Delaware environmental secretary John Hughes has issued a Coastal Zone Act permit to Michael Dickinson's synthetic-surface company Tapeta Footings to operate a new manufacturing facility in New Castle, Del.
According to a release from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Tapeta submitted a revised permit application Nov. 20, 2007, and a public hearing was held on the application Feb. 28. Hughes approved the application April 3.
The proposed facility each year may generate up to 150,000 tons of Tapeta, a mixture of sand, fibers, rubber, plastics, and wax. It would be located just south of Wilmington, Del., not far from the Delaware River.
A former trainer, Dickinson in late 2007 decided to dedicate all his time to Tapeta Footings after Golden Gate Fields began using the synthetic surface for racing last fall. Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs, which opened near Erie last September, is the only other United States track that races on Tapeta, though the synthetic surface has been installed at training tracks such as Al Quoz in Dubai, Applestone Farm in Pennsylvania, Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, Newmarket in England, and a track in Seoul, Korea.
The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said the decision to approve the project could be appealed, but the deadline for an appeal is April 23. If no appeal is received, the decision will become final.
Dickinson declined to comment April 4 on the proposed Tapeta manufacturing plant.