URBANA – Champaign County prosecutors, as well as a citizens group opposed to the Buckeye Wind Project, filed separate appeals with the Ohio Supreme Court this month highlighting their concerns with the proposed project.
The Buckeye Wind Project was approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board earlier this year, and eventually will construct 53 wind turbines throughout the county. The project is being proposed by Everpower Wind Holdings, a company based in New York.
The appeals, filed earlier this month, are the last opportunity for attorneys to raise issues with the proposed project.
Nick Selvaggio, Champaign County prosecutor, said the county neither opposes nor approves of the proposed wind project. However, he said his office is responsible for looking after the interests of the county, the townships and local residents.
This will be one of the first large-scale wind projects in Ohio, and Selvaggio said future projects could be affected by the decisions made in this case.
“It’s our job to ask what happens if something goes wrong, and who should be held accountable for that,” Selvaggio said.
Among the issues raised in the appeal, the county argued the OPSB made a mistake in allowing Buckeye Wind to determine the amount of financial assurance necessary to pay for road and bridge repair before construction without first getting the approval of the Champaign County Engineer.
In addition, the appeal argued that although the OPSB required Buckeye to provide $5,000 for each turbine to cover the costs of decommissioning, no evidence was presented to show how the OPSB settled on that amount.
Union Neighbors United, a local citizens group opposed to the project, also filed a separate appeal with the state Supreme Court. It argued, among other issues, that the OPSB failed to establish clear noise standards for the project. They also argued that Christopher Shears, Everpower’s senior vice president of development, should not have been allowed to testify on several aspects of the initial application because he is not an expert in some of the topics he discussed.
It will likely be several months before the Supreme Court makes a decision in the case.
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