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Court to hear final appeals in turbine case

URBANA – In September, Ohio’s highest court will host oral arguments concerning a plan to build more than 50 wind turbines in Champaign County.

Champaign County prosecutors, as well as a local citizens group opposed to the Buckeye Wind project, filed appeals with the Ohio Supreme Court last year highlighting their concerns with the project.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments from attorneys on both sides of the case on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Along with the legal arguments that have been filed with the court, each side will have 15 minutes to make their case.

The Buckeye Wind Project, which was approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board last year, would allow Everpower Wind Holdings, based in New York, to construct 53 wind turbines throughout Champaign County.

County officials have said their neither approve nor oppose the project. But prosecutors raised concerns that 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.

Union Neighbors United, a citizens group opposed to the project, also filed a separate appeal arguing that among other issues, the OPSB failed to establish clear noise standards for the project.

Jack Van Kley, an attorney representing UNU, said the supreme court could approve the plan as is, or it could order the OPSB to review and make changes to the project.

Representatives from the Buckeye Wind Project could not be reached for comment Monday.