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State high court to hear farm rights suit


The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments from a rural rights group unhappy with the decision to site a power plant in the Langell Valley.

Save Our Rural Oregon is contesting a decision made by the state's energy siting council in November to allow a 1,160-megawatt gas-fired power plant to be built on land that is zoned for farm use.

Lyn Brock, a member of the group, said she believes there is a good chance to overturn the decision.

"I think we have at least three legal, valid issues that should win. But then, we thought we've brought up valid issues before," she said.

The rural rights group is arguing the Cob Energy Facility was illegally sited on farm-use only land; that proper tests for seismic activity weren't conducted before the the council made its decision; and the state council ignored water-permitting laws in Oregon.


State law allows placement of power plants on up to 20 acres of farm property it deems low-value, but also allows for exceptions to that rule.

Appeals to the Supreme Court regarding siting decisions over power plants are automatically expedited. Once the decision makes it to court, a decision has to be made within six months.

The state's energy siting council said at the time of the hearing it had the jurisdiction to waive regulations.

Save Our Rural Oregon filed an appeal with the Supreme Court April 8 and oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday, May 11.


Klamath County is currently in the midst of trying to reach an agreement for an enterprise zone that would grant the Cob facility tax breaks in return for cash payments to the county.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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