Mar 23, 2012

Fox Island Wind Neighbors win key legal skirmish against DEP & FIW

On March 20th, 2012, the Maine Superior Court denied a motion by  Vinalhaven windmill operator Fox Islands Wind LLC, seeking dismissal of  the appeal filed last July by aggrieved neighbors of the 3 turbine windfarm. A major issue of the Fox Islands Wind Neighbors was the chronic & objectionable noise created by the three Vinalhaven turbines (5 minute mp3)

The company claimed that the State Court had no jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the decision made by Commissioner Patty Aho of Maine DEP, who declared in a "Conditions Compliance Order" that the company was in compliance. The company  cited MRSA 35A: 3456
 "....Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department's certification pursuant to this section regarding a development that does not otherwise require the department's approval pursuant to this Title is not itself subject to judicial review as final agency action or otherwise"....

In her decision, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy agreed with FIWN, however, that the Conditions Compliance Order issued by Aho was itself an enforcement action, and was not  the certification itself.  Therefore 35A sec 3456 doesn't apply, and the Court has the right to review the issue.  


Brad Blake said...

I hate the photo, the ugly industrial wind turbines ruining the dramatic view of this part of Penobscot Bay! Great news for FIWN. A judge who stood up to the wind industry!

Maine Resident said...

Its unfortunate that this community owned and operated project has been mischaracterized and misrepresented by a few handful of individuals (5 or 6) who want to derail the overwhelming success of FIW for self-gain. Its hard to even categorize this as a minority. These few people continue to distort the record and refuse to work with the community. The working communities of both islands deserve a greater commitment to honesty and cooperation. The selfish decision to litigate benefits no one except a few egos and the pockets of a few attorneys.