DEC approves soil remediation plant for Kodiak

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2002

KODIAK (AP) -- The Department of Environmental Conservation has approved an application for a soil remediation plant on Kodiak Island despite opposition from residents.

Soil Processing Inc.'s application to install a soil remediation plant near Lake Orbin was approved by DEC on Friday, said environmental engineer Jim Frechione.

''We felt it met regulations. We had no reason to deny it,'' he said.

Frechione said local opposition was more a zoning issue than an environmental one.

The final step toward beginning operation was completed Tuesday when the Kodiak Island Borough issued the permit on Brechan Enterprises Inc.'s asphalt site.

The company submitted their operation plan July 10, borough community development director Duane Dvorak said. He added that the borough required the DEC to address environmental issues involved with the soil remediation process.

The Women's Bay Community Council and many Bells Flats residents have been opposed to the plant from the start. While the actual tract where the plant will be located is zoned as industrial, it lies in the middle of a residential area.

''I'm hoping we can prevent it from going through. My house is right over the hill and, personally, I don't want a plant there that's 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week,'' council member Casey Janz said.

The council is concerned about the possibility of pollution or an accident. Janz added that the process seems safe, but that not all the soil being processed can be tested.

Traffic from trucks transporting soil in and out of Bells Flats and noise from the plant also are concerns.

Several weeks ago the council sent material to an Anchorage lawyer to investigate the possibility of taking legal action against the borough.

Council member Nancy Wells said they do not want to go against the borough, but have no other alternative.

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