Federal judge tosses lawsuit over ‘take’ permit for Ohio wind project

A federal judge on March 18 dismissed with prejudice a September 2013 lawsuit brought by a group opposing an Ohio wind farm, saying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service properly issued Buckeye Wind LLC an incidental take permit for the endangered Indiana bat.

Judge Richard Leon, out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, disagreed with Union Neighbors United’s contention that the Fish and Wildlife Service violated guidelines under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. He said the agency followed all relevant statutes. The judge granted a defendant motion for summary judgment, dismissed a plainitiff motion for summary judgment and threw out the lawsuit itself.

This wind project is in west-central Champaign County, Ohio. Buckeye Wind, in a January 2014 motion to intervene in this case, said it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EverPower Wind LLC, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. The project is expected to include installation of up to 100 wind turbine generators. Each wind turbine will have a nameplate capacity rating of 1.6 MW to 2.5 MW, resulting in a total capacity of up to 250 MW.

With the project tied up with issues in court, including this court case over the take permit, the Ohio Power Siting Board in August 2014 approved an extension to May 2018 of the construction start deadline for this project. In March 2010, the board granted Buckeye Wind a certificate to construct a wind-powered facility in Champaign County, Ohio. Under that certificate, Buckeye had to commence a continuous course of construction of the proposed facility within five years, by March 22, 2015.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.