Invenergy, a Chicago-based corporation, has proposed a new 450-550 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant (called Allegheny Energy Center) along the Youghiogheny River in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County. Invenergy is seeking zoning variances from Elizabeth Township to allow for construction of the plant in a residential district just downstream of Buena Vista, PA. Zoning ordinances affect land use by regulating what types of uses are permitted in each district (residential, industrial, commercial, etc.). The zoning process allows us as citizens an opportunity to participate in decisions that have the potential to affect the character of our communities. For permitting and other documents relevant to this proposal click here.
Presently the proposed site, though it has a long history of environmental misuse and was once used as a hazardous waste landfill, is stable. Remediation began in 2002 after DEP issued a consent order and the responsible parties agreed to a plan for cleanup. Deed restrictions were put in place pertaining to future development of the property; these have not been relevant until now. Many are concerned that development of this site for the power plant will destabilize the property and potentially uncover additional sources of pollution that could leach into the Yough.
We have joined with community members in Elizabeth Township to formally construction of this proposed gas plant. Along with members of the newly formed group Protect ET (Elizabeth Township), we have engaged Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services to represent our interests.
On June 15, 2016 the Elizabeth Township Zoning Hearing Board denied AEC’s requests for variances for the site. That decision was appealed, and in September 2016 we were granted intervenor status in that appeal alongside Protect ET.
We recently learned that AEC has suggested a new location for the proposed gas-plant— one that is very close to the route of Sunoco’s Mariner East I and proposed Mariner East II pipelines (both for transporting liquid natural gas).
Stay tuned for information and for more information visit our blog.