Oil Well Opponents Try to Block Drilling Project

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SCIO TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- Opponents of an oil well in Washtenaw County are seeking court intervention to stop work at the approved site.

The state Department of Environmental Quality approved Traverse City-based West Bay Exploration Co.'s application earlier this year, despite objections from local officials. The Ann Arbor News reports a Circuit Court hearing is Wednesday on requests by Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards.

West Bay vice president Pat Gibson tells The Ann Arbor News he's confident that drilling will move ahead in Scio Township, located west of Ann Arbor.

The Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals says the DEQ took twice as long as usual to review the application because of public concerns. Scio Township, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County commissioners have passed resolutions against drilling in the area.