Library filed under Legal from Ohio
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.
In her dissent, Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote that the court disregarded evidence of a “blade throw” at a Paulding County wind farm in 2012 in which part of a 6.5-pound chunk of a failed turbine blade flew 764 feet.
The group fighting a proposed wind farm in southern Huron County near Greenwich has filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. The appeal seems to be the only route left to fight the proposed Greenwich Windpark LLC project, which seeks to set up about two dozen wind turbines, said Kevin Ledet, chairman of Greenwich Neighbors United.
But members of Union Neighbors United, a group that has fought the project for several years, are appealing that decision to the Ohio Supreme Court. Court documents filed last month show UNU is arguing the OPSB and project developers did not follow the proper procedures when seeking an extension. They also argue Everpower failed to prove the extension was necessary. Officials from Buckeye had argued an extension was needed, in part because ongoing litigation delayed the project.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled a federal agency was within its rights when it issued a take permit to a proposed Champaign County wind farm that critics said could harm an endangered bat.
In their request for re-hearing, attorneys for UNU argued Everpower should have been required to file a request to amend the certificate, a more lengthy process that would have allowed for public comment and testimony. The request also argued the siting board lacks the authority to approve the extension through a motion submitted to the board.
Following the denial of the requests, the residents now have 60 days to decide if they wish to file an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. Objections to the project included: lack of consideration of the endangered Indiana brown bat; inadequate setbacks from neighboring properties, shadow flicker issues, noise concerns and a belief that residents of the six townships involved should be able to vote on the proposal.
The Ohio Power Siting Board denied a request Monday that would have allowed Champaign County prosecutors to present evidence about proposed changes in the first phase of the Buckeye Wind Project. The county will decide whether to appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
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.
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.