August 02, 2020

ECS containment-facility permit approved

JONESPORT — The Planning Board unanimously approved a building permit Wednesday night that would enable Energy Conservation Systems of Machias to build a concrete-gravel containment facility on the newly purchased ECS property on Route 187.

William Blackwood, a spokesman for ECS, said his company would complete the job of landscaping the property and would begin construction of the containment unit early next week. The containment system is a required environmental protector that would restrict the spread of any oil or product if a spill should occur during the loading or unloading of product at the proposed small-scale, used-oil recycling and machine manufacturing center.

The eight-person board gave ECS the permit at the conclusion of a public hearing that had been requested by a petition signed by eight people whose land abutted the ECS property a few hundred feet east of the intersection of Kelley Point Road and Route 187. About 65 people attended the two-hour hearing.

According to Chairman Paul Iossa, the board required ECS to provide an independent engineer’s stamp of approval on the oil-recycling system. “At first, the Department of Envirinmental Protection said that an outside engineer’s approval of the system wasn’t necessary. But because the public wanted the public hearing and wanted the independent opinion, the board decided to require ECS to provide that.”

Also provided by the company, according to Blackwood, was an architect’s drawing of the proposed complex and a plot plan.

Throughout the lengthy approval process that began earlier this year, residents said they were not opposed to the plant and welcomed potential employment opportunities that might be provided by the operation. Blackwood said the plant eventually would employ 50 to 100 people.

The chief protest, however, was based on the installation of an industrial plant in the town’s residential area. Nearby landowners opposed to the plant’s location contended that the resale value of their homes would be lowered by the establishing the plant in the area. Also, they worried about noise and increased traffic problems that might be created by the plant, and possible odors that might be generated by the center.

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