Water Withdrawal From Charlestown

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UPDATE! A public comment hearing in Charlestown is scheduled for December 5 at the Elementary School to allow public comment from Charlestown citizens and others on Invenergy Thermal Development’s proposal to withdraw groundwater from Charlestown and transport it by tanker trucks to Burrillville to cool the turbines of the natural gas and diesel power plant they are seeking to build in the forest in that town. Read more …

  • 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 proposed in the forests of that town. 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. On October 17 the Town was granted intervener status and will 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. On October 20, the Narragansett Tribal Council filed a motion to intervene with the EFSB saying the agreement had not been signed with the consent of the Tribe.

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All posts that we have published on this issue are below