The Housatonic Valley Association supports the request from multiple community leaders for rigorous baseline air and water quality monitoring before Cricket Valley Energy is operational, with all data updated regularly throughout its operation. HVA also urges the State of Connecticut and Connecticut DEEP to consider any reasonable actions that protect Connecticut residents from increased air pollution resulting from Cricket Valley Operations.
HVA, along with a number of partner environmental organizations and agencies, gave extensive review and comment of Cricket Valley energy project during the New York State Environmental Quality Review beginning in 2009 and continuing throughout the permitting process.
From a watershed perspective, including impacts to the Swamp and TenMile Rivers, Great Swamp, the aquifer, and associated surface and ground water throughout the system, the project eventually met or exceeded HVA’s quality and quantity protection expectations.
We asked for, and received:
- Dramatic reduction in water use (the high estimated usage is 60 gallons per minute in the summer months) through the adoption of air-cooling versus water cooling; steam recycling for re-use; and a zero liquid discharge system. Further, the water that is used will come from deep wells rather than the Swamp River or upper reaches of the aquifer.
- Site re-design that incorporates Low Impact Development standards for all storm water management, including bio-retention, roof top and other water collection, rain gardens and native buffers to reduce run-off to pre-project levels; as well as a clean up of waste materials and debris left on-site from previous industrial uses;
- Permanent protection of 79 acres of land;
- Restoration of wetlands impacted by previous uses; and
- Installation of a stream gauging station in the Swamp River downstream of the site at the Route 22 bridge, where a USGS stream gauging station was previously located.
The New York state air quality permitting process required the more stringent air quality controls that became effective in July of 2012, even though the application for this project was submitted much earlier. In effect, this project was made to comply with the cleanest energy producing air emission controls available in New York.
While we accept the conclusions of NYS DEC in approving the project, continued rigorous and accurate verification of Cricket Valley’s environmental impacts are essential to ensuring protection of our watershed’s natural resources, wildlife and communities.
Additional Links from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation:
- Press release on CV permit approval (October 2012)
- DEC Permit Review Report (February 2016)
- DEC Permit Review Report (March 2018)
- DEC Title V Air Quality Permit (March 2018)
- Final Environmental Impact Report