Canadian National Railway is inching closer to transporting jet fuel from Flat Rock, Mich., to Toronto, according to local newspapers. On June 22, the city's Planning Commission approved the company's plan to open a jet fuel transfer station at its rail yard on the north side of Vreeland Road, just east of Peters Road. Company officials are working on obtaining permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Patrick Waldron, Canadian National spokesman.
The land already is zoned
for the transfer of lumber, cars or jet fuel, said George Mans, the city’s
director of business and economic development.
"The only issues the
commission and city had was to make sure they had the proper permits … for
safety and environmental and to make sure a spill could be contained," he said.
Engineers from Patrick
Engineering, which is the project manager, previously had said measures would
be installed to handle spills, but they don’t expect much spillage.
Engineers first approached
Woodhaven about starting the operation there but were met with stiff opposition
from city officials and residents. The Woodhaven project that was scrapped
was proposed for 25240 Hall Road, where the road ends at the CN/Grand Trunk
Flat Rock Rail Yard.
The purpose of the "transload"
facility is to ship jet fuel that arrives from a Taylor facility to Toronto
Pearson International Airport by rail. Transporting fuel by rail is cheaper
than by truck, company officials said. Officials are seeking to load nine
railcars, requiring 22 to 24 truck deliveries, each day. Each truck would
have a 12,500-gallon capacity. The jet fuel would be transferred from the
trucks into railcars that would have a 30,000-gallon capacity. The platform
could transfer the fuel at a rate of 400 gallons per minute. The entrance of
the transfer station would be off Vreeland Road, and 800 feet of pavement would
be added next to the yard for access. The project would affect two acres that
are rarely used, engineers said.