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BLACKSTONE VALLEY TOURISM COUNCIL

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 POSITION STATEMENT – PROPOSED BURRILLVILLE POWER PLANT 

September 13, 2016

Honorable Governor Gina Raimondo
RI Energy Facility Siting Board
Janet Coit, Director, RIDEM
Carol Grant, Director, Office of Energy Resources
Meg Curran, Chairwoman, RI PUC
Parag Agrawal, Associate Director, Division of Planning
Michael Wood, Town Manager, Town of Burrillville

With great concern and contemplation, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Board of Directors has voted to stand against the proposed Invenergy Clear River Energy Center.  The Tourism Council has worked as a steward for more than thirty (30) years for our nine Blackstone Valley communities.  The Tourism Council operates not only as a  tourism development agency but also  as a manager of the Sustainable Tourism Development Laboratory,  which recently developed a Geo-Tourism plan for the Town of Burrillville.

The Blackstone River Valley is considered the birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution and Economic Freedom. Excessive industrialization has also earned us the title of the first unsustainable landscape in North America.  Since 1787, industrial waste deposited in our rivers and streams has severely crippled and polluted our landscape, rivers and air.

The Tourism Council utilizes our 240 square mile landscape for the purposes of investigating ways to balance our environment, our economy and our cultural resources.  Our agency has become globally recognized as a pacesetter in sustainable tourism development.   Our newly announced Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is a testament to this work.

Professionals from the United Nations World Tourism Council, the George Washington University, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the University of Surrey in England, The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US National Park Service have assisted in the Blackstone Valley regeneration.  The process of reclaiming our landscape has not been a simple one, with billions of dollars being spent in restoring our lands and rivers to a natural state.

The Clear River Energy Center proposal is a bold contradiction to the values and beliefs held important to the Tourism Council and its work and sets the Blackstone Valley back in time.  Therefore, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Board of Directors requests opposition of the proposed Invenergy Clear River Energy Center.