Plaintiffs Prevail In ESA Challenge To Industrial Wind Project

Finding “that there is a virtual certainty that construction and operation of the Beech Ridge Project will take endangered Indiana bats in violation of Section 9 of the” Endangered Species Act, federal district court judge Roger W. Titus enjoined the project from further construction and non-winter operation unless and until an incidental take permit (ITP) is obtained from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Recognizing that Defendants created this “self-imposed plight,” Judge Titus explained that “the only avenue available to Defendants . . . is to do belatedly that which they should have done long ago: apply for an ITP.” As plaintiffs Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy, and Dave Cowan advocated throughout this lawsuit, Judge Titus agreed: “The development of wind energy can and should be encouraged, but wind turbines must be good neighbors.” Download the opinion and order here, and the press release here.