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CPD tries to stop Laidlaw SEC application

January 06, 2010
CONCORD — Clean Power Development urged the state Site Evaluation Committee to reject Laidlaw's site review application on the grounds it was incomplete last week.

The request, which came in the form of a letter, prompted a response from Laidlaw the next day. This is the latest and most public altercation between the two companies, which are both trying to get biomass projects off the ground in Berlin.

The CPD letter listed four areas where they said Laidlaw's application falls short:

1. Laidlaw did not have the purchase power agreement it needs to be financially viable.

2. The application does not contain information about several companies involved in the transaction, including PJPD, the owner of the mill property.

3. The application does not give detailed information about dealing with existing contaminants on the property.

4. The wood study cited in the application is not sufficient.

Laidlaw's responds said, "CPD's assertions are procedurally improper, have no bearing on the completeness determination and furthermore, contain many errors."

The application is complete, Laidlaw's letter said, and CPD does not have the right to interject in the process at this time. Public comment is allowed during the actual review, the letter said, but not in the initial 30 day period when the SEC decides whether to accept or reject an application.

Furthermore, the letter said, the four areas CPD listed as concerns are not valid.

Laidlaw has a letter of intent from PSNH, the letter said, and a power purchase agreement is not mandatory for the application to be complete.

The letter goes on to call CPD's labeling of PJPD as the owner of the project "wrong," to say that Laidlaw has a storm-water management system and a construction soil management plant to address environmental concerns, and to say critiques of the wood study are not a matter of completeness.

Laidlaw ends by saying the SEC should ignore CPD's request to reject the application.

Laidlaw filed their application with the SEC in mid-December. The SEC will reject or accept the application within 30 days of the filing date. If the application is accepted review will take about nine months.

The Laidlaw project is a 66 megawatt biomass facility on the site of the mill property. The CPD project is a 29 megawatt biomass facility near the city sewage treatment plant.

CPD has been pursuing a complaint before the Public Utilities Commission regarding alleged unfair treatment by Public Service of New Hampshire involving Laidlaw.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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