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Iowa Supreme Court Rules Against Effort to Block NW Iowa Wind Farm, SPM, 5:04

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U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), joined by her fellow Iowa Senator, Chuck Grassley, is urging the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately address communications shortcomings that were brought to light during and after the disastrous flood events in Southwest Iowa.

That’s after  a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee field hearing she hosted and chaired in Glenwood last month, 

Today, Senators Ernst and Grassley along with several other Senators from states in the Missouri River Basin, sent a letter to the Corps describing the feedback and concerns they have heard about the Corps’ operation in the wake of the floods. The letter specifically describes issues with communications between the Corps and local levee sponsors and those in harm’s way.

The Iowa Supreme Court rejected an effort Friday by local landowners to block a proposed wind farm in northwest Iowa after it won approval from government regulators.

The court's rulings remove a major obstacle for the 170-turbine wind energy project in Palo Alto County. It also provides more certainty that similar projects will be able to proceed in the future.

Residents filed two lawsuits challenging the plan by Palo Alto Wind Energy and MidAmerican Energy, one against the Iowa Utilities Board and another against the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors.

The utilities board lawsuit contended board members should have required developers to get a "certificate of public convenience, use and necessity" that would have required an extensive study of the project's impact on neighbors and the environment.  At issue was an ambiguous section of Iowa law that mandates the certificate for large wind-energy projects located at a single site.