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High court allows western Ohio wind farm to proceed

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Opponents of a planned wind farm in western Ohio’s Champaign County have lost a legal challenge.

A 5-2 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday upholds a 2013 power siting board decision allowing Champaign Wind LLC’s “Buckeye Wind II” project to proceed. The plan included up to 56 wind turbines on 13,500 acres of private land.

The nonprofit Union Neighbors United, residents, the county and other local government entities had appealed. They argued the approval process was flawed and the project didn’t comply with required property setbacks, noise and environmental standards.

The court’s majority found opponents failed to demonstrate the board’s action was unreasonable or unlawful.

Justices Sharon Kennedy and Paul Pfeifer dissented. They said board calculations on setbacks and noise were “against the manifest weight of the evidence.”

In related news, Ohio regulators OK 2 deals that subsidize older power plants.

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