May 22, 2013
NC Governor McCrory Signs Landmark Wind Energy Legislation
D. Bowen “Bo” Heath, Lee Lilley and Brian Vanderbloemen, along with Jim Kerr, Brett Breitschwert and Michael Easley, Jr. from the law firm, were all part of the team representing Wayne County and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base /4th Tactical Wing. The county was seeking to protect itself from a proposed wind farm project that was sited in the low altitude flight path into the Dare County Bombing Range. The wind farm project, which had already received some state permits, would have ultimately disrupted the Air Force and Marines training on the range.
McGuireWoods Consulting worked with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and General Assembly to pass the first law in the nation giving a state the ability to review and permit a wind project based on its potential disruptive impact on the state’s interest in protecting the military mission/operations in the state and the resulting economic benefits. At the same time, the Federal group lobbied the state’s Congressional delegation, attempted to slow down the Federal Aviation Administration process and sway the Department of Defense’s stance on the matter. The law firm represented the county in the DOD mitigation/mediation process to remove or alter the project.
Bo and Brett were able to usher the state bill through the North Carolina Senate in about 24 hours and it was concurred in the House nearly 12 hours later. It was signed by Governor McCrory the next morning by 10:15 a.m., and it all happened during crossover week, the busiest week of the session where each chamber focuses only on passing its own bills before they die for the session.
Congratulations to the entire team on a fantastic collaborative effort!