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Certification for Jefferson County' Cogentrix filed

Contained in the application is a water mitigation strategy plus guarantees the plant will eliminate all wastewater discharges, will emit no odors and minimize sound levels
A major step has been taken in the process of getting the proposed 980-megawatt, natural gas fired electricity generation plant just across the Jefferson/Crook County line. Cogentrix Energy Inc. formally submitted an application today with the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC).
   The project, according to the application, will occupy a 33-acre site. It is described as a four-unit combined cycle generation plant utilizing the latest in combustion and environmental controls and will use natural gas exclusively as fuel. From the earliest announcement of the proposal, the power generation plant has been controversial. A group calling themselves Friends of Central Oregon have argued that the plant will have adverse impacts on local quality of life. Citing such concerns as depletion of ground water sources, air and noise pollution, the group has been quite vocal in its opposition.
   In announcing the filing with the state siting council, Cogentrix made assurances that the plant has been designed to eliminate all wastewater discharges, will emit no odors and minimize sound levels leaving the site. Included in the application to the EFSC, Cogentrix officials pointed out, is a water mitigation strategy. According to the announcement, that strategy "is above and beyond what Oregon state law requires and that provides an opportunity to increase flows in the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers when the water is needed most."
   Submittal of the application to the Oregon EFSC begins an expected three to four month process of review by the EFSC staff and relevant state and local agencies for completeness. It is anticipated that it will take nine months from the Completeness Determination for the EFSC to complete its review of the project and issue a Siting Certificate. The company hopes to begin construction late next year and begin operation in 2004.
   The application will be made available for review by interested parties at the Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson County libraries following submission.
   Cogentrix Energy, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and with a regional office in Portland. The power company acquires, develops, owns and operates electric generation and other power assets in the United States and internationally. Cogentrix has, in whole or in part, equity interests in 28 facilities in 14 states with a total generating capability of approximately 7,800 megawatts.