Belle Creek Township was informed on Thursday, December 15 by Christy Brusven, legal counsel for National Wind, which is developing the AWA Goodhue project, that her client is suing the township for “declaratory judgment” and “injunctive relief.”
The Belle Creek Town Board adopted a one-year moratorium in June 2010 on all development, siting, and construction on the wind project. This moratorium was extended in May 2011 to last 120 days after the date AWA Goodhue completed the permitting process for its wind farm in Goodhue County, much of which lies in Belle Creek Township.
According to state statute 216F.07, the site permit that was issued to AWA by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in June was the only approval they needed for the project.
AWA’s attorneys said the company is entitled to a declaratory judgment that the permit pre-empts and supersedes the township’s effort to regulate the project with a moratorium. They also said AWA will potentially suffer irreparable harm if Belle Creek is allowed to interfere with the company’s right to proceed with development, and that the company is entitled to an injunction preventing such interference.
The Belle Creek Town Board was given 20 days to provide a written response to the complaint. If this is not done, the board will not get to explain its case in court.