The page includes a legal challenge of the Department of Energy’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ funding and authorization of the Icebreaker Wind Project, a first-of-its-kind proposed offshore wind energy facility in Lake Erie with a price tag in excess of $40 million that is expressly intended to spur future development of offshore industrial wind energy in the Great Lakes Region and beyond. A portion of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed from the document link(s) on this page.
Documents filed under Legal from Ohio
Buckeye Wind LLC and Champaign Wind LLC, who collectively sought and received approval to construct the Buckeye I and Buckeye II wind energy facilities, have now withdrawn their applications and surrendered their certificates of environmental compatibility and public need. The notices of withdrawal are available at the document links on this page.
In early 2018, Seneca Wind LLC initiated the process before the Ohio Power Siting Board to secure authorization to construct and operate a 70 turbine (up to 200 MW) wind energy facility on 25,000 acres of leased land situated in Seneca County, Ohio. This letter submitted to the Siting Board states that Seneca Wind LLC wishes to withdraw its application from consideration.
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.
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.
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 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.
Following three weeks of hearings in December 2012, the siting board approved a certificate for Champaign County Wind with 72 conditions, which led to the elimination of four turbines that did not meet the recommended property setbacks. After the board denied a rehearing to the opponents, the neighbors and the county appealed to the Supreme Court. Because the appeal was made from the board’s decision, an administrative agency, the Court had to accept it for review. The following summary details the court's opinion. The full opinion can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
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.