RI Energy Facility Siting Board Down One Member

Mar 28, 2018

A Rhode Island official tasked with deciding the fate of a controversial natural gas power plant in Burrillville is resigning from state service effective April 13. 

Parag Agrawal is the associate director of the Division of Planning. As a part of that job, he's required under state law to sit on the three-member Energy Facility Siting Board, which grants licenses for energy generation facilities. 

He notified the state last week he will be leaving his post at the Division of Planning. 

Brenna McCabe, spokeswoman for the Department of Administration, said at this time, they don't know why Agrawal is leaving or where he's moving on to. 

Nick Katkevich, co-founder of The FANG Collective, a community organization against the power plant, said he's concerned about a new board member getting involved in the case after the public comment period has already ended. 

"They weren’t there when there were hundreds of people from Burrillville testifying about the impact to their community and why they don’t want this plant to get built," Katkevich said. 

McCabe said as of now, there are no plans to immediately replace Agrawal and there is no definite timeline for doing so.

The Energy Facility Siting Board can still approve licenses with just two members.

The final hearing for the proposed power plant is expected to begin as scheduled on April 11.