DELAND, Fla. — Ormond Beach residents came out to the Volusia County council meeting Tuesday in hopes of hearing updates on a proposed fuel terminal.

What You Need To Know

In August, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued an air construction permit to Belvedere Terminals to build a 20.4 million gallon fuel terminal near Ormond Beach. Since then, hundreds of residents and local lawmakers have pushed back against the fuel terminal’s proposed location — which is near several residential areas, the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport and the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.  

At a special meeting about the fuel terminal last month, the Council unanimously passed a motion to have staff research if there are any other suitable lands for a fuel terminal, instead of at 874 Hull Road near Ormond Beach. Council members also voted to investigate the public notification process, to meet with state officials and property owners of the site, and to have the county legal department research case law on similar issues. 

At the Council meeting Tuesday morning, some residents spoke in opposition of the fuel terminal. Elena Krafft, an Ormond Beach resident and organizer against the project, said residents hoped the Council would address the items they said they would look into last month.

“I certainly expect that the county will address the things that they said they would,” Krafft said. “We want to know what progress is being made, to speak with Belvedere, to relocate them to a more appropriate land. We also want to know about the notification process and how that’s being addressed.”

After public comments at the beginning of the meeting, County Chair Jeff Brower suggested the Council add the fuel terminal as a permanent agenda item. Brower pushed to discuss the fuel terminal after the morning’s public comments. However, the Council voted 6-1 to discuss the terminal at the end of the meeting, during the discussion of matters not on the agenda. 

Some residents said they wished the Council would have addressed fuel terminal updates earlier in the meeting.

“I really wish that the county would have voted to comment on the Belvedere situation after the public comment, to allow everybody that’s concerned to hear from the County Council, to know what they’re doing to stop it,” Krafft said. “And just be able to get a resolution at every meeting.”

Council memeber Troy Ken said he met with residents in the Ormond Lakes neighborhood to hear their concerns about the terminal.

The council said they had not received any application about the project.

Just last week, the county launched a website page to provide information and resources on the fuel terminal. 

In a previous statement to Spectrum News 13, Belvedere Terminals COO Mike Benedetto said:

“The safety and wellbeing of Ormond Beach residents is our top concern. We are still in the early stages of planning, and we will work with City and State officials — since they maintain public roads — to make any needed improvements around our proposed facility. Additionally, we are already under contract with one of the top fire safety firms in the country and they are designing this facility to meet or exceed all requirements from the American Petroleum Institute and National Fire Protection Association. We never want there to be any danger to our employees on the facility or anyone outside of it, and in the unlikely event that there is an emergency, we will be fully prepared.”

Reagan Ryan is a 2023 — 2024 Report for America Corps Member, covering the environment and climate across Central Florida for Spectrum News 13. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues.