CPV seeks to use treatment plant

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NAUGATUCK — A company proposing a 805-megawatt power plant in Oxford is having a difficult time getting approval to send wastewater discharge to the borough’s treatment plant.

Massachusetts-based Competitive Power Ventures, which has proposed a plant near the borough’s border, met for the second time in eight months with Naugatuck’s Water Pollution Control Authority March 19 at Town Hall.

The project manager and the WPCA chairman had a lengthy back-and-forth discussion about the application for wastewater discharge. In the end, the board told CPV representatives to have its engineer meet with WPCA engineer Jim Stewart to discuss the plan in detail. CPV will come back before the board in April.

WPCA initially approved the project in August, before CPV filed a new application before the Connecticut Siting Council to modify a plan approved in 1999 that called for a 512-megawatt power plant. WPCA then became an intervener in the project through the siting council, so it can ask questions through the borough attorney’s office.

In January, attorney Alicia Perillo, working on behalf of Naugatuck, told WPCA members that she didn’t know if the presentation given in August was sufficient enough for the board to grant the permit application. She said further study and evaluation should be done, so WPCA rescinded its initial vote.

CPV Project Manager Andrew Bazinet told the WPCA in August that the project would bring between 7,500 gallons to 38,160 gallons of water per day. Now the plan calls for 6,480 gallons per day.

CPV told the borough the storm water will be processed through an oil/water separator before going to the sewer — similar to many commercial building discharges.

“Since (August) we’ve substantially reduced the flows and improved the quality of discharge,” Bazinet said.

WPCA Chairman Ron Merancy said the initial plan called for no rainwater but the current plan does.

“We don’t have rainwater now, and in fact, we’re spending millions of dollars per year to prevent that from happening,” he said.

He said the rainwater can increase nitrogen levels, which the government is trying to mitigate.

Bazinet asked WPCA members whether the project would be approved if it did not send rainwater to Naugatuck. WPCA did not give him a firm answer.

WPCA has other questions about the project that CPV has not answered, Merancy said.

“We asked about the makeup of the particulate matter in the water,” he said. “The only answer they have given us is about the size of the particulates but nothing about their composition.”

CPV, in another written response to WPCA, states that discharges will be treated consistent with the project’s pretreatment discharge permit from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The company also states the amount of discharge will be within federal and state limits.