Sunday, July 03, 2022

Local News

Old Post Road Recycling Facility Proposal Revised, Resubmitted

Plans for a recycling facility proposed for 30 Old Post Road will be back before the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Annex. The application, a revision of an earlier plan that faced massive local opposition before being withdrawn, appears to address concerns about flooding that led, in part, to the earlier withdrawal.

A new application by Shoreline Rail & Recycling (SRR) received by the town’s Land Use Office on July 5 specifies that the site would use floodgates at each bay door and be flood-proof up to 13 feet. The application states that “during a significant storm event, all material delivered to the site will be safely contained within the enclosed floodproof building.” The application also states that the site will contain a fire protection system.

The application states that on June 18, SRR provided details about the proposed solid waste it wants to store on the site to the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection in an application for a permit for construction and operation of a solid waste facility.

The IWC will first look at the application at its regular monthly meeting on Aug. 7, and that at that meeting, the commission could schedule a site walk or a public hearing for a later date. As a board, the IWC can only consider an application based on any potential impact to wetlands.

Should the application be approved by the IWC, the developers could file an application with the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC), and another public hearing would be held.

Multiple messages requesting comment from applicant Douglas Dobriner were not returned.

Further complicating the approval process for SRR, the PZC has a public hearing for Monday, July 30 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall to debate a proposed zoning change that could stop the SRR application in its tracks (for more on this story, see www.zip06.com). The proposed zoning change would prohibit “Commercial or industrial solid waste, construction or demolition debris disposal, recycling, material transfer, or outdoor storage of materials not associated with a retail or contractor business: a) Less than 250’ from existing residentially zoned land b) More than 250’ from existing residentially zoned land.”

Interim Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) Daniel Bourret said he was not yet familiar with the revised SRR application, and could not determine at press time what effect, if any, the proposed zoning change would have on the application. Eric Knapp, who was the ZEO during the SRR hearings in the spring, resigned in May.

The proposed SRR facility would be 94,500 square feet and would be built on the site of a former Unilever warehouse on Route 145. According to George Andrews of Louriero Engineering Associates, a company that had previously represented SRR in front of the IWC, the proposed facility would be for storing waste comprised of “construction and demolition debris.” SRR decided to withdraw its original application in May, after several members of the IWC indicated they were leaning toward voting “No” on the application at the commission’s next meeting.

At three public hearings held this spring, residents cited concerns about how the proposed facility might affect shell fishing, along with what some argued were inadequate flood management plans, the possibility of contamination to the wetlands, and fire risks. The application had drawn the attention of two intervenors, Demco, LLC and Herb Clark, who retained Attorney Campbell Hudson to fight the SRR application. The intervenors also presented their own experts to share their opinions of potential impacts to the wetlands and potential health risks for the people in surrounding areas. At all three public hearings, no member of the public spoke in favor of the application.

For more on the proposed plan, visit www.Zip06.com.


Eric O’Connell covers news for Clinton for Zip06. Email Eric at e.oconnell@shorepublishing.com.

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