Library from Ohio

D.C. Circuit overturns FWS approval of wind farm due to bat concerns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit recently held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving an Ohio wind energy project without looking at all reasonable alternatives for reducing deaths to the endangered Indiana bat.  See Union Neighbors United Inc. v. Jewell, No. 15-5147 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 5, 2016).  However, the FWS prevailed on a separate ESA claim, in which the court held that the FWS’s interpretation of the ESA was entitled to deference.
30 Aug 2016

A Win for the Indiana Bat: D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals requires analysis of greater protections for endangered species impacted by wind energy development

CLC and Union Neighbors challenged the agency's refusal to consider the higher cut-in speed proposal. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of CLC, stating that "[FWS] failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal."
8 Aug 2016

Ruling reversed and affirmed in wind appeal

“We conclude the (wildlife) service failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal, and we reverse the district court on that point,” [Circuit Judge Robert L.] Wilkins stated. 
8 Aug 2016

Feds must study wind farm's harm to bats

"The Service knew, at a minimum, that Buckeye claimed a full nighttime option was not economically viable, and it was aware of other, more viable measures that would still take fewer bats than Buckeye's proposal - Union Neighbors repeatedly suggested using a cut-in speed higher than 6.0 m/s," Judge Robert Wilkins said, writing for the three-judge panel. "Yet the Service failed to consider any higher cut-in speed in either the draft or final [environmental impact statement]."
8 Aug 2016

Union Neighbors United, Inc. v. Jewell

Buckeye_wind_cutin_speed_15-5147-1628815_thumb The attached appeal made by Union Neighbors United Inc. challenges the prior decision to grant an incidental take permit to Buckeye Wind LLC, enabling its wind project in Ohio to pose a threat to the endangered Indiana bat population and its habitat. Union Neighbors claims that the US Fish and Wildlife Service failed to comply with NEPA and ESA guidelines, thereby wrongly issuing the permit. The appellate court agrees that the Service did not comply with NEPA guidelines as it failed to consider a reasonable range of alternatives that would lessen the take of bats in the area, however it upheld the prior decision that the Service adequately complied with the ESA by ensuring that Buckeye Wind took necessary measures to minimize and mitigate the impact on the Indiana bat population.
5 Aug 2016

Wind farm sues to block bird death data release

The legal dispute was generated by an Ottawa County birding organization, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Oak Harbor, which contends that bird death data held by both federal and state agencies is public information. Blue Creek Wind Farm LLC, which operates a wind farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio and Allen County, Indiana, says releasing its bird and bat kill reports would provide "trade secrets" to its competitors.
25 Jun 2016

Developer drops plan to build wind farm in Logan County

In the decision, commissioners said Everpower didn’t meet all the requirements of the application and failed to show why the project would have a positive impact on the local economy. ...Commissioner’s also cited a public meeting where about 40 residents spoke out against the project and only the developer spoke in favor.
19 Jun 2016

Wind proposal downed

“If the only feasible way this project can go forward is through a tax exemption and payment in lieu of taxes, as the wind developer claims, then something is wrong with the State tax law,” the resolution reads.
16 Jun 2016

Commissioners reject wind proposal

Logan-county-ohiowindresolution_thumb “The Logan County Board of County Commissioners is not convinced that over the life of the project that granting the PILOT would benefit the community. Likewise with respect to job creation, the Logan County Board of County Commissioners is not convinced that the amount of taxes abated would be exceeded by the benefit of gaining relatively few permanent employees,” the resolution reads.
15 Jun 2016

Potential Allen County wind energy transmission lines spark debate

Wind may indeed be free, but opponents of wind energy maintain that harvesting that energy is anything but. “There are problems with this that people are not aware of, and one of the biggest ones is that wind is one of the most expensive ways to reduce (carbon dioxide),” according to Kevon Martis, founder of the Michigan-based Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition.
30 Apr 2016

Bill continuing 'freeze' on clean energy expected soon

Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, has been circulating a draft of a three-year extension of the freeze and could introduce it as a bill as soon as next week, according to lawmakers and lobbyists who are closely following it. The bill would seek to implement some of the recommendations of the Energy Mandates Study Committee, a joint House-Senate panel that issued a final report in September.
14 Apr 2016

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Ohio&p=12
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