Hundreds of people showed up for a public hearing Thursday on the proposed power plant for Oxford, hoping to convince the council that building a natural-gas powered plant in town was a bad idea because of possible health and safety concerns.
More than 600 people attended the Connecticut Siting Councilm which was held at Oxford High School.
“Let’s not turn a greenfield into a brownfield,” John Retartha, Oxford, said during the meeting, summing up the fear many in the crowd had.
“I’ve been called a NIMBY. That means not in my backyard and I’m proud to say I am a NIMBY,” Peter Bunzl, of Oxford, said.
Others said the 800-megawatt plant would produce more than energy. They see it as an opportunity to create desperately needed jobs, generatr more tax money, and strengthening the region’s power supply.
“I think it’s a God send to both the town of Oxford and the state of Connecticut,” says Gerard Carbonaro, Oxford.
Earlier in the day, regulators traveled to the industrial park where the plant is proposed to be built.
The developer, Competitive Power Ventures, says despite what the critics say, this is a good spot for the plant and it will be safe for people living nearby.
“There’s been a lot of information that’s been spread, it seems in an effort to create some level of hysteria,” says Braith Kelly, CPV senior vice president.
The company says it hopes to hear from regulators no later than mid-May if the plant is a go or not.
It plans to start construction as soon as the end of this year and have the plant operating in 2018.