The Osage Nation has long opposed both wind farms, the Osage Wind project and the Mustang Run project in northern Oklahoma. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs said the wind farm developers must seek a permit from the tribe. But the developers said no such permit is required.
Library filed under Legal from Oklahoma
The Osage Nation is arguing that wind farm developers need a permit from the tribe to crush rocks at this location near the intersection of U.S. 60 and Oklahoma 18 for the construction wind turbine foundations seen Oct. 22, 2014. The Osage Wind Project argues that it already has all the necessary permits to continue construction
On August 27, 2014, the Oklahoma Wind Action Association (OWAA), another organization that opposes wind projects in Canadian and Kingfisher Counties, filed a proposed class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on behalf of landowners who live within 3 miles of the proposed project. According to the complaint, the wind farms proposed by Apex Clean Energy will have adverse health effects and result in de facto “no-build zones” to which some property owners never consented.
The developer of a $452 million wind farm in rural Oklahoma has asked a federal court to dismiss a class action opposing the project, asserting a lack of scientific support for plaintiffs’ trespass and nuisance claims.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants are scheduled to complete financing on the first phase of their wind farm in Canadian and Kingfisher counties in October and intend to begin construction on the first phase of the wind farm in early 2015. As a result, Industrial Wind Turbines, by their own safety standards, create a de facto “no-build” zone in a 1,500 radius surrounding the turbine, according to the suit. In many instances, this “no-build” zone overlaps with the property of landowners who have no agreement with the defendants, the suit says.
A judge on Thursday threw out two of three lawsuits involving proposed wind farms in Osage County, dealing a blow to the Osage Nation’s efforts to stop a forest of industrial turbines from rising over the tallgrass prairie west of Pawhuska.
“Industrial wind energy in Oklahoma is unregulated, allowing companies to build wind farms wherever they can make deals with landowners without any required notice to those impacted,” said Brent Robinson, the president of Oklahoma Wind Action Association. “Research shows a negative impact to health for people within three miles of a turbine.
“Despite working tirelessly with local officials and the wind company to request a reasonable setback of wind turbines from our property, our only recourse now is litigation,” said Terra Walker, a plaintiff and property owner in Okarche, Okla. “There are real health concerns when turbines are placed too close to homes. This is about requiring safe setbacks to protect the health and safety of our families.”
In this important case, the plaintiffs are raising concerns regarding the health impacts and interference in the use and enjoyment of their land. In the complaint, the plaintiffs note that wind turbines emit infra and low frequency sounds that are inaudible to the human ear, and which has had have a long history of causing adverse effects to the human body and mind, including sleep loss, increased stress and cardiac issues. The plaintiffs are also concerned about how noise and shadow flicker emitted from rotating blades deteriorates the ability—in both children and adults—to properly think, remember, or concentrate. A portion of the filing appears below. The full filing can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
A planned wind farm between Piedmont and Okarche could be up in the air after the Piedmont City Council voted to support legal action against the developers of the project and declared the wind farm a public nuisance. The actions, which came at a city council meeting Monday evening, were aimed at the Kingfisher wind farm, a 300-megawatt development in northern Canadian County and southern Kingfisher County.