CSC: Meriden Docket No. 190 Decision

DOCKET NO. 190 - An application by PDC - El Paso Meriden LLC for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the proposed Meriden Power Project located in the City of Meriden and the Town of Berlin, Connecticut. Connecticut    Siting Council April 27, 1999

Decision and Order

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) 16-50p, the application submitted by PDC-El Paso Meriden, LLC (PDC-El Paso) to construct, operate, and maintain a 544 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility off of Sam's Road in Meriden, Connecticut is hereby approved. A Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) as required by CGS 16-50k, shall be issued, subject to the following conditions and requirements.

1. Conditions

a) The facility shall be constructed and operated substantially as specified by the Certificate Holder in the application and record, except where otherwise ordered by the Council;

b) The exhaust stacks shall be no higher than necessary, consistent with air emission modeling conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);

c) Unless incompatible with provisions ordered by the DEP, selective catalytic reduction shall be used to reduce nitrogen oxide levels, an oxidation catalyst shall be used to reduce carbon monoxide, and water injection shall be used in the combustion turbines while firing on fuel oil and dry low-nitrogen oxide combustion shall be used in the combustion turbines while firing natural gas to reduce nitrogen oxide levels;

d) The project shall operate on natural gas, except during curtailment of natural gas when the project may operate on low sulfur (0.05 percent) distillate fuel oil as permitted by the DEP;

e) Submittal of a petition, amendment, or an application pursuant to CGS section 16-50g et seq., for Council approval, for development of the electric interconnection or modifications to existing electric transmission structures with sufficient detail to determine the jurisdiction, route, type and location of all such changes, and to confirm environmental and health effects consistent with the Council's Electric and Magnetic Field Best Management Practices; and

f) Submittal of a petition, amendment, or an application pursuant to CGS 16-50g et seq., for Council approval, for construction of any new natural gas pipeline to the facility, with sufficient detail to determine the jurisdiction, route, type, and location of all support equipment, effect on and changes necessary to existing infrastructure, health and safety effects, and possible alternative configuration and routes for the proposed new pipeline.

2. Development and Management Plan

To ensure compliance with the Council's Decision and Order, the Certificate Holder shall not commence construction until it has secured Council approval of a Development and Management Plan (D&M Plan) with the following elements:

a) Provisions for 1) water diverted from the Connecticut River, including the acquisition of all required rights-of-way; permits from the Department of Environmental Protection, Army Corps of Engineers, Amtrak, Connecticut Department of Transportation, and local municipalities; final engineering plans for the water pipeline and intake structures; and access for public recreation along the transmission line right-of-way or, 2) dry cooling for the facility including a revised site plan to accommodate the dry cooling equipment;

b) A final site plan showing all roads, structures and other improvements on the site. The final site plan shall, to the greatest extent possible, maximize placement of facility components within the existing quarry; preserve the existing natural vegetation on the site; establish open space buffer areas; develop conservation easements over traprock ridges, vernal pools, seeps, and areas with habitat for species of special concern; and minimize impacts on inland wetlands;

c) Detailed project schedules for all work activities with weekly work plans;

d) Provisions for adequate oil storage, unloading, and pumping facilities including tanker queuing and turn-around areas sufficient to allow for the arrival of five trucks per hour, to ensure continuous burn on oil for up to 720 hours per year during natural gas curtailment;

e) Plans for landscaping, including preservation of the existing natural vegetation; configuration of earthen berms; and planting of new coniferous vegetation to provide ecological habitat, visual screening, and acoustical buffers;

f) Provisions for architectural treatment of all building components, especially, but not limited to, those components, such as the exhaust stacks, which can be seen from off-site locations, to minimize visual effects on scenic resources;

g) Detailed erosion and sedimentation control and stormwater management plans with provisions for inspection, enforcement, and revision;

h) A spill prevention and countermeasure plan;

i) A construction blasting plan; and

j) A final site plan and engineering details for the electrical interconnection with measurements of pre- and post-construction electric and magnetic field (EMF) levels, and provisions for optimum phasing and compact spacing to maximize cancellation of EMF to the greatest extent practically possible.

3. Operations Plan

To ensure compliance with the Council's Decision and Order, the Certificate Holder shall not commence operation of the facility until it has secured approval of an Operations Plan with components to include base line testing, performance objectives, post-construction operations monitoring, enforcement protocol, and the development of mitigation measures to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and/or performance objectives for each of the following components:

a) noise emissions;

b) water usage;

c) water discharges;

d) air and water vapor emissions;

e) odors;

f) plant lighting;

g) traffic management;

h) physical plant and site management; and

i) EMF exposure to uncontrolled areas adjacent to the electric interconnection.

4. Notification

The Certificate Holder shall provide the Council notification of the following events not less than two weeks in advance of their occurrence:

a) commencement of facility construction;

b) commencement of facility testing;

c) commencement of commercial operations; and

d) permanent termination of any operation of the project.

5. Reporting

The Certificate Holder shall provide the following reports:

a) Quarterly progress reports to include the status of all permits, starting with the effective date of this Decision and Order and ending with the commencement of facility operation, or as directed by the Council; and

b) A first year operating report, to be submitted to the Council within three months after the conclusion of the first year of operation, to include:

1. The number of hours when operation on natural gas was curtailed and fuel oil was burned, facility capacity and availability, and the number of and reasons for any interruption in electric generation;

2. Overall condition and reliability of the facility; and

3. Any exceedence of regulatory requirements and/or performance objectives developed consistent with Condition 3 of this Decision and Order.

6. The Certificate Holder shall provide to the Council, when available, the final DEP air emissions, water discharge, and water diversion permits.

7. Unless otherwise approved by the Council, this Decision and Order shall be void if all construction authorized herein is not completed within four years of the effective date of this Decision and Order or within four years after all appeals to this Decision and Order have been resolved.

We hereby direct that a copy of the Findings of Fact, Opinion, and Decision and Order be served on each person listed below, and notice of issuance published in The Hartford Courant, The New Britain Herald, and the Meriden Record-Journal.

By this Decision and Order, the Council disposes of the legal rights, duties, and privileges of each party named or admitted to the proceeding in accordance with Section 16-50j-17 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

The parties and intervenors to this proceeding are:

PDC - El Paso Meriden, LLC
Its Representative
John DeTore, Esq.
Rubin & Rudman
50 Rowes Wharf
Boston, MA  02110
(617) 330-7000
The Connecticut Light and Power Company
Its Representative
Daniel P. Venora
Senior Counsel
Northeast Utilities Service Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT  06141-0270
(860) 665-3395 
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
Farmington River Watershed Association
Its Representative
Margery Winters
Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
111 Main Street
Collinsville, CT  06022
(860) 693-1602 
Kevin Case
Farmington River Watershed Association
749 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT  06070
(860) 658-4442
Quinnipiac River Watershed Association
Its Representative
Sigrun N. Gadwa
Executive Director
Quinnipiac River Watershed Association
99 Colony Street
Meriden, CT  06451
(203) 237-2237 

Content Last Modified on 10/9/2002 1:08:28 PM