As Public Comment Period Ends, Burrillville Prepares To Testify Against Invenergy Power Plant

Oct 12, 2017

The Town of Burrillville is preparing to testify at evidentiary hearings later this month against Invenergy, developers of a proposed natural gas power plant.

About 80 people spoke out against the plant, named the Clear River Energy Center, during a final public comment hearing at Burrillville High School Tuesday night. The hearing lasted for four hours.

Donald Fox, Burrillville Town Council Member and one of the speakers at the hearing, said the next step for the town is to present their evidence through expert testimony.

Fox said the town has hired scientific epxerts to talk about why this power plant should not be built. 

“(The issues with the plant are) related to air pollution, it’s related to the fact that we’re going to lose forested land, the fact that the plant is going to be located within one of the last remaining continual forest stretches in southern New England," Fox said. 

Burrillville's experts will also talk about how the plant contributes to water pollution and increased noise levels within the forest, Fox said. 

More than 30 Rhode Island towns and cities, including two Massachussetts communities and one in Connecticut, have passed resolutions opposing the plant. 

The Energy Facility Siting Board, a quasi-judicial body in Rhode Island with the authority to approve power plant applications, will hold procedural hearings starting next Tuesday to rule on motions filed by Invenergy and its opponents.  

Evidentiary hearings are scheduled to begin on October 31 and could stretch into January before the Board rules on the power plant.