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Entries in Appeals (3)

Friday
Sep062013

Energy News Roundup: August 31-September 6

This week in regional energy news …

Friday
Dec212012

Law Court Dismisses Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

In a memorandum of decision issued yesterday, the Maine Supreme Court dismissed an appeal (Docket # BEP-12-225) of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection license issued to First Wind for the construction of the 150-MW Oakfield Wind Power project.  The opinion, issued just two weeks after the Court heard oral argument, did not reach the merits of the appeal, which consisted of a single claim that the visual impact standard applied to wind power projects is unconstitutionally vague.  Instead, the Court found that project opponents had failed to preserve the claim for appeal because it had not been raised during the DEP’s year-long review of the project.  As a result, the appellants had waived the right to raise the claim before the Court.  In any case, the Court will have an opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act visual impact standard in the very near future, as the same claim has been raised in a pending Law Court appeal of the DEP license issued to Patriot Renewables for the construction of the Saddleback Ridge Wind project in and around Carthage, Maine.  First Wind was represented in the appeal by Verrill Dana Attorneys Juliet Browne and Gordon Smith.         

Thursday
Dec132012

Law Court Hears Oral Argument in Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

The Maine Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in an appeal of the Department of Environmental Protection license issued to First Wind for the construction of a 150-megawatt wind power project in and around Oakfield, Maine.  The single issue raised in the appeal was the project opponents’ claim that the statutory visual impact standard applied by the DEP was unconstitutionally vague.  Counsel for the project opponents faced an uphill task as the Court recently held in Uliano v. Board of Environmental Protection that a similar, less detailed visual impact standard contained in the Natural Resources Protection Act was sufficiently specific to withstand a void for vagueness challenge.  The justices appeared skeptical of the opponents’ legal claim, at one point noting that that the statutory standard’s requirement that visual impacts be “reasonable” is an objective concept found throughout the law.  The Court also questioned whether the opponents had waived their right to raise the issue of unconstitutional vagueness because they had not raised it during the administrative appeal to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.  First Wind was represented in the appeal by Verrill Dana Attorneys Juliet Browne and Gordon Smith.