Enbridge Energy can go ahead with dredging operations at Morrow Lake this spring.
Last night the Comstock Township Planning Commission granted them a permit to dredge at the Benteler Automotive property between Michigan State Highway Ninety-Six and Interstate 94 near Thirty-Third Street. Enbridge is under order from the Environmental Protection Agency to remove oil that’s settled at the river bottom.
It’s part of the cleanup from the massive Enbridge pipeline spill near Marshall in 2010.
The company began to dredge last summer at a different site near Comstock. But township officials found the site unsuitable and stopped the work after just a few days.
Last night, the commissioners described Enbridge’s new proposal as much more thorough than the one they rejected last year. They voted unanimously to approve it, with a few conditions. Enbridge must monitor air quality in a nearby neighborhood. The company must also come back to the commission for approval on a route for the site’s truck traffic.
About 55 people attended the meeting. Some who live near the site voiced concerns about dust, noise, increased traffic and other concerns. Others urged commissioners to approve the plan to complete the river cleanup and "get it over with."
Enbridge officials say they expect to begin dredging in April or May.