Citizens express concerns over natural gas plant proposal

TILDEN TOWNSHIP — Citizens of Tilden Township voiced their concerns for the proposed building of a natural gas fired power-generation plant in the township.

This proposal branched from a broad plan regarding the pending decommissioning of the Presque Isle Power Facility in Marquette. We Energies is asking Tilden Township for approval of the rezoning for this project. The plant would be placed at the corner of Country Road P-G and P-I, which is adjacent to the National Mine Substation.

Final decisions on this plant are being brought to the township board, this of which has the citizen’s best interest in mind.

“Of course people that are right next to it, it’s going to impact their life so it’s a really tough decision for the board. I was elected by the citizens of the township and they are my main concern,” said Tilden Township Supervisor, Lori Kulju.

While We Energies spoke of the benefits from having the plant in this area, such as improved regional air quality, citizens of Tilden Township are concerned with the building of this plant for a number of reasons. These concerns range from getting their yards obstructed and questioning why other locations aren’t being taken into further consideration.

Overall, the citizens have a plethora of questions involving how they along with their property would be impacted by the plant.

“How big it’s going to be, what kind of noise it’s going to make, what kind of emissions it may have, what kind of environmental impact it’s going to have, how it’s going to be supported in infrastructure which doesn’t exist out here. Once again repeating how it’s going to affect the lives of people who have lives out for years and years, most of us are long term residents of Tilden Township,” said Tilden Township Citizen, Richard Derby.

Regarding the next steps in this process, several future meetings will be held to communicate with community officials along with residents. Before a final decision is made, We Energies would have to go through a number of steps, such as obtaining the land approval and permits, along with filing for regulatory approvals.

If all these steps continue as planned, construction would begin late 2017.