Groups Plan to Sue Over Wind Farm

Environmental groups have announced their intent to sue a Spanish company over a proposed wind farm on the ridge of Shaffer Mountain near Johnstown. The Allegheny Front's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports

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OPEN: Last fall we brought you a story about Shaffer Mountain. It's ridge along the Allegheny Front near Johnstown. The Spanish Wind Developer Gamesa has plans to build a 30 turbine wind farm there, but now several environmental groups plan to sue the company to protect the mountain's habitat. The Allegheny Front's Lisa Ann Pinkerton reports

Environmental groups have a petition signed by 5000 people saying they don't want wind turbines on Shaffer Mountain. They say the ridge is a major migratory corridor for raptors, like bald eagles, and its native brook trout stream is pristine. Jack Buchan is the spokesman for the main group Sensible Wind Solutions.

BUCHAN: You have endangered species there, they found the Indian Bat themselves. It's a very unique and one of the last intact ecological areas in our part of Pennsylvania.

The Indian Bat is endangered, and Buchan says the US Fish and Wildlife Service has strongly suggested Gamesa file for a permit to protect as many as possible. But Buchan says, the company has yet to take those steps. The group is pushing for Gamesa to place its turbines on an abandoned strip mine plateau a few miles west of the proposed location. But Gamesa says the wind there isn't desirable. The company says it has already rearranged its wind turbines based on its wildlife studies to account for any potential impacts.

For the Allegheny Front, I'm Lisa Ann Pinkerton