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April 28, 2020

 

It's spring! 

Perhaps you've opened a window or gone for a walk around your neighborhood and noticed the smell of fuel in the air. Perhaps you've wondered whether your chance to have a say in the matter of air quality in South Portland has passed. It has not! 

Below are several important ways you can weigh in/take action right now: 

1.) Join the CAAC meeting. 

This Thursday, 4/30 at 6:30 PM. the city's Clean Air Advisory Committee will meet virtually with staff members of the Department of Environmental Protection. The committee, charged with making recommendations to the city council on how to improve air quality, has sent a list of questions to the DEP about oversight of the tank farms, including some raised by Protect South Portland. This is an important opportunity to hear how the DEP will respond. The meeting agenda includes time for public comment.  More info and a link for logging in by Zoom or by phone is here

Note: This is not the public meeting with DEP that had been scheduled for 3/31, but cancelled &  postponed for a date not yet determined.

The next CAAC mtg after 4/30 will be on Monday, 5/11 at 6:30 PM.

2.) Download the Smell My City app

Then, with just a few taps, record each time you smell something that seems hazardous. Dozens of entries have been made in South Portland since the start of April alone. It's easy to use, and the data provides one more means of tracking the impact on our community. 

3.) Submit comments to the Department of Environmental Protection. 

Global Partners' license update is still pending, and the public comment period remains open. You can find more information about that process here, and send written comments to Air-Global.DEP@maine.gov

We urge you to ask the DEP to require Global Partners to pay for 24/7 infrared fenceline monitoring with real-time public reporting. We need transparency & accountability from the oil industry.

It is helpful to personalize your comments. You can read more about background information in our previous newsletter

4.) Share those comments more widely.

Why not post what you've written for the DEP on social media, to help your friends and neighbors learn more about this important issue? 

Or submit those comments as a letter to the editor:
Portland Press Herald:   letterstotheeditor@pressherald.com
South Portland Sentry:    editor@inthesentry.com

5.) Send your comments  to the Clean Air Advisory Committee (CAAC).

Email to City Manager Scott Morelli (subject: For CCAC)
smorelli@southportland.org 

We must fix the air pollution, because it makes us more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses. Please consider the above ways to make a difference.        

Link to recent article from The Guardian:
Air pollution linked to far higher Covid-19 death rates, study finds

Thanks for your continued interest in this important issue!

 

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A special thank you goes out to Dan Woods and Karen Silverman for their photography donations.