Library filed under Legal from Ohio
The application for the Black Fork wind energy facility was initially submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) on March 10, 2011. The project, if constructed would have included up to 91 turbines (up to 200 MW) across 14,500 acres in Richland and Crawford counties, Ohio. There was significant opposition to the project but it was granted a permit by the state. In December 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 5-2 decision that OPSB wrongfully granted the project an extension to the date on which construction was to begin from January 2017 to January 2019. The Court found that the change was an amendment to the permit and required a more extensive review process and would subject the project to more onerous state setback distances.
In a six-page filing obtained by The Blade and expected to be entered soon in the OPSB online docket, three lawyers for Utah-based sPower’s subsidiary, Seneca Wind LLC, notified the state siting board that the developer wants to “suspend the procedural schedule and stay discovery” until further notice.
Judge Rollex held off ruling on the validity of leases for now, but said he was denying sPower’s request for the preliminary injunction — in other words, denying the company’s request to go on private property to do its work whether landowners agreed or not.
The complaint filed in Seneca County Common Pleas Court states that each defendant refused to allow Seneca Wind access to their properties and that Seneca Wind needs to access the properties to analyze, plan and construct the project and to provide key information to Ohio Power Siting Board as it considers the application.
Retired Wood County Common Pleas Judge Robert Pollex, assigned by the Ohio Supreme Court to preside over the case, told attorneys after the final witness testified that he would give them until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to submit their final briefs. The judge is being asked by sPower to issue an order granting immediate access to 31 tracts of land in which a different would-be developer negotiated leases from the 30 property owners more than a decade ago.
Seneca Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Utah-based sPower, whiffed Monday on its first attempt for a court order that would have let it proceed with preconstruction work on 31 tracts of private land that are part of the massive wind farm it wants to build. Visiting Judge Robert Pollex denied a request from Seneca Wind attorneys for a temporary restraining order against 30 property owners holding the combined 31 leases.
There’s a new judge and a new hearing date for the legal complaint Utah-based wind turbine developer sPower has filed against 30 property owners whom the company claims are in breach of contract by resisting sPower’s attempts to come onto their property
The Supreme Court voted 5-2 that the Ohio Power Siting Board improperly approved a request by developers of the Black Fork Wind Energy Project to extend the date to begin construction from January 2017 until January 2019. Opponents of the farm, which would be located in portions of Crawford and Richland counties, contend the siting board allowed the company to use a procedure to evade new “setback” rules imposed by the General Assembly, which would require more distance between turbines and property lines.
This important legal challenge of the Ohio Power Siting Board decision tests whether the Board ignored state law and the conditions of its own certificate approving construction of the Black Fork wind energy facility when it granted a requested extension of the permit. A detailed description of the case is provided below and at the link appearing on this page. Oral arguments were heard on August 1, 2018 and can be watched at this link. Black Fork is proposed as a 91-turbine facility with a maximum capacity of 200 megawatts. The permit was initially issued in 2012.
For the second time since 2014, the Ohio Air National Guard has backed away from its plans to erect a commercial-scale, $1.5 million wind turbine at Camp Perry — a decision that the region’s biggest birding organization hopes will put an end to five years of contentious litigation and send a message to other would-be developers.
The victory sets an especially important precedent because many other wind energy projects are currently being planned around the Great Lakes, which could threaten the future of millions of migratory birds and bats. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has recommended that no turbines be built within 3 miles of the Great Lakes shoreline.
“Any settlement like this will help the project move forward,” Dagger said. “It ultimately may not look exactly like the initial project that was permitted.” There will likely be fewer turbines built, but the locations of those turbines will not change, he said.
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory and American Bird Conservancy dropped a federal lawsuit Thursday after the Ohio Air National Guard announced it had no plans to build a wind turbine at Camp Perry near Lake Erie.
Two leading bird conservation groups, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), have filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) over its plans to build and operate a wind turbine at its Camp Perry facility. Located in Port Clinton, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, Camp Perry lies in a major bird migration corridor, close to numerous Bald Eagle nests, and is likely to kill species protected under the Endangered Species Act such as Kirtland's Warbler and Piping Plover. The complaint can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the complaint is provided below.
This brief, filed before the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County, Ohio, responds to Iberdrola's (Avangrid Renewables) action to stop any public disclose of bird/bat mortality data at its Blue Creek wind facility. Iberdrola has argued that the number of birds and bats killed by its turbines is a “trade secret” protected under Ohio law. The introduction and summary of arguments for why Iberdrola's claims are not supported by Ohio law are provided below. The full brief can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The original complaint can be found here.
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a challenge of the way state officials approved a wind farm in Champaign County.
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."
“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.
A U.S. Appeals Court ruling provided mixed results for a proposed wind farm in Champaign County. ...The court ruled that the federal agency used the correct standard to show Everpower minimized the impact but failed to consider other alternatives that would have led to fewer bats killed.
The court’s majority found opponents failed to demonstrate the board’s action was unreasonable or unlawful. Justices Sharon Kennedy and Paul Pfeifer dissented.