re still going to be fighting,” said Kamalani Keliikuli, vice president of Ku Kiai Kahuku. “We just don’t want the turbines, and we want them to listen to us. We’re in it for the fight.” The arrests started Thursday night in Kalaeloa, where hundreds gathered to try to stop the equipment from leaving a base yard for the North Shore.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals is reviewing whether a key component of the windmill project’s environmental review is adequate. The challenge by Keep the North Shore Country is likely to carry on in court well into next year. “Should we prevail then these guys might not be able to operate,” said Sen. Gil Riviere, who represents the area at the legislature and is part of the Keep the North Shore Country group.
The other contention is that the project developer failed to acquire control of the state-owned site for the wind farm within a PUC deadline. Collins said the developer missed a 120-day deadline because it didn't receive a permit for incidental Hawaiian hoary bat deaths until six months after the PUC approval. "You don't have an incidental take permit, you don't have site control, " he said.