Ruling on Saddleback Ridge Wind noise levels

In this important ruling by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the court found that a proposed wind project that was accepted for review by the State prior to more restrictive nighttime sound emissions limits being adopted, would still be subject to the new sound limits. The full ruling can be accessed at the link below.


Friends of Maine's Mountains, Friends of Saddleback Mountain, and several individuals1 (collectively, Friends) appeal from a final order of the Board of Environmental Protection. The Board affirmed the Department of Environmental Protection's order approving the application of Saddleback Ridge Wind, LLC (Saddleback), for a permit to construct the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project.

Friends argues that the Board abused its discretion when determining which nighttime sound level limit to apply to the applications. Friends also makes three constitutional arguments: (1) that the Maine Wind Energy Act, 35-A M.R.S. §§ 3401-3458 (2012)2, denies Friends equal protection by denying protection for lakes not rated for scenic resources in the Maine's Finest Lakes Study (MFL Study); (2) that the Wind Energy Act violates the Separation of Powers Clause of the Maine Constitution by having overly vague criteria for assessing visual impact pursuant to 35-A M.R.S. § 3452(3); and (3) that the Department and Board demonstrated bias, thus violating Friends's due process rights. We vacate the Board's order related to nighttime sound requirements and remand for further proceedings.




Download file (165 KB) pdf


MAR 5 2013
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