Stamford considering Tenaska agreement

Residents from Stamford and activist organizations from around the state were in Stamford on Monday for a Q&A session with Tenaska.Tenaska is planning to build a power plant that will run on coal. The catch? The plant requires millions of gallons of water to operate.Tenaska has gone to several cities to get the water they need, most have turned them away. Stamford has entertained the idea and could decide to provide the water they need to run the plant. But it all comes at a cost, for both the residents of Stamford and Tenaska.According to Stamford Mayor Johnny Anders, the current proposal would require Tenaska to pay the City of Stamford $100,000 a year for at least three years starting in 2013 until a pipeline and the plant could be completed.Once the plant is running and using water from Lake Stamford, Tenaska would pay $200,000 a year for at least 30 years. This amount would also be adjusted up to allow for inflation.That comes out to around 5.5 million dollars if all goes according to plan.During the first three years, the money paid to the City of Stamford would be without giving a drop of water to the Tenaska project.According to a handout from the City of Stamford they are "considering an agreement to gain needed new revenue by agreeing to sell Tenaska treated municipal wastewater from the City's treatment plant".It also states that the agreement includes provisions for Tenaska to replace the 60 year old pipeline that brings water to the City of Stamford, as well as pay the city's share of maintenance and operating costs of the Paint Creek Diversion, which helps maintain Lake Stamford's water levels.Some people in Stamford and from activist groups from around the state say this is a bad idea, that the agreement would lead to the lake drying up and leave residents and businesses without water.Ryan Rittenhouse, a Community Organizer with Public Citizen says the proposal is a bad idea, not just because it would take millions of gallons of water, but also could lead to pollutants in the air and soil.According to Tenaska, that is not the case.Tenaska states that the Trailblazer project would use cutting-edge technology to capture 85-90 percent of the carbon dioxide it would emit. This CO2 would be then sent to the Permian Basin and put into the oil fields to recover additional oil.Mayor Anders said they will have a special meeting of the city council at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to "discuss and possibly act on the proposal".