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Comstock oil dredging operation delayed by hang-up over local permit


COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP (WKZO) -- Enbridge was hoping to come out of last night’s Comstock Planning Commission Meeting with a permit to process oil contaminated river sediments at the Comstock Commerce Park.

Opponents including brewer Larry Bell were hoping they wouldn’t. Neither got what they wanted.

Citizens testified that they feared the smell, the contaminants and the oil and urged the planning board to reject their request for a permit.

Enbridge Attorney Chris Tracy said they looked at 5 sites and this one presented the fewest issues.

He claimed a dredge pad fit into the light industrial zone because they were taking a raw material, river sediment and manufacturing clean water and dried sediment suitable for land filling.

But Board Attorney Kenneth Sparks questioned that interpretation of what qualifies as “Light Manufacturing” and suggested to the board, that this was a matter for the Zoning Board of Appeals to resolve.

The Planning Commissioners agreed and sent the matter to the Z.B.A. to decide if the dredgepad belongs in that zone.

It could delay the process a month or more and Enbridge is under a tight timetable to start dredging.