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Mathis v. Iowa Utilities Board

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20080
Nos. 18-1184, (Iowa, 05/03/2019)

The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that upheld the Iowa Utilities Board's approval of a 170-turbine wind project in northwest Iowa. Landowners argued that the project was located at a "single site" and thus should have required a certificate of public convenience, use, and necessity mandating an extensive study of the project's impact on neighboring landowners and the environment. The Board interpreted a single site under state law to mean a collection of wind turbines that were all linked by a single line to a power substation, and found that this project was not a single site but rather a cluster of different facilities because they used different lines. The court held that the the Board's interpretation was more consistent with state law than the one proposed by the landowners and therefore affirmed the Board's approval.