standing Rhode Island State House

PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced Wednesday that it has found that the proposed Clear River Energy Center power plant at Burrillville will comply with state and federal air pollution control rules.

The DEM said it has prepared a draft permit for public review and comment. Although the overall decision on siting and building the facility, proposed by Invenergy Thermal Development LLC, rests with the state Energy Facility Siting Board, the decision on the air permit stays with DEM, the department said.

Terrence D. Gray, deputy director for environmental protection, said that “Evaluating the air quality impacts from the proposed power plant has been a critically important and complex process for DEM. We have determined, based on our expert review of the application, that the facility will comply with federal and state air quality standards. We encourage others to carefully review the application and the draft permit and provide us with feedback."

Issued by DEM’s Office of Air Resources, the draft permit, preliminary determination, a fact sheet, and notice of public comment are available at www.dem.ri.gov/invenergy. The public comment period for the draft permit will be open until July 15, at 4 p.m. Rhode Islanders who would like to submit questions or formal comments may email dem.invenergyairpermit@dem.ri.gov so they can be added into the draft permit's administrative record, the department said.

A public hearing for persons to appear and submit written or oral comments on the draft permit will be held before the end of the public comment period, the department. DEM said it would announce the date, time, and location of the hearing when the details are completed.

Invenergy is proposing a 900-plus "clean energy" facility fueled by natural gas. The project has generated considerable opposition from local residents and environmental interests, as well as from municipalities potentially affected by the project's need for cooling water.

— Sun staff

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