update as of january 2022
Now that LD163 has passed, the next step is equally important.
THAT STEP is RULEMAKING
Once a bill is passed into law, Rulemaking determines the wording and substance of the rules to enforce that law. It is crucial that strict and comprehensive rules and regulations be carefully worded in order to get the most comprehensive data from the mandated testing and monitoring. Timing and careful procedures are also important to protecting our community’s health.
The rules, Chapters 170 and 171, for LD163 have been drafted and are going to be reviewed by the Board of Environmental Protection, BEP in a hearing on February 3 at 9:00. Unfortunately, no testimony is being accepted virtually, but we all have the opportunity to attend in person or SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY. The Rules will be further reviewed in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee sometime in the near future.
To observe but not participate in the meeting:
You can watch the hearing via Zoom: https://mainestate.zoom.us/j/84412054919.
To submit written testimony, you can email it to:
Subject: Comments on Ch. 170/Ch. 171
And start: Attention Board of Environmental Protection:
Written testimony will be accepted until February 18.
YOUR INPUT TO THE BOARD IS VERY HELPFUL. We encourage you to stress the importance of strict and comprehensive rules and regulations to get the most information from the mandated testing and monitoring. The more data we have in quarterly reporting the more we are able to protect our community. We want to assert that timing and best practice procedures are also very important.
To update you on the changes we are requesting to be included in Chapters 107 and 171:
Petroleum distillates and residual oils should to be added to the list of potential pollutants to be controlled when removing organic vapors for degassing.
In addition to Benzene three other toxic hazardous air pollutants (HAP’s) should be monitored for a nominal additional cost. It is important that we know the amounts of toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes along with benzene which form the components of BTEX, all of which may be considered carcinogens.
To determine the source of emissions, the wind direction as well as temperature and atmospheric pressures should be documented at the time of the testing.
The proposed time frames for implementing fence line testing are excessive and should be shortened. The time frame allowed for implementing fenceline monitoring should be reduced from 18 months to 9 months.
We need transparency. All data and analysis must be reported quarterly to the DEP, the affected municipalities, and the public.
THANK YOU FOR ASSISTING IN THIS IMPORTANT NEXT STEP.
Most Recent newsletter
TANK EMISSIONS ON AGENDA
FOR ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE (ENR)
AT STATE LEGISLATURE
Protect South Portland and the Tank Emissions Coalition (which includes 12 health advocacy and environmental groups) is heading to Augusta (virtually) starting the week of 2/8. That is when the ENR Committee of the Maine State Legislature will discuss the possibility of writing a committee bill on tank emissions and, if so, what they would put into it.
The goal is legislation to require effective monitoring and control of emissions from all above ground oil terminal storage tanks in Maine.
What You Can Do
You can make a difference!
We encourage you to write an email to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee members by 2/8 when they will begin to consider what they will do on the issue.
You can email it to ENR@legislature.maine.gov , and put "Tank Emissions" in the subject. It will be distributed to the committee members.
If you are impacted by the tank emissions, in your own words, tell them about your personal experience, hardships, negative health impacts, and impacts on your quality of life due to your exposure to the emissions. They need to know what you, your children, elders, and everyone else living in this "sacrifice zone" are going through.
If you are not directly impacted, but are concerned about the issue, we encourage you to let the ENR committee know your views.
Your voice can make a powerful difference in the effort to get legislation to require the measuring and treatment of all tank emissions.
Please encourage your neighbors to submit comments as well and share it on social media.
We would appreciate it if you would copy your letter to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sending us a copy would be giving PSP and the Tank Emissions Coalition permission to use quotes from your testimony to advocate with the ENR, other legislators and governmental decision makers on the tank emissions issue.
What: City Council Meeting review and vote on Clean Air Advisory Committee (CAAC) Recommendations ENR & DEP:
What: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) presents its Report to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of Maine State Legislature.
When: Wed. 2/10/21 at 10AM
Unfortunately, there will not be public comments allowed at this meeting. South Portland Mayor Misha Pride has been invited to provide brief comments following the DEP presentation.
Public interested in observing the meeting will need to either watch a livestream on the Committee’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOz76FQZ7Gu9s5H9q_tAR_Q/videos?view=57
or listen to the audio - only feed through the ENR website: http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/ENR
Important: Sign up to get info about upcoming Environment & Natural Resources Committee Meetings: https://lists.legislature.maine.gov/sympa/info/enr-ip
Currently the Maine Department of Environmental Protection permits 633 tons per year of volatile organic compounds and 104 tons of hazardous air pollutants per year to be emitted by the 120 tanks in South Portland. (There are also tanks in Searsport, Bucksport and Hampden.) The cumulative impact of exposure is critically significant.
These toxic chemicals are known to cause respiratory illnesses (asthma), neurological problems especially for children, kidney and liver problems, and cancer. Air pollution has been linked to increased vulnerability to Covid19 and Climate Change. This is a health, social justice, and environmental justice issue.
Technology exists to effectively monitor and control the emissions up to 95%.
What is needed is the will to require it!
Hoping you stay well,
Protect South Portland Coordinators,