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Residents file suit against Mason County over wind farm

A citizens group is challenging the approval of a wind farm near Ludington. It says Mason County didn’t do enough to protect public health and safety before issuing a permit.

The County first gave the go-ahead for Consumers Energy to put up fifty-six turbines in August.

Then the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Renewable Energy appealed that decision to a County Zoning Board. But that Board upheld the permit last month. So now the group has filed its objections with the Court.

The Alliance argues that the project will harm public health and safety because the turbines will be too close to some homes and too close to high pressure gas lines.

Spokesman Cary Shineldecker says officials could have put more restrictions in the permit. “There could have been design factors taken into consideration to make it safer,” he says. “And we don’t feel there were and therefore we feel it should have been denied.”

A county official says the lawsuit is not a surprise. But he refuses to comment on its substance.

The Citizens Alliance says the County’s own rules require that nine criteria be met for a big special project, such as the wind farm. Those include not harming residents, lowering their property values or disrupting the character of their surroundings. And the Alliance charges this project fails all those tests.