Cumberland Times-News

November 14, 2013

32 lawsuits filed against Pinnacle Wind Farm

Latest litigation alleges operation interferes with use, enjoyment, value of property


Cumberland Times-News

— KEYSER, W.Va. — Thus far, at least 32 lawsuits have been filed over the Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage on Green Mountain. Gary and Amy Kalbaugh are the latest to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia at Martinsburg.

The Kalbaugh lawsuit is only the second lawsuit classified as a “torts to land” claim, with the other 30 classified as personal injury, according to The West Virginia Record.

The Kalbaugh lawsuit alleges that the wind farm has interfered with their use, enjoyment and value of their property.

Henry E. Wood III of Charleston is representing the Kalbaughs, as well as 38 residents who filed 23 federal lawsuits in September. The residents allege that the wind farm has caused mental and physical health problems as well as loss in the value of homes.

Mike Haywood, individually, and doing business as The Mike Haywood Group also filed a lawsuit against Pinnacle on Oct. 28 alleging that the noise and pulsations from the 23 wind turbines disturb him as well as his attempt to sell houses at a development site that is located 1.5 miles away from the wind farm, according to The West Virginia Record.

Charley Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy/Midwest Generation, has previously told the Times-News that Edison Mission Group won’t comment on litigation, except to say it “strongly denies the allegations being made against the project, and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

“Pinnacle strongly denies the allegations being made against its wind energy project,” said Parnell in September. “Further, Pinnacle takes seriously its role as a responsible member of the Mineral County community and has worked with the turbine manufacturer to develop and install equipment which reduced the noise from the wind turbines.”

Last year, louvers were installed on all 23 of the wind turbines at Pinnacle, according to Parnell.

“By all accounts they had a dramatic impact on the noise of the wind turbines,” said Parnell.