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Former State Pier tenant files appeal of decision to issue permit for wind hub work

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New London — DRVN Enterprises filed an appeal in Superior Court this week in another attempt to block a portion of the construction work at State Pier in New London.

The appeal, filed in New Britain Superior Court on Monday, asks the court to reverse a decision by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to issue a permit needed by the Connecticut Port Authority for some aspects of the project.

DRVN Enterprises was importing, storing and distributing road salt at State Pier prior to being displaced with other tenants by the planned $235.5 million project to overhaul and modernize the pier. State Pier, owned by the Connecticut Port Authority, is the planned site for an offshore wind hub that will bring in wind turbines to support plans by utility partners Ørsted and Eversource.

DRVN is appealing the Aug. 3 decision by DEEP Commissioner Katherine Dykes, who recommended a permit be issued for work that includes dredging and filling in more than 7 acres between the two existing piers. Dykes later rejected an objection from DRVN.

The port authority has yet to begin that work authorized by the permit, since it has yet to obtain an approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which issues permits for work in navigable waters.

Represented by attorney Keith Anthony, DRVN claims in the appeal that the original request for proposals for reconstruction of the pier calls for applicants to “serve the existing customers at the Port as well as related businesses that are responsible for its ongoing success and growth.”

The appeal also claims DEEP failed to address how current water-dependent users like DRVN would be accommodated during and after the reconstruction of the pier.

“The Plaintiff is aggrieved by the final decision and the substantial rights of the Plaintiff have been prejudiced by the agency’s administrative findings. Specifically, the Plaintiff has lost and continues to lose use of the State Pier for work related to his salt importation and distribution business and he has suffered significant financial business-related losses as a result,” the appeal reads.

DRVN is asking a court to order DEEP to stay and overturn the Aug. 3 decision or for an order remanding DEEP to remedy the alleged errors. DRVN also is seeking unspecified award of damages and attorney fees.

A representative from DEEP was not immediately available to comment. A court hearing has not yet been scheduled.

g.smith@theday.com

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