A lawsuit against a wind farm under construction in Kingfisher and Canadian counties can go forward on a limited basis, a federal judge has ruled.
U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti dismissed a claim of anticipatory trespass, but allowed a claim of anticipatory nuisance to progress against Kingfisher Wind LLC, a unit of Apex Clean Energy Inc. The firm is building a 298-megawatt wind farm in southern Kingfisher county and northern Canadian County.
The lawsuit was filed in August by a group of nearby residents who are worried about noise from the 149-turbine development and the possibility of ice shearing off blades in cold weather, among other concerns.
The residents asked DeGiusti to expedite the trial for a permanent injunction against the development in a court filing earlier this month.
“We’re simply asking the court to hear the case soon before we lose the opportunity to protect our properties and families from being damaged by turbines that are planned too close to our homes,” said Terra Walker, one of seven property owners involved in the lawsuit.
Walker’s home is within a half mile of one of the planned turbine locations. She and other plaintiffs want turbines no closer than two miles from their properties. They are part of the Oklahoma Wind Action Association, which said it has more than 380 members in Canadian and Kingfisher counties.
“This project has already torn apart our community by dividing neighbors and families against each other. It has turned friends into rivals,” said Brent Robinson, the association’s president.
Robinson said the two-mile setback from nonparticipating landowners was reasonable given the recent passage of Senate Bill 808. The law, which goes into effect Aug. 21, includes wind turbine setbacks of 1.5 nautical miles from schools, hospitals and airports. It doesn’t address homes.
Wind turbine noise
Included in the plaintiffs’ request for an expedited trial were reports on wind turbine noise from an acoustical specialist from Michigan and a radiologist from Vermont. A mechanical engineer from the University of Tulsa wrote another report on how far and fast ice could be thrown from turbine blades.
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