Invenergy withdraws application from Army Corps

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BURRILLVILLE – One of two applications still pending regarding a proposal to build a 1,000-megawatt gas-burning power plant off of Wallum Lake Road has officially been suspended by the developer following rejection of the plan by the Energy Facility Siting Board.

Invenergy Thermal, the Chicago-based developer that spent four years in a regulatory process trying to gain approval of the plant, has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend review of their application until further notice.

Members of the EFSB – the state entity that governs siting of such large-scale energy projects – unanimously rejected Invenergy’s application in June, pointing to the company’s failure to prove need for the plant to meet the region’s energy needs. But the board has yet to release their official decision and order, leaving environmental permits before the Army Corps and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management still pending.

In a letter this week to activist and plant opponent Paul Roselli, the Army Corps announced that the application has been suspended. Roselli was among those calling for a full study of the proposed facility’s environmental impact.

The town of Burrillville had also requested that the Army Corps require an Environmental Impact Statement as part of their review of a wetlands permit for the project. Town officials opposed to the plant have reportedly continued their work following the decision by the EFSB, noting that they intend to remain engaged in case the permits again become relevant.

“Should review of the permit application recommence, the applicant may contact you directly to resolve your concerns,” noted a July 11 letter to Roselli signed by Army Corps Senior Project Manager Alex Kostra. “In that instance, we will consider your comments, along with all other comments received, in determining what permit action is in the public interest, and we will inform you of our final decision.”

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