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Enbridge proposes two new sites to use for Kalamazoo River cleanup

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Enbridge Energy says it will try again. It has proposed two new sites it wants to use as a base of operations in Comstock Township to finish cleanup on the Kalamazoo River.

Last summer, the township board rejected the site where Enbridge had already started construction.

The EPA has told the company company it needs to do more dredging near Morrow Lake, but it hasn't been easy.

"I think the first time around there was a lot of uncertainty, about possible contamination, groundwater contamination, air contamination. And I think we alleviated those issue and hopefully can secure that approval," says senior vice president Richard Adams.

This time around Adams says they want to be more proactive and talk to neighbors in advance and address some of those worries that led to the rejection of the first site.

"It's really been difficult to find appropriate locations, and we're really running out of options. We've gone over literally dozens of options," says Adams.

The new proposed site is south of M-96 behind Benteler Automotive and a neighborhood. If that's not approved the company has a plan B, backup site on the other side of M-96.

The land will be used as a dredge pad, just like another site in Calhoun County, which Newschannel 3 got an up-close look at in the fall.

Sediment from the river is piped in, dried out and shipped to a landfill.
Comstock Township officials said they were caught off guard last year with how Enbridge chose its site.

This time, Enbridge hopes to keep that from happening.

"I don't think we were prepared for the opposition, frankly, and this does afford us to provide that information ahead of time and I think it will help us," said an Enbridge spokesperson.

Wednesday night, the company held an information meeting for 400 invited Comstock Township neighbors.

Monday night, the township board will discuss the Enbridge proposals and take public comment.