The Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit in March claiming a water contract between the Town of Johnston and Invenergy, the power plant’s developer, is illegal. The contract says Johnston will buy water from Providence and resell it to Invenergy to cool the power plant.
CLF is arguing that according to a law from 1915, Providence doesn’t have a legal obligation to sell water to Johnston for that purpose.
Jerry Elmer, senior attorney at CLF, said the law states that Johnston can only buy water for domestic purposes, such as washing dishes, fire department purposes, and ordinary municipal purposes.
“Johnston selling water to a power plant in Burrillville is not ordinary, it’s not common, it’s never been done before in the history of Rhode Island, and it’s not municipal, it’s a private company using the water,” Elmer said.
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