Oct 1st Dept. of Energy or Environment Protection Public Hearing for the NTE Fracked Gas project

Please help us stop a climate destroying and socially unjust power plant to be built in Killingly. The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection plans to issue a permit allowing NTE, the owner of the proposed Killingly Energy Center, to release industrial wastewaters into the publicly owned treatment works in the town of Killingly, at an annual cost to NTE of $8000. The Killingly POTW was recently upgraded at a cost to the residents of the community of $25 million, which they will pay over time in their water and sewer bills. The NTE  wastewaters may contain various chemicals, minerals and petroleum oil. Chemicals such as ammonia and phosphorus contribute to algal blooms that create dead zones in bodies of water. The POTW releases into the Quinebaug River. The Quinebaug River watershed covers 850 square miles, and includes 29 streams and 54 lakes and ponds.
DEEP has fostered the expansion of fossil gas in the state by approving enlarged pipelines, and forcing ratepayers to foot the cost of converting new consumers to fracked gas for the benefit of Eversource and UI-Avangrid. With a glut of fracked gas on the market, energy companies are seeking to find customers for their planet ruining products. Eversource is so desperate to find customers for their fracked gas that they are subsidizing the connection of their new pipeline to numerous schools in Killingly, a cost which is usually borne by the local town or municipality.
DEEP is putting the state’s waters at risk in order to profit energy companies NTE and Eversource. That shouldn’t be a surprise, with a former Eversource executive working in the governor’s office as Chief of Staff. There is no benefit for the residents of the state and we must fight like hell to protect our waters and our health. DEEP states that affordable energy is the goal, but multiple new fossil gas power plants have been built recently in Connecticut and our energy prices as consumers have continued to climb. DEEP claims that fossil gas plants are cleaner than coal or oil, but they refuse to recognize the science of pipeline leaks, which demonstrate that methane leaks are five times the figures proposed by industry and government regulators. DEEP is aware that the state is a net energy exporter, and hence the power created at the new plant is for export to other states, which creates profits for energy companies while adding pollution to the air and water that harms the health of local residents.
Most infuriatingly and hypocritically, DEEP continue to contend that there is nothing they can do to protect the environment from industrial energy development. After all, they are the Department of Energy first and foremost! In their response to the dozens of comments they received opposing their permit for the water quality certificate they issued to NTE in the spring of this year, allowing the destruction of thousands of square feet of wetlands, they state “The unavoidable impacts, balanced with the required mitigation, have been found consistent with the Connecticut Water Quality Standards.” (italics mine) Damage to the state cannot be considered “unavoidable” if the project doesn’t benefit the state, isn’t needed in the state where people suffer unjustly from the impacts of pollution, and was accepted in a flawed regional auction by ISO-NE. ISO-NE failed to account for efficiencies and the procurement of large off-shore wind energy. According to recent remarks made by Eric Johnson of ISO-NE to PURA, “…there is an excess of capacity on the market…”
There is no justification for DEEP’s permitting potential water pollution in the Quinebaug River, in order to allow NTE to build an unneeded power plant. These actions are politically motivated and Governor Lamont has surrounded himself with Eversource cronies who are not concerned with the public’s well being. Please send comments opposing this wastewater permit before or during the following public hearing on October 1 and make sure to put Application No. 201615592 in the subject line.

DEEP has revised the dates for hearings on the Killingly wastewater discharge permit application:

  • A hearing for the receipt of public comment will be held on October 1, 2020. The hearing will begin at 3:00 PM, and be conducted via Zoom. This hearing can be accessed, with no requirement to pre-register, at: https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/92554402449   or this meeting ID: 925 5440 2449
  • An evidentiary hearing, to receive evidence from the parties, will be held on October 2, 2020, beginning at 10:00 AM. This hearing will be conducted via Zoom. This hearing can be accessed, with no requirement to pre-register, at: https://ctdeep.zoom.us/j/93288476462   or this meeting ID: 932 8847 6462.

Martha Klein