A group of Page County residents filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Shenandoah Hills Wind Project and asking a court to grant a temporary restraining order on the Page County Board of Supervisors.
The complaint accuses the supervisors of passing an ordinance in October 2019 that was vague and fails to meet the requirements of state statute, according to a news release. It also accuses the board of having a conflict of interest and accuses two supervisors of using their positions to enrich Chicago-based Invenergy.
"The Page County Board of Supervisors told its citizens repeatedly that the Ordinance would be amended to correct known deficiencies before any wind project would be approved," attorney Shawn Shearer, co-counsel for the petitioners, said in a release. "Under legal threats from Wind Energy interests, the Board then refused to amend the Ordinance and approved the Shenandoah Hills Wind Project."
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A release from Des Moines-based Shearer Law describes the wind energy project as "outside plundering of our resources" and touts the size of the court petition, which spans 116 pages.
"My clients have no intention of allowing companies based in the Windy City to blow into their county and threaten to bankrupt it through litigation until the county bends to the will of the Chicago way," Theodore Sporer, co-counsel for the petitioners, said in a release.
During a lengthy meeting Aug. 2, the county supervisors voted 2-1 to approve the application from Invenergy for the Shenandoah Hills Wind Project.
Then, a week later, the board extended the moratorium prohibiting the submission of any new wind energy permit applications in Page County for 180 days. The supervisors hired the Des Moines law firm Ahlers and Coone to provide guidance on the application.
The supervisors discussed issues related to transparency and confidentiality during their Aug. 23 meeting and alluded to "the concern of possible litigation" by Invenergy.
"We just have to be very cautious to make sure something isn't said that could be misconstrued, twisted around or repeated incorrectly," Supervisor Alan Armstrong said at the time. "It's very confusing. I wish it was a lot simpler than this, but it's not."