By Genine Hopkins
DCP Midstream LP, formerly known as Duke Energy Field Services, LP, is a Denver, Colorado based energy company. The group has submitted a proposal to the State of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality for permission to build a gas processing plant in the township. Currently, the proposal is to request a permit from the State of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for air quality compliance. Any public hearing on this step is by request from a citizen only, and must be made by July 29, 2013. The proposed location is located at the northeast corner of Section 8, near Stockwell and Rogers Rd.
Clare County Commissioner Rick LaBoda, who serves Hamilton Township, stated that he felt the plant could potentially bring jobs to the area. Commissioner Dale Majewski had concerns about toxins released into the air during operations.
Speaking with Dale Cooper, the Supervisor for Hamilton Township, it was learned that DCP Midstream LP currently had drilled a natural gas well last year, but stated that the proposal has nothing to do with well operation, only with a request for a DEQ permit for air quality for a potential processing plant.
“My understanding is that the plant would receive incoming gas via the pipeline and take the impurities out, store these impurities in a tank, and put the processed gas back into the pipeline for distribution,” said Cooper, “Before any plant can be built, there are at least several steps that must take place, and it appears that sending a proposal for DEQ clearance is the first one on a longer road.”
Cooper stated that currently, the township is in the final stages of completing its zoning and special use ordinances that comply with the Master Plan completed last year. He was not sure if there were any ordinances or SUP variances that fell within the proposal from DCP Midstream.
He did state that the proposed ordinance and SUP variances, once completed, would have to be approved during a Public Hearing, Citizens who are concerned about what types of ordinances will be approved should keep an eye out for publication of those hearings, which must be published in the paper by law.
The DEQ permit step is the first, but then DCP Midstream must insure they follow the township ordinances or request a variance before moving forward on the project.
Speaking with DEQ representative Jeremy Hoeh, it was learned that they did publish notice of the proposal in the week of June 27, the first date of the 30 day window for public comment and hearing requests. Hoeh stated that anyone wishing to have the DEQ hold a public hearing must do so before July 29, 2013, by contacting Marianne Dolehanty at email@example.com. Again, a public hearing on the proposal submitted to the DEQ must be made by July 29, 2013.
Township Supervisor Dale Cooper updated the information in this article. Cooper stated that due to questions brought to his attention from his constituency, he phoned Ms. Dolehanty at approximately 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, 2013, to suggest a public hearing would be in the township’s best interest. Ms. Dolehanty was out of the office, so a voicemail was left for her to respond.