Burrillville seeks more time to analyze Invenergy proposal

Burrillville seeks more time to analyze Invenergy proposal

Concerns raised about safety, air quality, traffic, environmental impact

BURRILLVILLE – The Town of Burrillville is asking the Energy Facility Siting Board to postpone a Feb. 6 hearing on a pending motion to dismiss Invenergy’s application to locate a new power plant in Burrillville.

The town is requesting the extension so it can review, evaluate and provide input on Invenergy’s revised water plan. The plan is distinctly different than what Invenergy had originally proposed, in the amount of water needed, the way it is delivered and the method in which it is used, states a release. These changes could significantly impact traffic, emissions, chemical storage and safety.

“After a delay of several months, Invenergy on the last possible day submitted its revised plan. The town now is requesting an extension so our experts can properly analyze just how these changes will impact our community,” said Town Council President John Pacheco. “Once again, Invenergy has left out important information and necessary details that our experts need to analyze the plan. And we are, once again, forced to file a formal data request to obtain that information.”

The plan, town officials say, has no meaningful information on the impact increased traffic will have on safety, accidents and fatalities within Burrillville along the propose travel routes.

According to the request for the extension, town officials have many questions they need to evaluate related to the revised plan. A few examples:

• What affect would the proposed increase in truck traffic have on the town?

• What size/type trucks will be used?

• How frequently will deliveries be made?

• What days and times will deliveries be made?

• What impact would the increased emissions from diesel trucks making hundreds of trips to and from the facility have on the town?

• How will water be stored on site?

• Would the proposed technology reduce water use as significantly as Invenergy claims?

• How does the demineralization system work?

• Are chemicals involved and in what amounts?

• How will the town’s residents be protected from these chemicals?

• How will wastewater be treated onsite?

• And how and where will wastewater be treated offsite?”

Simultaneous to filing its request for an extension, the town submitted more than 50 data requests to Invenergy seeking information to help determine the ramifications of the energy company's revised plan. The data requests raise several questions about the plan, and also note that the revised plan:

• Increases the number of ammonia deliveries from two per month to 15 per month, raising concerns about the route the trucks will take to deliver the ammonia (currently proposed for most populated area with two nursing homes and two schools).

• Calls for a 125 percent increase in water storage, which in all likelihood increases the impervious plant footprint and its potential impact on wetlands.

• Proposes an on-site wastewater treatment system, yet doesn’t clearly explain how that would work or what it entails.

• Raises several concerns about the replenishment of water following oil-fired plant operation, including a potential of 22 to 44 additional truck trips each day.

• Raises questions about the impact of diesel exhaust and air pollution (both during construction and operation).

• Doesn’t adequately take into account evaporative cooling.

In addition, the town data requests ask Invenergy:

• If an industrial accident on its site could potentially trigger a larger scale/ chain reaction/ accident at the Spectra compressor station and pipeline?

• Why the cost of building the new power plant has gone from $700 million to $1 billion?

• What will be the impact on Invenergy’s financial projections?

• What happens if Providence refuses to allow Johnston to re-sell water to Invenergy?


I'm sure all these questions and demands are made to all gravel and sand pit companies. How many trucks? Diesel exhaust? How about blasting or large gravel processing machinery? Water storage? Give me a break. Does every business in this town have to answer all of these questions? I hardly doubt it. No wonder Invenergy is in no hurry to give answers to ridiculous demands.

Invenergy is not putting all their cards on the table. I'm very curious to hear how a 1000MW plant is going to operate using only 20k gallons of water per day from their only cited water source in Johnston. Their original proposal had peak water usage at 900k GPD.