Environment Council of Rhode Island

...building an ecologically healthy future in a sustainable economy

Representative Keable introduces bill to require compliance with the energy facility siting board process

Providence, RI – Representative Cale Keable has introduced legislation to prohibit the Energy Facility Siting Board from ruling on pending applications before agencies have rendered their advisory opinions. House Bill 5897 would prevent the EFSB from proceeding to a final hearing if an agency has not rendered an advisory opinion due to lack of cooperation or information from the applicant.

"The Energy Facility Siting Board act was not intended be an end around for applicants hoping to circumvent state and local agencies that serve the public," said Representative Keable, whose district encompasses parts of Burrillville and Glocester. “Several advisory opinions on the Clear River Energy Center are outstanding because of unanswered requests for information. The EFSB should not move forward on the application until these requests have been filled and agencies have had a chance to issue their opinions.”

The bill proposes to add language to the Energy Facility Siting Board Act that states in part, "The siting board shall not proceed to a final hearing nor issue a final decision… if any one or more designated agencies inform the siting board in writing that they are unable to form such advisory opinion on account of lack of cooperation or information from the applicant."

Invenergy, LLC submitted its application to construct the Clear River Energy Center in November 2016. During the last year local and state agencies have questioned the applicant to determine the proposed power plant’s impact on the environment and public health.

"This power plant will pollute across Rhode Island and southern New England, so it would be very careless for the EFSB to rule on the application before they have a full understanding of the consequences," said Representative Keable. "I want to thank the Conservation Law Foundation who highlighted this flaw in the process and suggested this change to state law."

Cale Keable represents District 47 in the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Last year, he and Senator Paul Fogarty (D – Burrillville, Glocester, and North Smithfield) became the first public officials in the state to publicly oppose the Clear River Energy Center.

Press Release: Source