Documents from Pennsylvania

Malitsch v. Penn Forest Township Zoning Hearing Board: Decision

Malitschvspennforesttwp2-decision_thumb This court decision concerns the land use appeal initiated by Phillip Malitsch and Christopher Mangold against a Notice of Deemed Approval assumed by Atlantic Wind for a project in Bethlehem, PA. Penn Forest Township and Atlantic Wind each filed to present additional evidence against the appeal, providing testimony on project infrastructure and turbine noise. The court raised concerns regarding Atlantic Wind's inexact turbine noise predictions and the project's negative impacts on the area's potable water supply. The judge ultimately ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and vacated the Notice of Deemed Approval, and denied the special exceptions Atlantic Wind had requested. Portions of the court decision are cited below. The entire decision can be accessed by selecting the document link on this page.
21 Apr 2020

Penn Forest Township prevails against Atlantic Wind (Iberdrola)

Atlanticwindvspennforesttwp-opinion_thumb Atlantic Wind (aka Iberdrola) filed a complaint on September 26, 2016 (amended on November 7, 2016) before the Pennsylvania Carbon County Court of Common Pleas arguing that the venue to hear its Bethlehem Watershed wind turbine proposal was unsafe and that the location  should be changed and an independent hearing officer appointed. Atlantic Wind alleged that threats of violence by the public impacted the company's ability to receive a fair hearing before the Township zoning board. Atlantic Wind also requested an injunction barring the zoning board from holding further hearings until the court could rule. In this ruling the Court of Common Pleas ruled against Atlantic Wind. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the order is provided below.  
17 Feb 2017

Court decision denying Iberdrola permit upheld

Pmm_atlantic_renewable__28appeal2_29_thumb This important ruling by a panel of three Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Court judges reverses a county judge's order that allowed PPM Atlantic Renewable (now Iberdrola Renewables) to construct the South Chestnut Windpower Project in southern Fayette County, PA. The project consists of 24 turbines, each standing 425 feet tall. Ths week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the reversal. The decision, issued on May 20, 2014, upheld minimum setbacks from all property lines, not just participating landowners involved in the project (eliminating participating vs non-participating property owners), due to safety issues.  It also upheld that sound studies and bat studies must be completed to allow the project to be built. Despite the appeal process continuing, Iberdrola went ahead and erected the turbines but the project was built without the proper permits and approximately 14-15 of the turbines are out of compliance with the setback restrictions. The facts in this case as affirmed by the Supreme Court are provided below. The three court decisions issued by the lower courts and the Supreme Court can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. 
23 Aug 2015

Notice of violations of the endangered species act and act’s implementing regulations in connection with the proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind Project

11.3.2011_shaffer_biop_notice_letter_thumb This letter of intent to sue was filed with the Department of the Interior and the US Army Corps in reference to a proposed wind energy facility to be built on Shaffer Mountain in Penmsylvania. Excerpts of the letter appear below. The complete letter and supporting testimony can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
3 Nov 2011

Appeal of: Broad Mountain Development Company, LLC

Broad_mountian_development_company_thumb This 18-page opinion and order issued by a three-judge Commonwealth Court panel upheld county Judge Charles M. Miller's ruling that the zoning permit issued to  Broad Mountain Development Co. LLC was correctly revoked by Butler Township. Broad Mountain sought permission to construct 20-28 wind turbines in the township. The panel found the developer did not have the right to the permit because wind turbines were not allowed in a Woodland-Conservation zoning district in the township. In addition, the panel ruled that the citizens who opposed the building of the windmills filed a timely appeal of Broad Mountain's original permit, and the company did not acquire a vested right to the permit, according to the opinion written by Judge P. Kevin Brobson.
7 Mar 2011

Evaluation of Pennsylvania Expansion of Tier 1 AEPS to 15%

Eva-evaluation-bv-report_thumb Energy Ventures Analysis critiqued Black and Veatch's assessment of a 15 percent Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard for the State of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania House Bill 80/Senate Bill 92 considers increasing Pennsylvania’s Tier I Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) from 8% to 15% of retail sales by 2022 with a special 3 percent solar set-aside. The AEPS expansion would also include a new 3 percent of retail sales requirement to be supplied by coal plants retrofitted with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology.
22 Apr 2010

In defense of larger setbacks -- a letter from Martha Young (PA)

The following information was submitted to the Potter County Commissioners of Potter County Pennsylvania during their regular meeting on September 25, 2008. Martha Young appeared before the Commissioners to request a 1-mile setback from non-participating landowner property lines. Prior to her submission, Ms. Young searched for documentation to defend her request. The materials presented before the County board were the result of this search. Links to her supporting documents can be found below.
25 Sep 2008

Stull vs. Gamesa Energy USA LLC and Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm, LLC

Stullvsgamesa_thumb Todd and Jill Stull filed a complaint for damages and injunctive relief against Gamesa and Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC (Babcock and Brown) due to excessive noise, flicker and other nuisance that are causing irreparable harm to the Plaintiffs and robbing them of their enjoyment of their property. A portion of their filing is detailed below. The full filing can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.
1 May 2008

West Providence PA wind ordinance

Westprovidence_thumb An ordinance of the township of West Providence, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, concerning and regulating the placement, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of wind turbine generators, the issuance of land use permits in connection therewith, and prescribing penalties for violations hereof. Section 12.1 of the ordinance pertaining to setbacks is included below (2,000 feet from a property line; 2,500 feet from all structures). The full text can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
7 Apr 2008

US Fish and Wildlife Service letter to Gamesa regarding Shaffer Mountain (PA) wind energy proposal

Usfws_shaffermountainpa_thumb US Fish and Wildlife Service responded to Gamesa Energy USA in regard to whether an “Incidental take” permit could be granted for the Shaffer Mountain wind project proposed for Somerset County, PA. An “Incidental take” permit allows for the destruction of federally listed species. A subset of the letter is included on this page. The full letter, in PDF format, can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
19 Dec 2007

Tioga Preservation Group letter to County Planning Commission re: AES

Tiogapreservationlettertocountyplanningcommission_thumb This letter was submitted to the Tioga County Planning Commission on December 12 in advance of the Planning Commission unanimously voting to grant AES Armenia Mountain Wind L.L.C. conditional approval to construct over 100 wind turbines in the Eastern Region of Tioga County. The letter was submitted on behalf of the Tioga Preservation Group which contends that the conditional approval by the Commission would be in violation of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and other processes established in the county.
12 Dec 2007

Pennsylvania Biological Survey position statement re: wind power development on public lands

... because wind energy development has associated environmental costs, wind energy development should only be instituted on state lands if the environmental benefits can be demonstrated to exceed the environmental costs. ... The environmental benefits of wind energy development, in the mid-Atlantic area in general and on Pennsylvania state lands in particular, are small relative to the negative consequences, which include habitat fragmentation and mortality to birds and bats.
14 Sep 2007
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