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Turbine foes appeal to supreme court

Champaign leaders argue state board wrong on three points.

A state board made three key errors when it approved a plan for nearly 50 wind turbines in eastern Champaign County, according to an appeal county officials filed with the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Everpower Wind Holdings wants to build nearly 100 turbines in Champaign County and received approval in May for the second group of about 50 turbines.

Champaign County and three townships — Goshen, Union and Urbana — argued that the Ohio Power Siting Board should have required Everpower to post financial assurance for the total cost of decommissioning turbines at the end of the project.

The siting board allowed a per-turbine financial assurance, but the county said that plan lacked evidence to adequately cover the costs.

The appeal also said the state erred in failing to require the distance from the turbines to landowners’ property lines to meet manufacturer recommendations. Proponents of the project have previously argued the county and townships misinterpreted those recommendations, arguing the project met all state requirements for setbacks.

The county’s third appeal argued the state board did not allow the county and townships a meaningful chance to cross-examine “experts” who testified about part’s of the project’s application during the hearing process.

Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Jason Dagger, a spokesman for the wind project, declined comment because he had not yet had a chance to review the appeal. However, he said developers are willing to discuss concerns the county and townships may have about the project.

Members of Union Neighbors United, a group of residents opposed to the wind farm, have also said they plan to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, but that appeal was not filed by Tuesday afternoon.

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