Proposed plant to tap into sewers

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NAUGATUCK — A company that wants to build an 805-megawatt power plant in Oxford has approval to tap into the borough’s sewer system.

Competitive Power Ventures, which has proposed a power plant in Oxford near the Naugatuck and Middlebury borders, has been asked to comply with 15 conditions of approval, including that it will not discharge storm water to the borough’s wastewater treatment plant, which it had originally proposed. The power plant project is pending before the Connecticut Siting Council, which is expected to vote on it next month.

The Naugatuck Water Pollution Control Authority and its engineer, Naugatuck Public Works Director Jim Stewart, met with the company several times since August to discuss the proposal.

The authority had concerns about the proposal to send wastewater; the board says it tries to avoid taking in storm water and spends millions of dollars per year to prevent it from entering the plant. Rainwater can increase nitrogen levels, which the federal government is trying to mitigate, Stewart said.

Among the conditions the WPCA put on the approval are:

• CPV shall provide spill protection and grade the site to ensure that spills are contained on site and do not enter the sanitary sewer.

• A continuous flow meter shall be installed to monitor the sanitary sewer discharge. The flow meter shall be annually calibrated. Flow and calibration results shall be reported to the Naugatuck WPCA as often as reported to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

• CPV shall provide the WPCA copies of all DEEP sanitary sewer sampling and reports concurrently with the submission to the DEEP.

• The WPCA approval will expire after five years if construction on the project has not begun.

The WPCA initially approved the proposal 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 on the same site. The 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, borough officials said they didn’t know all the facts about the new proposal in August and that further study and evaluation should be done, so WPCA rescinded its initial vote.

Braith Kelly, senior vice president of external affairs for CPV, said the company plans to fully comply.

“We’re happy after an exhaustive process with the Naugatuck WPCA to have concluded an agreement that will allow us use of the sanitation facilities,” he said. “I think we’ve come to as environmentally friendly an arrangement as can be had for water use consumption at a natural gas power plant or any industrial facility of this magnitude.”