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Dispute over Maryland wind farm dismissed

As there is an increased interest in alternative energy forms, businesses in these industries must learn to balance the needs of the consumers against the possible harm to the environment to avoid potential litigation. On April 15, one such dispute over a wind farm in Maryland was officially dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge after a request from both parties.

According to reports, the initial lawsuit was filed against developers in 2010 by Save Western Maryland, a citizen group. The suit claimed that federally endangered bats were being hurt when they collided with the blades of the wind turbine and argued that the wind farm operator needed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's permission to kill the bats.

The wind farm includes 28 turbines and is located in Garrett County, Maryland. It has been in operation since 2010 and is owned by Exelon Corp. In December 2013, Exelon's proposed changes to its operating procedures were approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was not clear if the implementation of these changes was the reason for the dismissal request.

According to recent reports, Exelon is planning to develop another wind farm, this one with 16 turbines, near the city of Frostburg. It is not clear if this wind farm also presents a potential hazard to the bats, but it is likely that the same operational changes will be a part of the new farm. business litigation, as shown here, is often resolved out of the actual courts, with mediation or out-of-court settlements. A person familiar with business and commercial law can help those dealing with these types of disputes decide whether a trial or attempting to settle is in their best interests.

Source: The Washington Post, "Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends" No author given, Apr. 17, 2014

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