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Wind farm opponents in Huron County getting another hearing

The Ohio Power Siting Board’s decision in August to let a controversial wind farm in southern Huron County go forward apparently wasn’t the final word, after all.

Opponents of the Greenwich Windpark LLC project had planned to file an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Omega Crop Co. has filed a notice at the Ohio Supreme Court that it is appealing that August decision, but Omega also has sought a second rehearing from the board. And the board has notified Omega that it will consider its new request for a rehearing, said Matthew Schilling, a spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

An administrative law judge has extended the time for the board to answer the latest request. It’s not known when the board will act, Schilling said.

Last year, the Power Siting Board held public hearings and then approved the project, which calls for building 25 wind turbines about 490 feet high in an area just north of Huron County’s southern border. Omega asked for a rehearing, and after about a year, the board voted in August to reaffirm its decision and let the wind farm move forward.

Greenwich Neighbors United noted in a news release that if it is unhappy with the results of the second application for a rehearing, it can appeal that to the Ohio Supreme Court, too.

The second application for rehearing contends that many of the wind turbines do not meet requirements for minimum setbacks, i.e., the distance of the wind turbines from property lines, and that the project has not acquired the necessary setback requirement waiver from property owners who are next to the proposed wind farm.

“The proposed wind turbines are very close to farms, residences, roads and recreational property and that is why the community has been working so hard to make sure that our health, safety and property value concerns are addressed,” said Kevin Ledet, the chairman of Greenwich Neighbors United, the group leading the opposition to the wind farm.

“These concerns have not been addressed to this point even though 62 percent of the wind turbines violate minimum setback requirements,” Ledet said.