• Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Review of Wind Energy Project
  • August 22, 2016 | Author: Christopher G. Foster
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Columbia Energy Partners, a private energy developer, proposed to build a 104-megawatt wind energy facility in southwestern Oregon. However, as the Court of Appeals aptly noted, “Renewable energy projects, although critical to the effort to combat climate change, can have significant adverse environmental impacts, just as the other large-scale developments do.” The proposed project (Project) included between 40 and 69 wind turbines to be built on a 10,500-acre privately-owned tract and the construction, operation and maintenance of a new 230-Kilovolt overhead electric transmission line. Because the right-of-way for the transmission line crosses public lands administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the construction of the wind turbines is a connected action, the entire project was subject to environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).