“We have determined, based on our expert review of the application, that the facility will comply with federal and state air quality standards,” said DEM Deputy Director for Environmental Protection Terrence Gray.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced yesterday that it has found that Invenergy’s proposed $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant aimed at the irreplaceable forests of northwest Rhode Island will “comply with applicable state and federal air pollution control rules and regulations.” DEM has prepared a draft permit for public review and comment. Though the Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) is responsible for the ultimate decision as to whether the power plant will be built, the decision on the air permit stays with DEM per state law and is not connected to or sequenced with the EFSB.

“Evaluating the air quality impacts from the proposed power plant has been a critically important and complex process for DEM,” said DEM Deputy Director for Environmental Protection Terrence Gray. “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. We have set up a website with information on the application and the permit, are providing for an extended public comment period, and will be scheduling a public hearing to give members of the public ample opportunity to weigh in on this proposal.”

DEM Director Janet Coit serves on the EFSB and has to recuse herself from the permitting process.

The draft permit is for the “[i]nstallation of two General Electric, Model 7HA.02 natural gas-fired combined-cycle combustion turbines with two heat recovery steam generators (HRSG) each equipped with natural gas-fired only duct burners. Each combustion turbine and associated duct burner will be equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and with an oxidation catalyst for emissions control prior to discharge to the atmosphere. The turbines shall only fire ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for the equivalent usage of a total of 360 hours/year each at base load. This permit is also issued for the installation of a natural gas-fired auxiliary boiler, a natural-gas fired dew point heater, an ultra-low sulfur diesel-fired emergency generator, and an ultra-low sulfur diesel-fired fire pump.”

Issued by DEM’s Office of Air Resources, the draft permit, preliminary determination, a factsheet, and notice of public comment are available here.

The public comment period for this draft permit will be open until Monday, July 15, 2019 at 4 PM. Rhode Islanders who would like to submit questions or formal comments on the proposed permit may email dem.invenergyairpermit@dem.ri.gov so they can be added into the draft permit’s administrative record. Comments must be received before the public comment period closes to be considered.

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

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Cristina Cabrera
Cristina Cabrera

Janet Coit needs to resign from her position at DEM. Under Janet Coit the biggest environmental atrocities have been supported, permitted and pushed forward. RIDEM is a disgrace to Mother Earth and to the future of Rhode Island.

Greg Gerritt

Clearly the environmental regulations in RI are not fully protective of the public’s health nor the climate the climate