Judge Reverses Macon Zoning Decision, Says Ethanol Fuel Station Can Be Built
by Linda S. Morris (The Telegraph) A Bibb County judge said the Macon zoning commission “grossly abused their discretion in denying” an application for a permit for a rail terminal and ethanol fuel transfer station in south Macon.
Macon Judicial Circuit Court Judge David Mincey III reversed the denial decision made by the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission in late 2015.
Epic plans to build a rail spur from the main rail line already on the property with a loop rail about a mile long. The loop is expected to accommodate about 80 rail cars and the ethanol rail-to-pipeline loading station would accommodate about 16 rail cars at a time.
At the loading station, ethanol would be pumped from rail tank cars into a proposed underground pipeline that would run in the right of way of Barnes Ferry Road to Hawkinsville Road and terminate at the storage tank facility owned by Epic at 6225/6230 Hawkinsville Road.
The unloading of 80 rail cars is expected to be completed within a 18-24 hour timeframe.
Several residents who live near the site had objected to the proposed project saying it wouldn’t be safe, would be noisy and would decrease property values.
Commissioner Jeane Easom said during one of the zoning meetings that she had a problem with Epic’s product.
“The more I learn about ethanol, the more concerned I became with it being in this residential area,” she said.
Mincey said in his order that several of the issues brought up by residents and commissioners were not supported by evidence or testimony. READ MORE