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Public hearing Thursday on new Oxford power plant

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OXFORD — The first public hearing on a decision to allow or deny a power plant to be built in Oxford close to the Waterbury Oxford airport is happening Thursday night.

The plan has raised concerns with the community that lives nearby and pilots who would fly in and out of the airport.

Plenty of opponents are expected to show up to the meeting at Oxford High School, including pilots who said they are in danger after an FAA study was conducted on the plant.

Competitive Power Ventures wants to built the plant on 36 acres in the Woodruff Hill Industrial Park. A study estimates the economic benefit of the plant would $7.9 billion to the state over the next 25 years. It would also employ 25 people fulltime.

But, the 800 megawatt natural gas powered plant would be right underneath an approach route for planes landing at the airport. That is where the concerns come in. Opponents said the smokestacks with the plant would emit thermal plumes, and that could be a distraction and danger to the pilots trying to land at the airport.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Oxford High School.