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Reply Brief to Whistling Ridge Application

REPLY TO STATEMENTS OF THE CASE

The Applicant argues that it “stipulated that no more than 38 turbines would be constructed” as part of the Project. WRE Br. at 5. This is incorrect, because the Applicant never proposed a 38-turbine project in compliance with EFSEC’s mandatory procedures. Instead, the proposal reviewed below was the 50-turbine proposal in the Application.

The Applicant, citing a letter written by its company president, Jason Spadaro, asserts that it “conducted more . . . wildlife surveys than any other previously proposed project.” WRE Br. at 4 (citing AR 15791). Mr. Spadaro’s self-serving and unsupported statement is patently incorrect. The Applicant did not even comply with the bare minimum requirements of the WDFW Wind Power Guidelines and EFSEC’s rules (see infra Part III.B)—let alone conduct more surveys than other projects.

The Counties make several statements about the economics of Skamania County. Counties Br. at 1–6, 15, 27. The Supreme Court should disregard these statements, which the Counties do not even attempt to tie to any applicable statute or rule, and which have no bearing on the issues presented in this appeal and no relevance to the applicable law.

Finally, State Respondents argue incorrectly that Petitioners “conceded” that they do not seek a reversal of the decisions. State Br. at 9. To clarify, Petitioners seek both reversal and remand of the decisions listed at pages 3 and 4 of the Opening Brief. However, Petitioners do not challenge State Respondents’ authority to regulate and approve wind energy projects, in contrast to the arguments made in the “ROKT” case. See Residents Opposed to Kittitas Turbines v. State EFSEC, 165 Wn. 2d 275, 305–11, 197 P.3d 1153 (2008). …

CONCLUSION

Because EFSEC failed to resolve numerous important issues that were contested below, and also violated and ignored multiple statutory and regulatory requirements in the course of its review, the Project’s true impacts were never evaluated and the decision to approve the Project was uninformed. The Court should reverse and remand for further review.

Download original document: “Whistling Ridge Petitioners Reply Brief [1]

Washington State Supreme Court – Oral arguments: Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Inc., et al v. EFSEC, et al. (Did the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council and governor properly approve the Whistling Ridge Wind Energy Project?) – Thursday, June 27, 2013: