Description: Challenge to the Hawai'i Board of Land and Natural Resources’ approval of a habitat conservation plan for an eight-turbine wind power plant.
Keep the North Shore Country v. Board of Land & Natural Resources
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/22/2022 Opinion Download Supreme Court affirmed circuit court decision rejecting challenge to habitat conservation plan for wind power plant. Hawai‘i Supreme Court Mentioned Wind Farm’s Climate Benefits in Rejecting Endangered Species Law Challenge. The Hawai‘i Supreme Court upheld the Board of Land and Natural Resources’ approval of a habitat conservation plan for an eight-turbine wind power plant. The court rejected claims that the plan did not comply with Hawai‘i’s endangered species law as well as claims of procedural irregularities. The endangered species law challenge concerned the wind farm’s potential impact on ōpe‘ape‘a, the Hawaiian hoary bat. The court found, among other things, that substantial evidence supported the Board’s conclusion that the plan would increase the likelihood that the bat would survive and recover. The court cited data in the record indicating that the plan’s forest restoration provisions would increase survival and recovery, as well as the Board’s finding that the wind farm would eliminate one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 year, which was “one small step to reducing” global warming’s harms on the bat, even if the wind farm would not completely prevent the harms.