Special thanks to Attorney David Ganje for contributing this informative essay on wind energy leases.
Library filed under Legal from South Dakota
Ordinances governing wind energy systems, which are to be developed within a county, have a wide ranging effect on the local geography and economy. Local participation in ordinance drafting is a great advantage of county lawmaking. This leaves an opportunity for county commissioners to make the public, its local residents, “partners” in this lawmaking. There should be little uncertainty in ordinance language, it should be transparent, and the end product should favor open public participation in wind farm applications.
Commission lawyer Kristin Edwards said the docket is a matter of "first impression" for wind farms regarding such requirements as setback distances and noise levels. She said it could set precedent for future wind permits anywhere in South Dakota.
Judge Carmen Means ...denied the motion for summary judgment in an oral ruling issued with little explanation indicating she did not have enough information to make a ruling and that the decision will have to be made after hearing all the evidence.
Court records show the scam involved acquiring land near Casper and in Butte County, South Dakota, to satisfy investors that the projects were moving forward with construction of wind farms. Organizers put up signs at the South Dakota site and took pictures of contractors they hired to push dirt around to make it appear construction was ongoing.