Show Cause Hearing On Water Withdrawal Set For January 30th

When: Tuesday, January 30, at 9:30 AM
Where: Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission office building, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, Rhode Island (map below)
What: The Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) will conduct a Show Cause Hearing on Invenergy’s proposal to truck water from Tribal land in Charlestown to Burrillville to cool the turbines of Invenergy’s proposed power plant in the forest of that town.

The EFSB has ordered Invenergy to appear before the Board and “show cause” as to: “whether Invenergy’s Supplemental Water Supply Plan with the Narragansett Indian Tribe, as submitted, contains sufficient detail for the Board to evaluate and/or whether the Supplemental Water Supply Plan should be dismissed from the pending application.”

At the December 5 public hearing in Charlestown, the EFSB heard testimony that the application is incomplete, but that its location at the center of a 900 acre wetland potentially threatened that wetland and the flora and fauna it contains. There was also testimony about potential negative impacts from water withdrawals on the aquifer and the impacts of tanker truck traffic and other impacts.

The January 30th Show Cause hearing is a public meeting, but it is not a public hearing. The public are welcome and encouraged to attend, but they can’t speak. Instead, there will be arguments from lawyers and expert testimony. The town’s attorneys will make a presentation and Invenergy will do the same.

The other issue for the Show Cause hearing is that the application may be significantly changed by a new plan to have electric ratepayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars to connect the power plant to the power grid. Invenergy had previously said there would be no cost to ratepayers to bring the proposed power plant online.

Map to Public Utilities Commission Office Building

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