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Burrillville: Building Invenergy’s power plant in direct conflict with Raimondo administration’s environmental and energy goals



A great deal has changed since the Invenergy power plant in Burrillville was proposed and received the endorsement of Governor Gina Raimondo. Based on extensive studies by experts over the past two and a half years, there is now evidence that the power plant is neither needed nor is it positive for our economy or our environment. It is also in direct conflict with many of Governor Raimondo’s goals for Rhode Island’s energy independence and environmental protection.

The proposal by Invenergy to build a massive gas power plant on irreplaceable forestland in Burrillville will cause permanent damage to Narragansett Bay’s watershed, put in peril dozens of wildlife species and dramatically impact tourism and the quality of life in all of Rhode Island.

“Respectfully, we ask the Governor to reconsider her position on the highly controversial power plant proposal which we now know is in direct conflict with her administration’s recently stated energy and environmental goals,” said Burrillville Town Manager Michael Wood. “Governor Raimondo knows that Rhode Islanders treasure their environment and her stated goals call for protection of the environment and plan for Rhode Island’s clean energy future. But the proposed power plant makes achieving those goals nearly impossible.”


Governor Raimondo says she is committed to ambitious goals to reduce carbon emissions but the Invenergy plant will:

  • Increase by 30 percent the existing carbon dioxide emissions for the entire state of Rhode Island.
  • Dump 7.2 billion pounds per year of CO2 into the air above Burrillville.
  • Contaminate the pristine woodland air over the next 20 years with hundreds of thousands of pounds of chemical compounds- many that have known health effects.

Below is a partial list of pollutants and their potential health impact:

  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)- 11.5 million gallons- asthma and respiratory infection
  • Particular Matter (PM/PM10/PM2.5)- 3.5 million gallons- decreased lung function, non-fatal heart attacks, premature death for people with heart or lung disease
  • Formaldehyde- 29,000 gallons- EPA classified as probably human carcinogen
  • Toluene -14,340 gallons- central nervous system dysfunction and narcosis, for children of pregnant women causes craniofacial and limb anomalies
  • Propylene Oxide- 3,160 gallons EPA classified as probable human carcinogen
  • Benzene- 1,600 gallons- EPA classified as a known human carcinogen

Governor Raimondo says she is making sure that every Rhode Island family can enjoy our bay, beaches, forests and wetlands for generations to come, but the Invenergy plant jeopardizes those treasured natural resources.

  • Save The Bay says the plant will cause permanent damage to Narragansett Bay’s watershed
  • Nature Conservancy and Audubon say the plant will cause irreparable harm to the last contiguous forest along the Eastern Seaboard
  • The plant will disrupt a critical migratory “pinch point” for hundreds of species
  • The plant will be built on top of land that is home to 47 species of Greatest Conservation Need as classified by the State’s own Action Plan – including several species identified as endangered, threatened or protected.

Governor Raimondo says she understands the value of the state’s pristine environment as an attraction for tourists but according to the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council the plant will:

  • Create permanent disruption, harmful noise, and fumes to the Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor that attracts over 100,000 visitors each year.

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Governor Raimondo says she recognizes the need for reliable energy, and has a goal of providing 40 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources by the year 2020, but the 1,000-megawatt Invenergy power plant’s source of energy is fossil fuels.

The Town of Burrillville joins with 36 municipalities from Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts, Rhode Island’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Save the Bay, Nature Conservancy, Audubon, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Metacomet Land Trust, and numerous other organizations and individuals in opposition to the Invenergy Power plant.