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Federal lawsuit over western Md. wind farm ends

CUMBERLAND — A legal dispute over a western Maryland wind farm has ended.

A U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore dismissed the case Tuesday at the request of both sides.

The citizen group Save Western Maryland filed the lawsuit in 2010 against developers of the 28-turbine Criterion wind farm in Garrett County. The project owned by Chicago-based Exelon Corp has been operating since 2010.

The lawsuit alleged that the operator needed permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill federally endangered Indiana bats injured in collisions with the turbine blades.

In December, the federal agency approved operational changes Exelon had proposed to minimize harm to the bats.

The Cumberland Times-News reported Friday that Exelon has begun site preparation for the 16-turbine Fourmile Ridge wind farm near Frostburg.