Local lawmakers speak out against proposed Burrillville power plant

(Brian Yocono/WPRI)

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — Two local lawmakers are coming out against a proposed power plant in Burrillville.

State Representative Cale Keable and Senator Paul Fogarty sent a letter to the Energy Facility Sitting Board asking for the consideration of other locations outside of Burrillville.

The plan in place right now is calling for a fracked gas power plant to be built on Wallum Lake Road in Pascoag.

At a recent meeting, many residents opposed the idea.

Keable and Fogarty claim Burrillville currently meets the region’s energy needs with its fossil fuel burning power plant – saying that adding another plant could raise serious health concerns.

“As an initial matter, it must be stated that Burrillville has already done more than its fair share for the cause of the region’s energy needs,” they wrote.

The pair also made a case that the power plant would cause problems for Zambarano Hospital because it would be located nearby.

In their letter, Keable and Fogarty said:

“Our concerns with regard to Zambarano are twofold. First, the hospital’s water supply is drawn directly from Wallum Lake. That water supply must be protected.

Second, in the event that there were a catastrophe at the proposed power plant, it seems highly unlikely that the nearly 120 patients at Zambarano could possibly be evacuated in a safe manner. We understand that the likelihood of this contingency is low. Should it come to pass, however, the humanitarian crises it would create would be unfathomable.”

Keable and Fogarty also claimed the new power plant would have a negative impact on those living in Glocester and Chepachet, which they say is home to many of the state’s natural resources.

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