In late September, the tribe contracted with Invenergy to supply water from tribal wells that are sourced from the southern portion of the Lower Wood Aquifer, located in the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed. The watershed comprises all or parts of Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton,Westerly, Exeter, West Greenwich, and South Kingstown in Rhode Island, and North Stonington, Stonington, Voluntown, and Sterling in Connecticut.
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Students in the Chariho Culinary Arts program will host their annual Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Chariho Tech. Reservations are required, and can be made by contacting Chariho Hospitality and Event Planning at 401-552-7567. Please leave a message with your contact information: first name, last name, phone number, number of guests in your party, and your town. The lunch begins at 11 a.m. in the Chariho Tech dining room, 459 Switch Road, Wood River Junction.
Members of the Hopkinton Town Council voted unanimously Monday to send a letter of support to Charlestown, congratulating the town on having received intervenor status in its effort to halt the sale of water by the Narragansett Tribe to a proposed power plant.
Council President Frank Landolfi said he was troubled by the possible effects of such a sale on the entire area. “There’s too many consequences, I think, of that happening,” he said. “I think we need to band with the others as we did with the railroad. Unfortunately, the Narragansett Tribe was with us on the railroad. This wasn’t a very transparent process.”
McMahon is the second senior Charlestown officer to retire in the past two months. Detective Sgt. Ryan Gwaltney announced his decision in mid-September. Gwaltney was a 28-year member of the force and had also been hired under Brady.
Steve Ahlquist Blog – “Is the Energy Facilities Siting Board, a quasi-judicial permitting authority for all licenses required for siting, construction or alteration of a major energy facility in Rhode Island, the right place to be deciding upon issues of Narragansett Indian Tribe governance?”
The original agenda for the August 17 Watuppa Water Board meeting had no notice about the deal with Benn Water. The revised agenda merely added the words, “Contingent Water Supply” with no additional details. At the meeting, as can be seen in the video, details are kept to a minimum and the discussion is somewhat circumspect. There is no mention of Invenergy, or a power plant, only of Benn Water. The Town of Burrillville is mentioned once (at the 1m35s mark), mistakenly referred to as a possible “primary source of water.”
“…we herein request an additional public hearing in Burrillville, Rhode Island,” writes Invenergy lawyer Richard Beretta, “to be held prior to the commencement of the Final Hearings, on December 4, 2017… As a result of modifications to its application since the initial public hearing, Invenergy requests the opportunity to present for public comment the contents of its application… inclusive of the Water Supply Plan filed on January 11, 2017 and the supplement filed on September 28, 2017.”
Having decided, despite the arguments of Invenergy lawyers, that Charlestown is an “affected community” as defined under the Energy Facilities Siting Act, the town was allowed intervenor status as it pertains to the water supply only.
Westerly Sun: “The heavily redacted documents make it impossible to identify where the water will be withdrawn from the Narragansett parcels and what routes will be affected by tanker truck traffic, Platner said in her testimony. The maximum withdrawal quantity is also missing from the documents, making it impossible to gauge the impact on the town and the aquifer, she said.”
Invenergy recently announced the tribe as the back-up water supplier to cool its proposed plant. However, tribal members claim the water deal was made illegally without a vote from the tribal body, which violates the their constitution. Darlene Monroe, tribal elder and march organizer, said the next step is to file a court order that would put a stop to the water agreement.
“this isn’t a Charlestown issue or a tribal issue alone. This is a regional issue and towns from Westerly to Narragansett need to be aware of it and let the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board know they want to be involved. And if it involves Westerly it involves Pawcatuck, since the aquifer supplies Pawcatuck’s water through Westerly.”
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.”
Westerly Sun: “You may now become an affected community under the Energy Facility Siting Board’s regulations and if that’s the case they may need to amend the proceeding that they’re in now and have a hearing in Charlestown, but only if we’re allowed to intervene,” Ruggiero said.
Westerly Sun: “We haven’t been notified, we’ve had no calls from the state agencies, and no calls from the tribe,” council President Virginia Lee said Friday. “We have no information so we’re going to discuss with our lawyers how to go about getting the documents we haven’t been provided and how to get the data.”
RI Future: Both Spears and Monroe also said selling tribal water, which Spears said comes from “sacred springs” on the reservation and is part of the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed, violate tribal ethics.
ecoRI News: “John Brown, Narragansett Indian Tribe medicine man, gave ecoRI News a list of reasons for agreeing to work with what could be one of the biggest polluters in the state.”
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Invenergy has reached agreements with the Narragansett Indian Tribe and Benn Water & Heavy Transport to serve as backup water suppliers to the fossil fuel-burning power plant that the Chicago company has proposed in Burrillville. Invenergy released the names of the supplemental suppliers on Thursday after submitting the information to the state […]
A second officer of the Charlestown Police Department, Lt. Patrick McMahon, has been placed on leave.
“Given the small size of our department, and because the investigation may focus on town police officers, I asked the state police to conduct this inquiry to eliminate any conflict of interest and to ensure the integrity of the Charlestown Police Department. I have full confidence in the state police and should their probe determine wrongdoing by any member of this department, the chips will fall where they may,” he said.
Communities across southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island breathed a sigh of relief last month when the Federal Railroad Administration withdrew plans to build the controversial Old Saybrook to Kenyon Bypass, but a new study for alternatives is underway that could allow the bypass to return.
ecoRI News – Rhode Island just doesn’t get it, even when it tries to be 21st century. Cutting down 30,000 trees to make room for a solar farm is only slightly less 1980’s than destroying 200 acres of forest to build a fossil-fuel power plant.
The smallest state has plenty of wasted space, in the form of brownfields, old landfills, rooftops, parking lots and empty big-box retailers, but the Ocean State seems driven to Paul Bunyan its way to the future.
The cast of thousands who successfully convinced the Federal Railroad Administration there must be better ways to fix the Northeast Corridor than running track through some of this region’s most historic and beautiful areas should give themselves a round of applause. Then it is time to get right back to work and Act II. This is just intermission.
The 27-acre farm located at 89a Country Drive, has been awarded a $20,000 grant toward the installation of a 15.6 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by the farm’s composting and agricultural operation.
“We want the public to know and have confidence that we are adhering to best practices and are operating at the highest level we possibly can when it comes to meeting state and national police standards,” Allen said. “When we interact with the public on a day-to-day basis, this process has helped assure that we have proper policies and procedures in place for everything we do.”
A scuffle resulting in one arrest broke out at the Narragansett Tribal Office on Route 2 Saturday when a faction that identifies itself as the rightfully elected tribal council tried to enter the building during a meeting led by Matthew Thomas, the current chief sachem.
“We’re not just rolling over and saying ‘Hey, these solar panel farms are a great idea,’ he said. “There’s many challenges that come with that, and that’s what we wanted to do, was start getting stuff on the table…We need to take a step back on these things in our town and look at what other towns are doing and try to find a strategy as to how these projects should be sited, because now, it’s getting out of hand.”
“I don’t think it’s over by any means because the Record of Decision sets a benchmark that requires a transit time between New York City and Boston of 2 hours and 45 minutes, roughly an hour quicker than what it is right now,” he said. “The plan no longer proposes any solutions, instead it sets up the New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study, which requires the state-level departments of transportation in Connecticut and Rhode Island to take on a larger role, and to find a way to meet this mandated time savings.
“Just in Charlestown, we had 19 pieces of open space that would have been affected, and we counted upwards of almost 100 pieces of private property,” said Filippi. “The rerouting in northern Charlestown was going to save about one minute of time and cost over a billion dollars to do. And it just didn’t make sense.” Video included
Westerly Sun: Federal Railroad Administration drops plans for the Saybrook-to-Kenyon high-speed rail bypass
“We now place our faith in RIDOT and CTDOT to work with the FRA on a good-faith process to evaluate the New Haven to Providence corridor and impacts of the various route alternatives.”
Now, the new plan is calling for a studies in both Connecticut and Rhode Island to examine ways to improve service on this stretch. The FRA said those studies will be conducted by the states in conjunction with the FRA and other “stakeholders,” but the agency did not offer specifics on funding, costs or a timeframe.