This past Saturday, the Trumbull Legislative Delegation—Representatives T.R. Rowe (R-Trumbull) and Tony Hwang (R-Trumbull/Fairfield) and Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull)—invited the influential co-chair of the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee to meet residents of the Nichols portion of Trumbull and tour the site of a proposed 3.4 megawatt natural gas-fired fuel cell.
In their ongoing efforts to build a coalition of support for legislation stemming from the Trumbull controversy that would require a public hearing in all Siting Council decisions, the delegation invited Senator Jonathan Harris (D-West Hartford) to tour the proposed site, which is located in a highly residential area.
“Common sense dictates that energy plants with untested technology that are proposed to be located in densely populated neighborhoods deserve more than the usual level of review,” Senator Harris said. “Public health and safety always come first, and my trip to Trumbull only reinforced that belief. The proposed change requiring a public hearing on such projects would increase public knowledge, increase public safety, and strike the proper balance between responsible development and responsible, responsive government.”
“Private residences, a high school, churches, an herb farm—these are just a few of the things in direct proximity to the site where they want to build this power plant,” said Senator Musto. “Words are fine, but we know a picture is worth a thousand words. It was important to the neighborhood, to me and to the whole delegation that the pictures make their way to Hartford, so I’m extremely grateful to Senator Harris as chair of the Public Health Committee for accepting our invitation and coming to Trumbull this weekend.”
“It was gracious of Senator Harris to spend time with the residents and tour the site. He will be a valuable ally as we marshal as many forces together as possible to stop this power plant,” said Representative Rowe.
“The idea of balancing our state need for energy and power generation plants against public safety and neighborhood preservation is an important one, and one that will be repeated throughout towns within Connecticut,” said Representative Hwang. “We need to ensure the rights of communities and citizens are recognized and protected as we evaluate locations for energy and power generation.”
Earlier this month, a busload of Trumbull residents travelled to the State Capitol to testify in favor of the proposed legislation. The proposed plant would be within a stone’s throw of houses and in close proximity
to a high school. Under current rules, the Siting Council is only required to consider environmental impact in its decisions and is not required to hold public hearings in effected communities.
The legislation—House Bill 5213, An Act Concerning the Siting Council— was recently approved unanimously by the General Assembly’s Energy & Technology Committee and now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
The 2010 regular legislative session adjourns on May 5.