SD Supreme Court docket docket Upholds Approval of Wind Energy Farm Setting up Enable

This put up was authored by Matthew Loescher, Esq.

Topped Ridge Wind II, LLC utilized to the South Dakota Public Utilities Payment (“PUC”) looking for permission to assemble a giant wind energy farm in northeast South Dakota. Quite a lot of individuals from Grant and Codington Counties who had been affected by the potential wind farm intervened to oppose Topped Ridge’s software program. The PUC carried out a contested case listening to and thereafter issued a written decision approving the permit. The intervenors sought overview throughout the circuit courtroom. The courtroom affirmed the PUC’s decision and two of the intervenors appealed.

On enchantment, the Intervenors first argued that Topped Ridge didn’t fulfill its burden in establishing that the Endeavor would modify to related authorized pointers and pointers on account of Topped Ridge carried out sound modeling based on a zoning ordinance that was amended after Topped Ridge obtained a CUP. The report mirrored that whereas the PUC was not involved in granting CUPs or drafting the ordinances spherical which the CUPs are licensed, it nonetheless considered this argument by way of the contested case listening to and determined that Crown Ridge was already in compliance with the related authorized pointers and pointers in Grant County on the time the permit software program was submitted. Furthermore, Topped Ridge complied with ARSD 20:10:22:23 by providing a forecast of the have an effect on that the event, operation, and maintenance of the Endeavor would have on secure waste administration companies. As such, the courtroom held that the PUC did not err when it determined Topped Ridge met its burden of proof to regulate to all related authorized pointers and pointers.

The Intervenors subsequent contended that failing to adjust to the distinctive Grant County ordinance requiring sound measurements below fifty decibels at accent buildings “runs instantly afoul” of SDCL 49-41B-22(3). Proper right here, unrebutted testimony and sound study established that the Endeavor moreover complied with the fifty-decibel prohibit even at unoccupied accent buildings. Accordingly, it was not clear error for the PUC to search out out that adopting the noise ranges set out throughout the amended Grant County ordinance posed no hazard to the properly being, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants dwelling near the Endeavor.

As a final matter, the courtroom well-known the textual content material of the regulation did not significantly require an air prime quality study, nonetheless merely mentioned that the applicant ought to current proof that the ability will modify to air prime quality legal guidelines. The PUC’s willpower that Topped Ridge has carried out so was not clearly misguided, as a result of the PUC adopted the related statutory directives in granting the event permit to Topped Ridge and precisely determined that Topped Ridge glad its burden of proof beneath SDCL 49-41B-22.

Throughout the Matter of Administrative Enchantment Garry Ehlebracht, 2022 WL 3097464 (SD 8/3/2022)

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