Library filed under Legal from USA
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.
The county moved to kill a wind farm project years after agreeing to support it by “fast-tracking” a zoning ordinance and changing the rules for building permits and tax incentives, the project’s developers claim in a federal lawsuit.
Keep the North Shore Country announced it gave a 40-day notice to the wind farm, Na Pua Makani, and its owner, the AES Corp. The group alleges the project failed to obtain an environmental review after it added five additional parcels of land to its plans. Those parcels were not part of the project’s 2016 environmental impact statement, the group said in a news release.
The petition claims that the Wheatland Township Planning Commission’s vote on Ordinance 16.25 took place after the meeting had been adjourned, in violation of Michigan’s Open Meetings Act. It also alleges a conflict of interest among several Board members, who did not recuse themselves during a later, July 12, 2018 vote to adopt the ordinance.
The lawsuit is the second one filed over the project. In July, a Massachusetts woman who owns property near the proposed wind farm filed suit against the county and EDF Renewables over the granting of right of way for the company to run underground electrical cables on her land. Saline County residents also have alleged a number of improprieties in the extension of the conditional use permit, including open-meetings violations and conflicts of interest.
According to court documents, the defendants “have never submitted a valid application for a conditional use permit to construct and operate a wind energy project in Saline County.” Plaintiffs also allege the CUPs that were filed on behalf of the wind project are invalid, as development was supposed to be completed two years following the Board of Commissioners’ approval in 2016.
Pending appeal, a decision handed down in state Supreme Court Monday could spell the beginning of the end of the proposed $775 million Alle-Catt Wind Farm. State Supreme Court Judge Terrence Parker ruled the Freedom Town Board acted illegally in approving its new wind law at the urging of Invenergy, the developer of the proposed 340-megawatt wind farm spread across five towns.
“Today is not the end. We’re still going to be fighting,” said Kamalani Keliikuli, vice president of Ku Kiai Kahuku. “We just don’t want the turbines, and we want them to listen to us. We’re in it for the fight.” The arrests started Thursday night in Kalaeloa, where hundreds gathered to try to stop the equipment from leaving a base yard for the North Shore.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals is reviewing whether a key component of the windmill project’s environmental review is adequate. The challenge by Keep the North Shore Country is likely to carry on in court well into next year. “Should we prevail then these guys might not be able to operate,” said Sen. Gil Riviere, who represents the area at the legislature and is part of the Keep the North Shore Country group.
To date, the county has spent $22,725 on lawyers for work related to the Expedition Wind project since National Renewable Solutions purchased the project from an earlier developer. The county spent $2,973 on legal expenses with the earlier developer. County clerk Tina Spencer said Expedition has reimbursed the county $16,600 of those expenses.
Final ruling on the construction of 17 turbines on Dan's Mountain expected Oct. 16
The suit was filed Tuesday and names EDP Renewables, Arkwright Summit Wind Farm LLC, Horizon Wind Energy LLC, Tetra Tec EC Inc., Tetra Tech ES Inc., Tetra Tech Construction Inc., URS Corp., West Inc. Fisher Associates P.E., L.S., L.A. of New York, P.C., Fisher Associates, P.E., L.S., L.A., D.P.C., White Construction of Indiana LLC and any other corporations who may be liable to the plaintiffs. No court date has been set yet, though an answer by the companies is due in either 20 or 30 days depending on how the companies are served paperwork.
Commissioner’s ‘apparent collaboration’ with wind farm opponents an issue in lawsuit
The other contention is that the project developer failed to acquire control of the state-owned site for the wind farm within a PUC deadline. Collins said the developer missed a 120-day deadline because it didn't receive a permit for incidental Hawaiian hoary bat deaths until six months after the PUC approval. "You don't have an incidental take permit, you don't have site control, " he said.
“Buckeye Wind LLC and Champaign Wind LLC have relinquished the Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need issued for the Buckeye Wind project as construction activities have not commenced as required under the certificates,” according to a statement issued by Viola Baumann of Innogy – the Germany-based parent company of Buckeye Wind.
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.
Proponents of a wind farm project in the south-central part of Marion County received a favorable nod from the district court on its motion to dismiss a civil suit filed in mid-May.
A district judge has dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit seeking to block development of a wind farm in Marion County.
Rick Porter, the attorney for the 15 neighbors, said he had “yet to deal with a 50-page motion to dismiss.” “It seems they're trying to litigate the entire matter in a motion to dismiss,” he said, adding that it was “before we even have a chance to bring in witnesses” in a trial. He said his clients were “citizens hiring an attorney battling a mega-company with an unlimited budget.”
The group, along with a local landowner, sued the county last month to prevent board members Martin DeNaeyer and Tanya Storer from voting on the application. ...But in vacating his initial temporary injunction, State District Court Judge Mark Kozisek rejected the notion that those familial connections constitute a conflict of interest as defined by state law.