An opponent of the proposed Buckeye Wind farm in Champaign County says in a new Ohio Supreme Court filing that it should not be built because the provision that justified it in Ohio’s renewable energy law is unconstitutional.
Library filed under Legal from Ohio
The Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal earlier this month sent a notice of intent to sue the Ohio Air National Guard, challenging the results of an environmental assessment of the project and a subsequent finding of no significant impact (FONSI) released in August that cleared the way for the turbine to be built. The two groups say the Air National Guard skirted federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, by not properly analyzing the impacts on a host of sensitive avian species.
Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the American Bird Conservancy, a leading national organization, accused the National Guard of circumventing the environmental review process and of violating the federal Endangered Species Act. The Black Swamp group has long opposed the wind turbine plan, maintaining it would threaten millions of birds and bats that pass over the lake during the spring and fall migrations.
State officials listened to evidence Monday on Buckeye Wind’s request to amend portions of its certificate for the first phase of the Buckeye Wind farm. Officials from the company are seeking to relocate a substation within the same parcel, relocate four access roads, re-size two construction yards and install some collection lines.
Two Ottawa County wind turbine projects are proceeding despite protests from birders and warnings about the risk to bald eagles and endangered birds. The towers, a 198-foot, $1.5 million federally funded turbine to be installed at Camp Perry and a roughly 325-foot tower recently erected at the nearby Lake Erie Business Park, are unrelated but have united opponents, who contend whirling blades don’t belong in the migratory bird region along the lake shore.
Champaign County prosecutors listed several concerns in their appeal of the second phase of the project. They include arguments that the state did not allow the county and townships a meaningful chance to cross-examine experts who testified about parts of the project’s application. Prosecutors also raised concerns that the state board should have required the wind company to meet manufacturer’s recommendations for setbacks from homes and property lines.
A state board made three key errors when it approved a plan for nearly 50 wind turbines in eastern Champaign County, according to an appeal county officials filed with the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The Champaign County commissioners will appeal a recent state decision to approve the Buckeye Wind Project, saying the county will contest parts of the decision, including setbacks, use of roads and bridges and decommissioning.
Union Neighbors United, a group of residents opposed to the project, will have to evaluate the case further and decide on the best option, said Chris Walker, an attorney for the group. Robert McConnell, a member of UNU, said he wants to take the fight as far as it can go. “We’re in it for the long haul, and the next step is the Supreme Court, and that’s where we’ll be going,” McConnell said.
Opponents of the project, which would feature 91 wind turbines spread across 24,200 acres in Richland and Crawford counties, have claimed there is inadequate financial protection if the turbines are decommissioned and that there is no record of how much it would cost to remove the decommissioned turbines, among other technical legal points.
The Ohio Power Siting Board has agreed to allow more time to review parts of its decision regarding the second phase of the Buckeye Wind Project, after Champaign County and local officials raised concerns about the proposal.
Officials from Champaign County, Urbana and a group of residents opposed to the wind farm asked that the siting board to reconsider all, or parts of its decision. They raised concerns ranging from how far the turbines should be set back from homes, to noise and whether there is a need for the project.
The fate of the proposed Black Fork Wind Farm will soon be one step closer to being decided, as its approval by the state continues to be considered by the Ohio Supreme Court.
On Wednesday the Ohio Supreme Court granted in part, but also denied in part, a motion to dismiss an appeal filed by opponents of the project ...Among other technical legal points, the appeal claims inadequate financial protection if the turbines are decommissioned, and cites no record of how much it would cost to remove the decommissioned turbines.
The Supreme Court of Ohio upheld an order issued by the state’s Power Siting Board approving the application of Buckeye Wind LLC to construct and operate a large-scale “wind farm” in Champaign County. The court’s 4-3 opinion authored by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger includes dissenting opinions by two justices. The dissenting opinions provide important insight into the problems with the State's approval of the project. Those opinions are provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.