Today the Ohio Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in favor of EverPower in the Champaign Wind case. The BigWind parasites are here to stay. What is NOT difficult to read is the dissenting opinion of Justices Kennedy and Pfeiffer. Essentially, the minority found that, given the blade throw experience in Paulding County, the setbacks authorized by the OPSB are not safe and, even though the OPSB had the power to lengthen them, they did not. With respect to noise, the minority noted that both EverPower’s noise expert and UNU’s noise expert AGREED that the formula used to measure background noise was inappropriate for a quiet rural area. In fact, EverPower’s noise expert testified that in his 21 years of experience he had never used the measurement used in this case because it was an “unsuitable” formula. The dissenting justices found the actions of the OPSB to be “not only unreasonable, it is unconscionable and unlawful”. They assert that residents of Champaign County will be harmed.
We believe the failure of the OPSB to protect the people of Champaign County is, in part, a result of their failure to establish rules for noise as mandated by the Ohio General Assembly. Senate Bill 303 which was discussed in yesterday’s Wind News has been introduced to address rule-making deficiencies like the one in this case pertaining to wind turbine noise. We will probably see an effort to address the noise rules at some point in the future but it will not help any community with an approved wind project that used the discredited measurements. The record in this case is clear that people will be harmed. We believe that, at a minimum, any community with an approved project that used the discredited “Leq” method should refuse to facilitate building that project through a grant of tax abatement. As the justices noted, a complaint process designed to handle noise complaints will protect no one….
The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the issuance of a state permit to construct a 52-turbine wind farm in Champaign County, overruling the legal objections of neighboring residents.
…In her dissent, Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote that the court disregarded evidence of a “blade throw” at a Paulding County wind farm in 2012 in which part of a 6.5-pound chunk of a failed turbine blade flew 764 feet.
Opponents of the wind farm argued that the property-line setback should have been more than tripled to 1,640 feet to protect neighbors from blade disintegration.
The setbacks approved by state regulators are insufficient to protect the public, Kennedy wrote. She said the board also used an unsuitable method to calculate noise from the turbines as acceptable. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer joined her dissent….