Sandusky Register, Tom Jackson
OAK HARBOR — An Ohio wind farm has filed a lawsuit against two state agencies, hoping to conceal the number of bird deaths that are being caused by its operation.
The legal dispute was generated by an Ottawa County birding organization, the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Oak Harbor, which contends that bird death data held by both federal and state agencies is public information. Blue Creek Wind Farm LLC, which operates a wind farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio and Allen County, Indiana, says releasing its bird and bat kill reports would provide “trade secrets” to its competitors.
Blue Creek filed the lawsuit in May in Franklin County Common Pleas Court against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Power Siting Board. The lawsuit seeks a court order to block the two state agencies from releasing the company’s reports on bird and bat kills.
Blue Creek met with Black Swamp officials last year and released some of its data in an unsuccessful attempt to placate the birding group.
The release of public information sought by Black Swamp would allow everyone to know the trade-off between developing renewable energy and killing birds and bats, said Kim Kaufman, executive director of Black Swamp Bird Observatory.
“In a way, the public information acts keep everybody honest,” she said. Read article