Charlestown Citizens Alliance - October 16, 2017

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Charlestown Water Proposed To Cool Power Plant Turbines In Burrillville

On October 29, 2015, Invenergy Thermal Development submitted an application to the Rhode Island Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to construct and operate the Clear River Energy Center, which is an electric generating facility fueled by natural gas and diesel, to be located in Burrillville. On September 28, 2017 Invenergy identified the wells of the Narragansett Indian Tribe as a source of water to cool the Power Plant’s turbines.

The water supply for Charlestown, including the Narragansett, is from a common aquifer located within the Pawcatuck River Basin. The public documents show a range of 15,000 to 724,320 gallons per day would be needed. All water taken from the Narragansett wells will be trucked from Charlestown to Burrillville in large tanker trucks.

Burrillville is opposed to the Invenergy power plant. At the December 12, 2016 meeting of the Charlestown Town Council, the Council voted unanimously to support Burrillville in their opposition to the 1000 Megawatt power plant. The power plant is opposed by the Conservation Law Foundation, Save The Bay, The Nature Conservancy, and other environmental organizations.

On October 11, 2017 the Town of Charlestown filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings to review the application for the power plant. The document, “Water Supply Plan: Supplement” is so heavily redacted that it is not possible to estimate the impacts of the water withdrawal or possible tanker truck traffic. If granted intervener status, the town would be able to view these documents and learn how the aquifer and our roads would be impacted and decide what further action is needed to protect our water and road system.

Although the government of the Narragansett Tribe signed the agreement to sell water, members of the Narragansett are opposed to the sale of water from their land and are organizing protests and actions against the sale.

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Charlestown files with EFSB to intervene in Burrillville power plant case

Charlestown files with EFSB to intervene in Burrillville power plant case

In his motion to intervene, Charlestown Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero notes that the water deal between the Narragansett Indian Tribe (NIT) and Invenergy concerns a “water supply for the area comprising Charlestown, including the NIT, is through a variety of private, public and quasi-municipal wells using a common aquifer, known as the Lower Wood River Aquifer, located within the Pawcatuck River Basin.”

Read more.

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Text of Charlestown's Motion to Intervene on Water Withdrawal

Text of Charlestown's Motion to Intervene on Water Withdrawal

"Charlestown’s interest, therefore, is the potential of a material, adverse impact on Charlestown’s water supply as a consequence of the operation of the proposed Power Plant. To this extent, the Town of Charlestown is an “affected community” ... "As such, a public hearing must be conducted in Charlestown, with notice at least 30 days prior, and prior to the final hearing on the Application."

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Planning Commission Chair Ruth Platner's Testimony at Burrillville Power Plant Hearing

Planning Commission Chair Ruth Platner's Testimony at Burrillville Power Plant Hearing

The Energy Facilities Siting Board should not allow the developers of the Invenergy power plant to use an agreement to withdraw groundwater from within the Town of Charlestown to satisfy any requirement for a backup water supply because of insufficient notice to the Town of Charlestown, insufficient information provided to the Town, and a need for the Siting Board to seek additional legal advice.

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Web Page Dedicated to Water Withdrawal Issue

Web Page Dedicated to Water Withdrawal Issue

CCA has created a web page with all the information, maps, posts, and newspaper stories related to the Charlestown water withdrawal issue. We'll keep this page updated with any news as the issue develops.

Read more.

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