NORTH BRANFORD & HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The state is on the verge of giving the okay to a propane gas storage facility in North Branford. But the state green light will only put this controversial issue in the hands of a local town board.
A plan to build a 60,000 gallon Propane Gas storage facility in an industrial area on Ciro Road in North Branford has been in limbo for more than a year. The J. J. Sullivan company in Guilford has been trying for several years to build this facility in at least two other shoreline towns. We were unable to reach owner Jim Sullivan today.
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Members of the North Branford “Inland Wetlands Commission” either wouldn’t or couldn’t reach a decision on a permit and so in an unusual move, this was kicked up to the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. There are two construction firms on either side of the property and there is already a lot of truck traffic, that’s one of the reasons many oppose it.
Residents voiced their opposition to state officials at public hearing in North Branford a week ago.
“Rammed it down the citizens’ throats without even letting us know about and they didn’t notify the people around there,” said Bob Constantinople, one of two North Branford residents in a local opposition group that went to Hartford Thursday trying to stop the approval.
State agency staff has already recommended approving a permit for the project to move forward. The local citizens were not allowed to speak.
“I’m part of a group that is challenging this from the very beginning. Been doing this for two years now,” said Chris Kranick of North Branford.
“Citizens are up in arms over it and this is the course we have to take, we’re going up here at our own expense to fight this thing,” said Constantinople.
The process before the State Department of Energy & Environmental Protection is only for a ‘Permit to Discharge Storm Water’ at the site. That approval will only send this proposal back to the town ‘Planning and Zoning Commission,’ insuring that this local political hot potato controversy will continue.