Environmental Groups Sue Federal Government Over Two Wind Projects

On April 13, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club filed suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) alleging it shirked its duties under federal law in connection with permitting a California wind farm development.

The environmental groups argue BLM violated the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to adequately consider the impact of the 100-turbine project to at-risk bird species. The groups ask the court to issue an injunction halting construction until the project is redesigned in a way that reduces its negative environmental impacts. For a complete copy of the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, please click here (North Sky Complaint).

The California litigation is not the only legal challenge to federal approval of wind projects.  Earlier this month, two land conservation groups in Oregon filed suit challenging the Department of Interior’s approval of a 43-mile transmission line supporting a proposed $300 million wind farm development.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society of Portland claim the federal government failed to consider how the proposed line would affect wildlife in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act alleging the construction could disrupt migratory routes and breeding areas for rare species. Representatives of the project developer, Columbia Energy Partners, have asserted the company spent millions of dollars on impact studies to adequately evaluate and mitigate environmental effects.

For more information about these cases or wind project development in general, please contact Steve O’Day ( or Jessica Lee Reece (

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