After a multiyear battle, LD 71 passed. The passage of this bill completed the Rulemaking Process and finalized what LD 163 started. LD71 mandates fence line monitoring around all oil storage tanks in the state of Maine and twice-a-year testing of all heated tanks to be implemented by August 2024.
For more information go to OUR CAMPAIGNS, Oil Tank Emissions.
ANOTHER VERY LOCAL CONCERN HAS ARISEN REGARDING HEALTH AND SAFETY AT THE PROPOSED YARD SOUTH DEVELOPMENT IN OUR SHIPYARD DISTRICT.
There is a large-scale residential development referred to as Yard South proposed next to scenic Bug Light Park. As described in a recent site walk, Yard South, in phase one, is planning to build three or four 18-story towers with 1200 or more residential units. The developers claim there will be 8-10% affordable housing units provided. The current owners are expected to apply for a contract zone from light industrial to allow residential in the Shipyard district in the near future.
For the following reasons, Protect South Portland has grave health and safety concerns for this proposed zone change to the Shipyard District:
1. D.E.P. Emissions Permits for the adjacent Gulf and Portland Pipeline terminals combined allow:
100+ tons of airborne Volatile Organic Compounds per year
DEP monitoring has documented some of the city’s highest levels of petroleum-associated cancer-causing benzene and other health-damaging chemicals in this area.
30 plus tons of airborne hazardous air pollutants per year
2. The proximity of bulk petroleum storage facilities to existing residential, community college, and other land uses are already a serious safety and evacuation concern for a catastrophic fire/explosion/petroleum spill event.
3. This area is a contaminated brownfield.
4. The 2020 Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Committee Report suggests preparing for 8.8 feet of sea level rise by 2100. See the visual below of 9 feet sea level rise around Bug Light and in the Shipyard Districts. Tank farms pose a threat from flooding with sea level rise and storm surges as well as extreme weather conditions. The future public expense to maintain this area as dry land or to mitigate future flooding is likely to be considerable. There is also concern that buried toxins will leach into flood waters and be released into Casco Bay. Meanwhile existing neighborhoods and all So. Portland tank farms will need protection from heightened water levels.
Because of these above concerns, before any zoning change, Protect South Portland is a strong advocate for:
1. Tank emission mitigation
2. Sea level remediation
3. Publicly informed clear emergency evacuation plan
We encourage you to contact the City Councilors to share any questions or concerns you may have about this issue and talk to your friends & neighbors. More info will follow.
Mayor Katherine Lewis: 233-7615, Klewis@southportland.org
Deqa Dhalac: 553-0303, Ddhalac@southportland.org
Linda Cohen: 831-9574, Lcohen@southportland.org
Jocelyn Leighton: 518-0974, Jleighton@southportland.org
Richard Matthews: Rmatthews@southportland.org
Misha Pride: 749-7817, Mpride@southportland.org
Natalie West: Nwest@southportland.org
Please note that public comment on any subject is allowed for up to 3 min. at all City Council meetings. You can find the schedule and agenda for City Council as well as Comprehensive Plan meetings at https:// go.boarddocs.com/me/sport/Board.nsf/Public
For more information go to the Yard South Proposal page.
** If you are interested in being involved with the range of different issues, including greatly increased traffic, related to Yard South development, contact Cathy Chapman at (207) 807-3123 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
ARTICLES REGARDING YARD SOUTH:
Residents riled by shipyard redevelopment plans - PPH 1/3/23, Kelly Bouchard
Early plans for South Portland shipyard redevelopment draw opposition, January 3, 2023, Kelly Bouchard
For more articles and reports go to Yard South Proposal page.