Burrillville is asking the Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) to postpone a February 6, 2017 hearing on the pending Motion to Dismiss Invenergy’s application to locate a new $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant in Burrillville.
Burrillville is requesting the extension so it can review, evaluate and provide input on Invenergy’s revised water plan. The plan is distinctly different than what Invenergy had originally proposed – in the amount of water needed, the way it is delivered and the method in which it is used. “These changes could significantly impact traffic, emissions, chemical storage and safety,” writes Burrillville attorney Michael McElroy.
Jerry Elmer, representing the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), while noting that he is “fully ready and able to argue its Motion to Dismiss this Docket on Monday, February 6, as was originally scheduled” the CLF “supports the Town of Burrillville’s request for a 45-day extension.”
“As the EFSB knows, the Town recently submitted 58 Data Requests to Invenergy, which Data Requests address some of the myriad issues, problems, and questions left unanswered by Invenergy’s belated, inadequate proposal regarding its water source,” wrote Elmer, “Even as we discuss this, the City of Providence may be moving to prevent the sale of Providence water to Invenergy via Johnston. It is all too understandable why Invenergy asks the EFSB not to allow the Town even to receive responses to its 58 Data Requests – much less have an outside expert review and analyze Invenergy’s responses – but instead insists on stampeding the EFSB into a rushed decision with incomplete and inadequate information.”
“After a delay of several months, Invenergy on the last possible day submitted its revised plan. The Town now is requesting an extension so our experts can properly analyze just how these changes will impact our community,” said Burrillville Town Council President John Pacheco. “Once again, Invenergy has left out important information and necessary details that our experts need to analyze the plan. And we are, once again, forced to file a formal data request to obtain that information.”
The plan, Town Officials say has no meaningful information on the impact increased traffic will have on safety, accidents and fatalities within Burrillville along the propose travel routes.
According to the request for the extension:
“The Town has many questions it needs to evaluate related to the revised Plan. A few examples: What affect would the proposed increase in truck traffic have on the Town? What size/type trucks will be used? How frequently will deliveries be made? What days and times will deliveries be made? What affect would the increased emissions from diesel trucks making hundreds of trips to and from the facility have on the Town? How will water be stored on site? Would the proposed technology reduce water use as significantly as Invenergy claims? How does the demineralization system work? Are chemicals involved and in what amounts? How will the Town’s residents be protected from these chemicals? How will wastewater be treated onsite” How and where will wastewater be treated offsite?”
Simultaneous to filing its request for an extension, the Town submitted over 50 data requests to Invenergy seeking information to help determine the ramifications of Invenergy’s revised plan. The data requests raise several questions about the plan, and also note the revised plan:
- Increases the number of ammonia deliveries from 2 per month to 15 per month – and raises concerns about the route the trucks will take to deliver the ammonia (currently proposed for most populated area with two nursing homes and two schools)
- Calls for a 125 percent increase in water storage- which in all likelihood increases the impervious plant footprint and its potential impact on wetlands
- Proposes an onsite Wastewater Treatment System – yet doesn’t clearly explain how that would work or what it entails
- Raises several concerns about the replenishment of water following oil fired plant operation – including a potential of 22 to 44 additional truck trips each day
- Raises questions about the impact of diesel exhaust and air pollution (both during construction and operation)
- Doesn’t adequately take into account evaporative cooling
In addition, the Town data requests ask Invenergy:
- If an industrial accident on its site could potentially trigger a larger scale/ chain reaction/ accident at the Spectra compressor station and pipeline?
- Why the cost of building the new power plant has gone from $700 million to $1 billion? What will be the impact on Invenergy’s financial projections?
- What happens if Providence refuses to allow Johnston to re-sell water to Invenergy?
In order to provide time to get answers to its data requests, and to engage its experts to further analyze the implications of the new plan, the Town is asking for a 45-day delay in the hearing on its Motion to Dismiss.
Representing Invenergy, attorney Alan Shoer has filed a motion to oppose the postponement, even though the EFSB granted a ninety day postponement when Invenergy requested one.
“The underlying reason that Invenergy seeks to rush to EFSB was discussed before the EFSB at the hearing on January 12, 2016, when the EFSB heard CLF’s prior Motion to Dismiss,” wrote Elmer, “At that time, CLF discussed Invenergy’s election to obtain a Capacity Supply Obligation (CSO) in the ISO’s Forward Capacity Auction-10 before Invenergy had its proposed plant permitted. Invenergy’s election was not wrongful; but it was Invenergy’s sole election. Invenergy may have made a bad business decision acquiring a CSO before acquiring a permit from this EFSB, but that was Invenergy’s choice. Neither the Town of Burrillville nor the EFSB should now be prejudiced by Invenergy’s mistake.
“Invenergy has objected to the Town’s request for a 45-day extension. The Objection that Invenergy filed earlier today is just another egregious example of Invenergy trying to accelerate the EFSB’s process and force a decision before complete information is before the Board.
“While CLF is fully prepared to argue its currently pending Motion to Dismiss on Monday, February 6, CLF’s Motion to Dismiss will be just as relevant in 45 days as it is today. Indeed, CLF is confident that its currently pending Motion to Dismiss will be even more meritorious in 45 days as it is today, because at that future time, the record will be even clearer that Invenergy is unable to provide satisfactory answers to the many unanswered questions that led six of the 12 state and municipal agencies to withhold Advisory Opinions.
“Invenergy’s latest scheme for obtaining water was filed over a year after this Docket was opened,” writes Elmer, “It is inconceivable that the EFSB would deny the Town’s request for 45 days to review Invenergy’s belated and ill-conceived filing.”