Julie Carroccia’s Comments at the December 5 EFSB Public Hearing

The following comments were spoken by Julie Carroccia at the December 5 Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) Public Hearing at the Charlestown Elementary School. Julie Carroccia is Vice President of the Charlestown Town Council.

My comments are made as a citizen of the town as President Lee has well represented the position of the Town Council.

I am concerned about the complete lack of transparency regarding the contract between Invenergy and the Narragansett Indian tribe for water as well as the weak merits of the overall plant proposal.

Invenergy’s application represents that they have a contract to remove water from the middle of a pristine wetland in Charlestown which is part of settlement property owned by the Narragansett Indian tribe.

  • As a result of this representation, you granted the town of Charlestown intervenor status and the people of Charlestown are taking their valuable time tonight to be here and let you know they oppose this plan.
  • The town has incurred substantial legal costs to protect the citizens of the town whose sole source drinking water aquifer is involved
  • Town staff and elected officials have devoted many hours to understanding what is being proposed

However, we have now heard from one of the two tribal signers of the contract, Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas, that the water is coming from Westerly and not Charlestown. We have no idea if that is true.

I have heard from many constituents that they are angry about the lack of transparency with the Invenergy application as well as potential impacts to the health and welfare of the town’s citizens.

  • Why is the application still on the table if the applicant can’t be trusted to make accurate representations? This is a huge issue in light of the level of impact the proposed plant will have on the health and welfare of citizens across the state.
  • Why is there such disregard for the time and financial resources of the people of Charlestown if there is no water withdrawal being proposed here?
  • Why would anyone think that using clean drinking water from our sole source aquifer is a good idea?
  • Lastly, why are we even thinking about the carbon lock in which this plant represents? Citizens of our town and others across the state have shown a high level of engagement for both solar and wind energy. If huge resources are devoted to a fossil fuel infrastructure, we are committing to high levels of carbon emission for decades and worsening environmental impacts such as sea level rise.

The siting board should decline the Invenergy application based on the applications lack of transparency as well as the proposal’s lack of merit. Thank you for listening.

Julie Carroccia

If you have testimony from the December 5th hearing, or written comments that you have sent to the EFSB that you would like to share here at the CCA website, please send it to us at mail@charlestowncitizens.org

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