Council approves temporary permit
A week after being shut down, the Block Island Power Company’s construction of an above-ground storage tank facility was given permission to proceed. That’s because the New Shoreham Town Council stepped in and issued a six-month temporary special use permit for construction of the facility on BIPCo’s Ocean Avenue property at its meeting on Wednesday.
The project, which is about halfway completed, was halted by the town’s Building Official, Marc Tillson, who issued a Stop Work Order on Oct. 11, noting that construction of the facility had commenced without a Building Permit.
The Council voted unanimously by a vote of 4-0, with First Warden Ken Lacoste recused, to issue the temporary permit. The motion was made by Councilor Martha Ball and seconded by Councilor André Boudreau.
“The main issue is there was no building permit issued and construction proceeded,” said Tillson, who also noted that he was “thrilled that the tanks are coming above ground” and wanted the project to go forward.
BIPCo President Jeffery Wright said that although a six-month permit has been issued, “We’ll be done and fully permitted in no more than four months — hopefully three.”
BIPCo’s five, old, underground tanks needed to be removed by the end of the year per a directive from both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.