CLEVELAND, Ohio – The construction of a six-turbine wind project planned for 8-to-10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland will likely not impair the Lake Erie water, the Ohio EPA ruled Monday.
The EPA issued a water quality certificate of approval confirming that the Icebreaker Windpower farm has complied with the federal Clean Water Act and will not cause pollution, moving the $126 million project a step closer to construction in 2021.
“This is another, important step forward for Icebreaker,” Beth Nagusky, director of Sustainable Development for the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, said in a prepared release.
“This project continues to be rigorously and thoroughly vetted by numerous state and federal agencies. The Ohio EPA water quality certificate means that Icebreaker will meet federal clean water standards as long as the recommended safeguards are followed during construction and operation.”
Earlier this month, the Ohio Power Siting Board gave the project its conditional approval. Icebreaker still must earn approvals and gain permits from 14 local, state and federal agencies.
The siting board’s approval came with restrictions on night operation until LEEDCo obtains the results of bird- and bat-monitoring studies from cameras, radar and collision detectors at the construction site.
Government and business supporters of the project have said it has the potential to create more than 500 jobs, add $168 million to the region’s economy and generate cheap green electricity for decades.
“Our approach has been and will continue to be methodical,” Nagusky said. “This project represents the kind of innovation that will help earn Greater Cleveland and all of Ohio an international reputation for taking action toward clean energy and reducing the risk of climate change.”
If approved for construction, Icebreaker would be North America’s first-ever freshwater wind turbine project.
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