Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Council Takes Up Kleen Energy

(Buckeye Pipeline's Steve Shorey testifies while Kleen Energy's William Corvo listens.)

In normal procedure, the Common Council approval of the Buckeye Pipeline, which will carry low sulfur fuel oil to the Kleen Energy plant, would happen after the plans were reviewed by the Planning and Zoning and Wetlands Commissions.

However, those reviews were postponed due to inclement weather, and representatives from Kleen Energy and Buckeye, testified before the Common Council about the plan to build a pipeline from just North of the Arrigoni Bridge, to the Kleen Energy plant in Maromas.

Details of the plan as presented to the Economic Development Commission can be found here.

Kleen Energy project manager William Corvo explained that the pipeline would operate under low pressure, and would fill storage tanks at the plant where Kleen Energy would only burn oil in the case where there was a problem with burning natural gas. He explained that Kleen Energy and Buckeye extended the pipeline 1.7 miles to avoid an important Middletown acquifer.

Bow Lane neighbors, who testified that the pipeline would be build adjacent to their property, explained that they were worried about contamination of their wells.

Jack Herczakowski, a Bow Lane resident, explained to the Council that he was worried about his water and septic systems.

"I think the Council should allow Planning and Zoning and Inland Wetlands to comment before you make your decision," he said.

"The plant was sold as ne plus ultra clean energy" neighbor Stan Dapkus testified. "And now it looks as if it's going to be run as an oil plant."

Corvo, and Buckeye engineer Steve Shorey, explained that the plant would burn natural gas as planned, and that the oil line was necessary to keep the plant online, and available to the grid, in the case that natural gas was not available to be used as fuel.

Council members noted the concerns of neighbors, and asked about alternate routes, but ultimately supported the pipeline in the understanding that if Planning and Zoning made alterations in the route, that it would have to be considered by the council again, if those alterations created changes in the contract with the city.

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