Town council thanks power plant opponents for support


BURRILLVILLE – The Town Council sent out letters to more than 60 individuals and municipalities across New England last week expressing gratitude to those who supported the town of Burrillville in opposition of a proposal to build a 1,000 megawatt power plant in a forested area off of Wallum Lake Road.

Among the recipients were environmental groups and citizen activists who may have played a role in getting the application for the plant rejected by the Energy Facility Siting Board last month. The unanimous decision by the three-member EFSB against Chicago-based developer Invenergy Thermal has been widely celebrated among those who fought against the plan for nearly four years.

“The state’s Energy Facility Siting Board voted on June 20, 2019 to reject Invenergy’s permit, which should effectively end this long ordeal,” stated the July 16 note, signed by Town Council President John Pacheco.

“With overwhelming and diverse support coming from all over the state and our neighbors in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the message was clearly sent that the project is not needed, would not do anything meaningful to lower or mitigate electric rates for Rhode Islanders, and would do harm to our treasured and dwindling forests, waterways, open space and the wildlife, etc. that inhabit this environment,” Pacheco wrote.

Also included were 34 communities that passed resolution of support for the town of Burrillville, or took action on the town’s behalf.

“It takes courage to buck the establishment and take politically unpopular votes such as the one your community took,” Pacheco wrote to supporters. “Every once in awhile, common sense and the people’s voice prevails.”

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