CSC: DO 192 CGS 4-181 findings
FindingsofFact

DOCKET NO. 192 - Towantic Energy, LLC Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need:

Reopening pursuant to Connecticut General Statues (CGS) § 4-181a (b), that permits an agency to consider whether changed conditions exist, and then consider whether such changes, if any, justify reversing or modifying the Council’s original decision dated June 23, 1999.

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Connecticut

Siting

Council

January 4, 2007

Findings of Fact for Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) § 4-181a (b) Proceeding

Introduction

  1. On July 23, 1999, the Council granted a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need to Towantic Energy, LLC (Certificate Holder) for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a 512 megawatt electric generating facility located approximately 4,000 feet north of the Prokop Road and Towantic Hill Road intersection in the Town of Oxford, Connecticut. A Development and Management Plan for construction of the facility was approved by the Council on March 1, 2001. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  2. The Certificate Holder had four years to complete construction of the project from the completion of all appeals of the Connecticut Siting Council’s (Council) decision. An appeal to the Superior Court was taken from the Council’s decision by the Citizens for the Defense of Oxford. This appeal was dismissed on November 14, 2000. That decision was further appealed to the Appellate Court , but the appeal was withdrawn on or about May 19, 2001, thus establishing a deadline of May 29, 2005.(Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  3. On December 3, 2003, the Certificate Holder filed a request to extend the Certificate deadline 45 months beyond the final resolution of the pending appeal of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) air emission permits. This would allow the Certificate Holder to complete an electrical interconnection agreement with the independent system operator and provide the time needed to secure financing. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  4. On March 4, 2004, the Council granted an extension to complete construction to June 26, 2006. This extension was granted to coincide with the DEP air emission permit deadline. The DEP deadline is a milestone by which Towantic would need to refile a Best Available Control Technology analysis for air emissions. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  5. On November 17, 2005, the Council denied the Certificate Holder’s request to reopen this docket, pursuant to Connecticut General Statues (CGS) § 4-181a (b), on purported changed conditions to relieve the condition of dual fuel capability and to provide that the construction deadline be dependent on a power purchase agreement. The applicable provision of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA) permits an agency to consider whether changed conditions exist, and then consider whether such changes, if any, justify reversing or modifying the Council’s original decision. Consequently, the Council reopened this docket, under its own motion, in accordance with CGS § 4-181a (b), to consider allegations of changed conditions from both supporters and opponents of the Certificate. A hearing date was set for January 26, 2006. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  6. On December 20, 2005, Calpine, the parent owner of Towantic Energy LLC, submitted a bankruptcy filing. Such a filing automatically stays all administrative proceedings. Accordingly, on January 11, 2006, the Certificate Holder requested a postponement of the January 26, 2006 hearing to an unspecified date in "late March", 2006. On January 17, 2006, the Council advised all parties and intervenors that the January 26, 2006 hearing was canceled, and that re-scheduling would be postponed until the Certificate Holder provided the Council with a Court order permitting the Council to proceed. (Certificate Holder 7, Q. 3; Towantic Energy, LLC "Notice of Orders for Relief", 1-11-06; Memo to "Parties and Intervenors", from Pamela B. Katz, P.E., Chairman, 1-17-06).
  7. On April 20, 2006, the Certificate Holder advised the Council that it had requested relief from the United States Bankruptcy Court from the automatic stay, and asked the Council for a 90-day extension of its certificate, scheduled to expire June 26, 2006, in order to provide time for the Council to deliberate. (Letter from Alan M. Kosloff to S. Derek Phelps, 4-20-06).
  8. On May 17, 2006, the Council considered documents from the United States Bankruptcy Court provided by the Certificate Holder, including the granting of a Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay, allowing this Council to conduct administrative proceedings. Accordingly, the Council directed that a hearing be conducted on July 25, 2006. Also, the June 26, 2006 Certificate deadline was extended for 90 days until September 26, 2006, to allow the Council to complete its reopened proceeding. (Letter from Alan M. Kosloff to S. Derek Phelps, 4-20-06; Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No 192 Record).
  9. In accordance with the Council’s reopening of this docket to consider changed conditions, the noticed subject of the July 25, 2006 hearing was "to hear evidence to determine if conditions have changed so that the Council’s original decision [re the Certificate] should be reversed or modified. Specifically, the Council will consider the following alleged changed conditions:
    • Whether changes in financing and market conditions for power purchases either undermine the issued certificate or compel or make desirable an extension of the issued certificate (Findings numbered 20-28)
    • Certificate banking (whether the certificate holder has a sincere desire to build the plant or is merely holding the certificate as an asset) (Finding number 29)
    • Traffic impact (whether it has worsened since initial certificate approval) (Findings numbered 30-37)
    • Natural gas supply and cost (Findings numbered 38-41)
    • Status of air emission permits (Findings numbered 42-43)
    • Condition of buy-out with the Town of Oxford(Finding number 44)
    • Financial support of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (Findings numbered 45-48)
    • Whether changed conditions require or make desirable elimination of dual fuel capability (Findings numbered 5 and 12)
    • Vertical exhaust plume affects on aviation in light of any changes in the Waterbury/Oxford Airport, and changes in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements and permits and studies since the initial issuance of the certificate (Findings numbered 49-52)
    • Waterbury/Oxford Airport Noise Study (Findings numbered 53-58)
    • Whether changed conditions require or make desirable extension of the construction schedule Finding number 59)
    • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (Finding number 24)
    • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved "Forward Power" auction for New England." (Finding number 26)

(Council Hearing Notices dated June 21 and July 21, 2006)

  1. On July 18, 2006, the Certificate Holder requested, and was granted, extensions to certain deadlines, leading to a cancellation of the July 25, 2006 hearing and a re-scheduling to August 29, 2006. (Letter from Alan M. Kosloff to S. Derek Phelps, 7-18-06; memo to Parties and Intervenors, 7-19-06; "Notice of hearing Cancellation and Notice of Reschedule Date", 7-21-06).
  2. On August 22, 2006, the Certificate Holder and Intervenor General Electric Energy Financial Services (GE-EFS) jointly submitted a filing with this Council stating that GE-EFS were investigating a possible purchase of the Certificate from the Certificate Holder. The Certificate Holder further stated that GE-EFS needed to complete due diligence [comprehensive research and analysis of project data], including a review of the project’s status and economics, and gain approval by senior management before proceeding with the purchase. Consequently, the Certificate Holder and GE-EFS requested a 120-day extension of the Certificate deadline from September 26, 2006 to January 24, 2006. On August 31, 2006, the Council granted this extension. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record).
  3. Within the August 22, 2006 filing the Certificate Holder also outlined a new position it had adopted regarding "changed conditions", the subject of the pending hearing. First, it withdrew its initial claim and argument of changed conditions. Second, it announced it would not file testimony or exhibits or otherwise make a presentation in support of no changed conditions. Third, it summarily rejected all opposing claims of changed conditions, while reserving the right to rebut. (Towantic Energy, LLC and GE Energy Financial Services, Inc.’s Joint Notice of Position and Motion for Extension of Time; Tr. 1 p. 26).
  4. Pursuant to C.G.S. § 16-50m, the Council, after giving due notice thereof, held a public hearing on August 29, 2006, beginning at 2:00 p.m., and reconvening at 7:00 p.m., in the in the Main Meeting Room of the S.B. Church Memorial Town Hall, 486 Oxford Road, Oxford, Connecticut. This hearing was continued on November 2, 2006, at Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut. (Council Hearing Notice dated July 21, 2006; Transcript, August 29, 2006 2:00 p.m. (Tr. 1), 7:00 p.m. (Tr. 2); Transcript November 2, 2006, 10:30 a.m. (Tr. 3))
  5. The Certificate Holder, Citizens for the Defense for Oxford, the Town of Oxford, Trout Unlimited – Naugatuck Chapter, and the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition are the initial parties to this docket. The Town of Middlebury, Connecticut Light and Power Company, Yankee Gas Service Company, and Town of Southbury are the initial intervenors to this docket. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Record)
  6. The Certificate Holder, Citizens for the Defense for Oxford, the Town of Oxford participated as parties in the reopened hearing. Raymond Pietrorazio and GE Energy Financial Services, Inc. participated as intervenors in the reopened hearing. (Transcripts 1, 2, and 3)

    State Agency Comment

  7. Pursuant to CGS § 16-50l, the Council solicited comments on the reopening of this docket from the following state departments and agencies: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Public Health (DPH), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC), Office of Policy and Management (OPM), Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Council letters requesting comments were sent on June 27 and November 3, 2006. (CSC Hearing Package dated June 27, 2006; SACADTL dated November 3, 2006)
  8. On January 19, 2006, the DOT provided comments and recommends as follows:
    1. that any action regarding Towantic Energy project reflect the outcome of the FAA’s "risk analysis for overflights of vertical plumes", and
    2. that DOT would re-examine their "2001 Declaratory Ruling Concerning the Proposal Calpine/Towantic Energy LLC Power Plant at Woodruff Hill" and its effect on aviation proposed for Oxford CT, if requested by the FAA.

(DOT letter dated January 19, 2006)

  1. No comments were received from the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Public Utility Control, Office of Policy and Management, and the Department of Economic and Community Development. (Record)

    Current Market Conditions and Supply/Demand Issues Affecting Public Benefit

  2. Since 1998, the Council has approved 3,682 MW of nominal generating capacity. However, only 2,106 MW, or 57 percent of the approved capacity [Bridgeport Energy, Milford Power, Lake Road Generating, and PPL Wallingford] comprising 2,106 MW, is now operating. Most of the delays are caused by project-specific reasons, but all the projects are experiencing financial vulnerability due to uncertain market conditions. (Administrative Notice Nos. 3 and 4: 2005 and 2006 Review of Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-year Forecast of Loads and Resources)

  3. The 2005 and 2006 Ten-Year Forecast of Loads and Resources of Connecticut Electric Utilities concluded that supplies are expected to meet demand under normal weather conditions in the near term, assuming no losses of generation due to retirement. These reports note that much of the local capacity in the state is relatively old, inefficient, and more polluting and is becoming increasingly obsolete. However, under the more stringent ISO-NE "90/10" forecast, Connecticut faces a significant shortage of supply, even including the three approved generating facilities [NRG Northeast Generating, Towantic Energy, and Kleen Energy Systems] comprising 1,576 MW are not yet constructed and/or completed. (Administrative Notice No. 3- 2005 Review of Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-year Forecast of Loads and Resources, p. 23; and Administrative Notice No. 4: 2005 and 2006 Review of Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-year Forecast of Loads and Resources, p. 26)

  4. Southwest Connecticut currently has sufficient reserve margins of electricity for routine demand; but lacks sufficient supply to meet peak demand. (Administrative Notice No. 3 and 4, Review of the Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-Year Forecasts of Loads and Resources, Connecticut Siting Council, 2005 and 2006; Administrative Notice No. 8, Energy Plan for Connecticut, Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, February 2006; Administrative Notice No. 17, Report on the Electricity Sector Needs of Connecticut, 2007-2021 (August 25, 2006, revised), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control; Administrative Notice No. 18, Request for Proposals to Reduce the Impact of Federally Mandated Congestion Charges (DPUC Docket No. 05-07-14PH02), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control)
  5. Within the last five years, the Connecticut legislature, DPUC, CEAB, Governors Rowland and Rell, the OPM and other agencies have all adopted policies and plans to benefit the public by emphasizing renewable energy, distributed generation, demand response resources, and energy efficiency. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been one large-scale feature of this general trend. (A Memorandum of Understanding regarding RGGI was ratified in December 2005 and amended in August 2006 by seven states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.) At a smaller scale, growth in funding and approval for "clean" generation units has been appreciable. (Administrative Notice Nos. 3 and 4-Review of the Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-Year Forecasts of Loads and Resources, Connecticut Siting Council, 2005 and 2006; Administrative Notice No. 8, Energy Plan for Connecticut, Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, February 2006; Administrative Notice No. 17, Report on the Electricity Sector Needs of Connecticut, 2007-2021 (August 25, 2006, revised), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control; Administrative Notice No. 18, Request for Proposals to Reduce the Impact of Federally Mandated Congestion Charges (DPUC Docket No. 05-07-14PH02), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control)
  6. Within the last five years, numerous state government agencies and private groups have prioritized regional development, identifying certain development areas or corridors within the state for targeted infrastructure build-outs, and favoring brownfield remediation over construction on previously undeveloped land. (Administrative Notice No. 8, Energy Plan for Connecticut, Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, February 2006)
  7. In June, 2006, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a "Settlement Agreement." Known by various names—among them, "Forward Power Market"—this agreement establishes a new wholesale market for generation in New England. This market will be administered by the Independent System Operator for the electricity grid in New England (ISO-NE). The market is designed to "level the playing field" among types of supply and allow the construction of new generation to be determined by market forces rather than by "non-market" contract subsidies based on location. (Administrative Notice No. 4, Review of the Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-Year Forecasts of Loads and Resources, Connecticut Siting Council, 2006; Administrative Notice No. 17, Report on the Electricity Sector Needs of Connecticut, 2007-2021 (August 25, 2006, revised), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control; Administrative Notice No. 18, Request for Proposals to Reduce the Impact of Federally Mandated Congestion Charges (DPUC Docket No. 05-07-14PH02), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control)
  8. The 2006 DPUC RFP, as outlined under Public Act 05-1 Energy Independence Act section no. 12 and now in process, is designed to mitigate high electricity prices and benefit the public by integrating Connecticut generation efficiently into the new wholesale power market. (Administrative Notice No. 18, Request for Proposals to Reduce the Impact of Federally Mandated Congestion Charges (DPUC Docket No. 05-07-14PH02), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control)
  9. Towantic Energy, if acquired by GEEFS, would qualify as a resource for the "Forward Reserve Market" and would participate ISO-New England bid process. (GEEFS 2, Q. 10)
  10. The public receives maximum benefit from an electricity system that is well-balanced between transmission and sources of supply. Recently, the Council has helped to improve Southwestern Connecticut’s access to electric supply by approving major transmission improvements in the region. These improvements include Docket 217 (Bethel to Norwalk), Docket 272 (Middletown to Norwalk), Docket 292 (Norwalk to Stamford), shorter reconductoring projects, and sub-station/switching upgrades. Completion dates for these projects vary from the present to 2010. (Administrative Notice Nos. 3 and 4, Review of the Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-Year Forecasts of Loads and Resources, Connecticut Siting Council, 2005 and 2006.)

    Certificate Banking

  11. No information or evidence was offered on the subject matter of Certificate Banking. (Record)

    Traffic Impact

  12. The Bubaris traffic study, dated July 2006 and prepared for the Nafis & Young Engineering and Surveying Company on behalf of the Town of Oxford, projects traffic volumes to a design year of 2016 and includes several approved and not yet constructed developments. The report includes traffic related to the Woodruff Hill Industrial Park, a proposed industrial park on Riggs Street, a general light industrial development on Christian Street, a second general light industrial development on Christian Street, and six housing developments. (Certificate Holder 16; Tr. 3, pp. 254 and 261)
  13. The Bubaris Report analyzed and reviewed nine intersections and roadways. The intersections included Route 188 and the I-84 westbound ramps, Route 188 and the I-84 eastbound ramps, Route 188 and the airport access road, Route 67 and Route 188, Christian Street at Benson Road and Julianno Drive, Christian Street at the airport access road, Riggs Street and the south site drive to the industrial park at Prokop Road, Riggs Street at Towantic Hill Road, and Route 67 at Riggs Street. (Tr. 3, p. 263)
  14. Traffic volume is predicted based on the square footage of space to be utilized. The Woodruff Hill Industrial Park consists of 500,000 square feet of industrial space, one of which is the Towantic Energy facility. (Tr. 3, p. 265)
  15. The report indicated signalization or traffic control improvements would be required at intersections in order to accommodate the traffic. (Certificate Holder 16; Tr. 3 p. 264)
  16. Roads that would be used to access the proposed site from the north include Interstate 84, State Route 188, Waterbury-Oxford Access Road (State Route 454), Christian Street, Jack’s Hill Road, Riggs Street, and Prokop Road to Woodruff Hill Road. Roads that would be used to access the proposed site from the south include Route 8, Route 67, Riggs Street, and Prokop Road to Woodruff Hill Road. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 82)
  17. No change is expected to traffic concerning construction, fuel delivery, or operating staff. (Record)
  18. The State Traffic Commission concluded "that the site-generated traffic will not significantly impact the State highway system in the area." (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 85)

    Natural gas supply and cost

  19. State and federal governments and business groups project that 2010 will be a pivotal year for gas supply in New England. The region is generally expected to have adequate, although tight, gas supplies through 2010, assuming full availability of the region’s existing natural gas infrastructure. Yet, additional infrastructure will need to be in place by 2010 to meet future natural gas demand. Some analyses are less optimistic and project shortfalls by 2007 without additional infrastructure. (Administrative Notice No. 9, Power Generation and Fuel Diversity in New England, ISO-New England White Paper, August 25, 2005.)
  20. Approximately 40 percent of the region’s installed generating capacity burns gas as a primary fuel, which represents an increase from approximately 17% in 1999. Similarly, 30% of total electricity produced in New England in 2004 was produced by generators using natural gas as a primary fuel, up from 15% only five years ago. (Administrative Notice No. 9, Power Generation and Fuel Diversity in New England, ISO-New England White Paper, August 25, 2005.)
  21. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts the average natural gas price in 2006 will be $7.24/MMBtu, with a steady decline to a low of $5.08/MMBtu in 2015. To indicate electricity-price trends, the analysis projected total electricity costs for the region in 2010 and 2015, based on the region taking no actions to change its mix of capacity resources or decrease demand (i.e., a "business-as-usual" scenario). These costs were compared to the 2006 expected costs for electricity. These numbers are in real dollars and are adjusted slightly to reflect higher costs when delivered to New England. (Administrative Notice No. 10, Electricity Costs White Paper, ISO-New England, June 1, 2006, page 5)
  22. Natural gas costs have become unusually volatile in Connecticut in recent years because of: 1) the state’s location at the end of currently available natural gas delivery chains; 2) the state’s rapidly accelerating dependence on natural gas for generating electricity; and 3) the state’s significant but unpredictable winter season heating demands on natural gas. A constrained supply and sharply increased or unpredictable demand in a competitive environment lead to unusual cost escalation and volatility. (Administrative Notice No. 9, Power Generation and Fuel Diversity in New England, ISO-New England White Paper, August 25, 2005; Administrative Notice No. 3 and 4, Review of the Connecticut Electric Utilities Ten-Year Forecasts of Loads and Resources, Connecticut Siting Council, 2005 and 2006; Administrative Notice No. 8, Energy Plan for Connecticut, Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, February 2006; Administrative Notice No. 17 Report on the Electricity Sector Needs of Connecticut, 2007-2021 (August 25, 2006, revised), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control; Administrative Notice No. 18 Request for Proposals to Reduce the Impact of Federally Mandated Congestion Charges (DPUC Docket No. 05-07-14PH02), State of Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control)
  23. The current uncontrolled growth in energy use has long-term economic and environmental consequences for Connecticut. In July of 2005, Connecticut set an all-time electric peak of 7011 MW. Fossil fuel consumption for home heating, transportation and electric generation has also dramatically increased. The shortage of supply of all energy sources this year has resulted in an increase in oil prices by 80%, in natural gas prices by 50% and in electric prices which could increase by an additional 22%. (Administrative Notice No. 8, Energy Plan for Connecticut, Connecticut Energy Advisory Board, February 2006)

    Status of air emission permits

  24. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued air emission permits for the construction and operation of two 7FA gas turbines on December 7, 2004. The Certificate Holder had until June 26, 2006 to complete construction. At that date, the permits did not expire, but another DEP analysis was triggered, for an updated Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analyses. The Certificate holder has filed an update to its BACT analysis with the DEP. (GE-EFS 3 Q. 16)
  25. DEP air emission permits have been appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court. No decision has been rendered to date. The DEP informally stated to the Certificate Holder that it would not act on the updated BACT analysis until the appeal is final on the initial air emission permit.( Certificate Holder 7, Q. 6; Certificate Holder 6, Q. 5; Certificate Holder 15)

    Town of Oxford Support

  26. The Town of Oxford Planning and Zoning, Conservation, and Inland Wetland Commissions approved the Towantic Energy project in 1999. Majorities of the Board of Selectmen continue to support the project and do not believe conditions have changed. (Council Docket 192 June 23, 1999 Findings of Fact 134-136; Transcript 3, p.81)

    Water Supply (including considerations re the Pomperaug River Watershed)

  27. The available water and margin of safety1 for the Heritage Water Company (HWC), with Towantic Energy using an average of 0.059 million gallons per day (mgd) and 0.100 mgd on peak days, is as follows:

    Year

    Available Water mgd

    Average Day Use in mgd

    Peak Day Use in mgd

       

    Demand

    Margin of Safety1

    Demand

    Margin of Safety1

    1996

    1.524

    0.96

    1.59

    1.47

    1.04

    2002

    2.052

    1.01

    2.03

    1.62

    1.27

    2010

    2.052

    1.22

    1.68

    1.96

    1.05

    2015

    2.052

    1.28

    1.60

    2.06

    1.00

    2016

    2.052

    1.29

    1.59

    2.07

    0.99

    2017

    2.052

    1.30

    1.58

    2.09

    0.98

    2018

    2.052

    1.32

    1.56

    2.11

    0.97

    2019

    2.052

    1.33

    1.54

    2.13

    0.96

    2020

    2.052

    1.34

    1.53

    2.15

    0.95

    2030

    2.052

    1.46

    1.41

    2.34

    0.88

    2040

    2.052

    1.58

    1.30

    2.53

    0.81

    1 Margin of safety is the ratio of available water to demand

    In the year 2016, HWC would need to have additional water supply to meet demand for peak day use. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 69)

  28. With or without the proposed project, HWC has expected it would have to obtain additional water supplies by expanding its existing well field, developing another source in the Town of Southbury, developing new supplies in Middlebury or Oxford outside the Pomperaug River Basin, or establishing an interconnection with another utility to purchase water. Recently, HWC has chosen to interconnect with the Connecticut Water Company. The two companies have begun this process, and expect to complete it by the end of calendar year 2007. The interconnection would supply an additional 200,000 gallons per day and up to 600,000 gallons per day for future growth. This supply enhancement to HWC would relieve demand requirements from its customers, including Towantic Energy. (Certificate Holder 9, Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 FOF No. 72; Tr. 3, pp. 242-244.]
  29. The HWC 2005 Water Supply Plan is a conservative forecast of water demand for a period of 50 years. (Certificate Holder 9, p. 3; Tr. 3 p. 246)
  30. The Council’s Decision and Order No. 1 (d) requires the Certificate Holder to fund and maintain two stream gauge stations on the Pomperaug River. Also, under the operations plan, Decision and Order No. 3 (b) requires the Certificate Holder to 1) develop a water conservation plan to use on-site water storage for facility operation during low flow conditions; and 2) provide a plan with funding outlining participation and implementation of a study using Instream Flow Incremental Methodology. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Decision and Order June 23, 1999)

    Dual Fuel Capability

  31. The Certificate Holder would build the facility to use natural gas as a primary fuel and fuel oil as an alternative fuel. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 FOF Nos. 36 and 38)
  32. Facts related to this section are covered above in the section on current market conditions and public benefit and in the section on natural gas. [Findings 5 and 12 relate to this alleged change]

    Vertical Exhaust Plume Effects

  33. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a safety study report titled Safety Risk Analysis of Aircraft Overflight of Industrial Exhaust Plumes, dated January 2006, that found the "risk associated with plumes is deemed acceptable without restriction, limitation, or further mitigation." This is based on review of National Aeronautical Space Administration and FAA flight records. No accident or incident involving overflight of exhaust plumes was found. Thus the accident/incident rate is estimated to be 1.2 x 10 -9 (one in a billion). Therefore the likelihood of an accident/incident caused by overflight of an exhaust plume is acceptably small since the target level of safety is 1.0 x 10-7. (Administrative Notice # 13, Safety Risk Analysis of Aircraft Overflight of Industrial Exhaust Plumes, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration January 2006; Certificate Holder 6, Q. 7)
  34. Recommendations of the Safety Risk Analysis of Aircraft Overflight of Industrial Exhaust Plumes identify communications, avoidance tactics and operational techniques to further minimize risk. (Administrative Notice # 13, Safety Risk Analysis of Aircraft Overflight of Industrial Exhaust Plumes, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration January 2006)
  35. Towantic Energy is required to provide the Council an FAA Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration prior to construction. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket No. 192 Decision and Order No. 6)
  36. Notice of proposed construction to the FAA is administered through 14 Code of Federal Register (CFR) Part 77 which ensures the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace. FAA determines level of risk and recommends mitigation. FAA determination should not be construed as an approval or disapproval of a project. Mechanisms to conduct studies and notify pertinent entities provides for due process for a notice of proposed construction. Once a determination is issued it may be challenged for further review. (Administrative Notice No. 11, Advisory Circular AC 70/7460-2K Obstruction Marking and Lighting, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, March 1, 2000.; Tr. 3, p. 223 and 226; Raymond Pietrorazio Exhibit 1 No. 8, FAA Order 8040-4 Subject: Safety Risk Management, dated June 26, 1998.)

    Noise

  37. In accordance with the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Sections 22a-69-1 to 22a-69-7.4, Control of Noise, noise levels are regulated by noise emissions from noise sources to potential receptors. The proposed site would be a Class C industrial source which cannot exceed 70 decibels (dBA) when measured at another Class C receptor, 66 dBA at a Class B receptor (commercial), and 61 dBA at a Class A receptor (residential) during daytime hours, or 51 dBA at a Class A receptor during nighttime hours (10:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m.). (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 92)
  38. The existing average equivalent continuous noise levels (Leq) measured at the three residential locations nearest to the proposed facility - - off Towantic Hill Road (Site A), off Prokop Road (Site B), and off Washington Drive in the Town of Middlebury (Site C) - - are as follows:

Average Ambient Noise Levels

Locations

Distance from center of site

Leq(dBA)

daytime

nighttime

Site A

1,500 feet southeast

49.9

43.9

Site B

2,400 feet southwest

48.7

43.0

Site C

1,150 feet north

47.6

42.2

(Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 87)

  1. The estimated noise levels from the proposed facility at the site boundaries and nearby residential receptors are as follows:

    Estimated Plant Noise Levels (dBA)

    Location

    Sound level

    North property line of proposed site

    50

    South property line of proposed site

    55

    East property line of proposed site

    63

    West property line of proposed site

    62

    500 feet north of property line

    43

    500 feet southeast of property line

    48

    500 feet southwest of property line

    49

    1000 feet north of property line

    41

    1000 feet southeast of property line

    45

    1000 feet southwest of property line

    46

    (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 88)

  2. Estimated noise levels were adjusted for distance, absorption by air, reflection and absorption by ground, and shielding effects by buildings and structures. (Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 89)
  3. Approximately 768 new homes have been approved or built (Brookside, Benson Woods, Farm at Longmeadow, Ridgewood, Avalon Farms, Pine Ridge and Five Star Development) within the Town of Middlebury. These developments except Farm at Longmeadow are located between one and two miles from the proposed facility. The nearest home within the Farm at Longmeadow is located about 1,150 feet north of the proposed facility. The nearest residence to the facility in Oxford is 1,500 feet. (CDO 18 and 20B; Administrative Notice No. 7, Docket 192 Finding of Fact No. 57)
  4. The DOT is presently updating the Waterbury-Oxford Airport Master Plan. Predicted noise levels generated by airport operations create contours identified as runway protection zones. While some residences exist within this runway protection zones, and may be subject to acquisition, the proposed facility is not within this zones. (Raymond Pietrorazio Exhibit 1 No. 27, Draft report, CT Department of Transportation Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Airport Master Plan Update page 5-4 Compatible Land Use dated July 2006.

    Changed Conditions re Extension of Certificate for Towantic Energy

  5. Citizens for the Defense for Oxford and Raymond Pietrorazio expressed objections to extending the certificate deadline. (CDO 12; Raymond Pietrorazio 1, p. 5)
  6. For facts related to this section, see this document throughout, especially facts covered above in the section on current market conditions and public benefit.

    Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

  7. Facts related to this section are covered above in the section on current market conditions and public benefit.

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "Forward Power" Auction for New England

  8. Facts related to this section are covered above in the section on current market conditions and public benefit.


Content Last Modified on 1/12/2007 12:32:02 PM