top of page

Action you can take right now.

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE - NEW INFORMATION ON TOXIC AIR EMISSIONS ISSUE The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently reviewing a license revision application submitted by Global Partners, required after the EPA found Global to be in significant violation of their permitted emission limits. What You Can Do We need you to submit your comments to DEP by email: The deadline for public written comments on the Global permit review has been extended to 6/17. Even if you have submitted before, you are able to submit more than once. We encourage you to support David Falatko's proposal in your comments. If you find it helpful, you are welcome to make use of the sample letters in your comments to the DEP. (see below) Important New Information: Protect South Portland has been supporting fenceline monitoring as a means of providing  transparency for the public to know what  is in the air we're breathing and to provide accountability. A new proposal has been submitted to the CAAC and to the DEP by David Falatko, an environmental engineer, that is a feasible and highly effective means to identify & measure the true emissions directly from the heated tanks.

If needed, it also provides a way to mitigate or eliminate the toxic emissions coming out of the tanks. The Global application currently includes the installation of equipment referred to as a mist eliminator to" mitigate odors", a dry scrubber and an exhaust fan. David Falatko's proposal identifies how, with two limited modifications, the proposed equipment would be able to directly measure as well as treat the toxic emissions coming out of the heated tanks. The heated tanks are viewed as being responsible for the largest portion the total oil tank emissions.     The reason we are so concerned is the fact that nearby residents are being exposed to potentially harmful petroleum vapors.  The petroleum odor complaints in Portland and South Portland have increased with the advent of the asphalt season and higher ambient temperatures.  Young children, developing fetuses & elders are especially vulnerable to these vapors. In this time of pandemic, it is especially important that our immune systems not be compromised by breathing toxic emissions. This is an opportunity to improve the air quality and protect the health of the many people living, working & going to school close to the tank farms. As the agency entrusted with protecting our environment and it’s citizens, we ask the DEP to please act decisively to protect our health. _____________________________________________________ Important Upcoming Meetings/ Dates Monday, 6/1 at 6:30 PM  Meeting of CAAC with DEP Tuesday, 6/16 at 6:30 PM City Council Meeting to discuss & vote on CAAC recommendations for Global permit review Wednesday, 6/17 Deadline for Public Comments to DEP on Global permit review Please share this information with others!   Sample Letters Sample #1 As a citizen of South Portland I want to express my support for every effort DEP is making to end the severe pollution that people are enduring. I’m most concerned about the little children in the daycare centers near the tanks who have to breathe these toxic fumes. The tank emissions involve multiple toxic chemicals and it has been shown that the resulting cumulative effect is more damaging than a single chemical exposure. A new method for emissions testing & control  has been proposed by David Falatko, an expert in environmental engineering. He is proposing that  Global’s  current plan to install a mist eliminator and dry scrubber & fan to the heated tanks could include two simple add-on  devices. One device would gather information about  the quantity and toxicities of the  emissions coming through  which could then, if need  be be treated by the other device. This seems like a good solution which  I can  heartily support. Sample #2 Every day Mainers are fighting for their lives against Covid 19, struggling to breathe.  Because the oil tanks in South Portland  are responsible for nearly 50% of the Hazardous Air Pollutants in our air, we beg you , the Department of Environmental Protection, to oblige the companies to take effective measures to contain emissions, once and for all.  Through obtaining information from knowledgeable people, most of us thought that a 24/7 infrared monitoring system at the edge of Global’s property was the best means of informing the public of what they are breathing.  I have heard recently that David Falatko, an environmental engineer, is proposing that certain equipment for monitoring and capturing toxic emissions can be added to the system that Global has submitted in their application.  This seems like the very best means to improve the air quality in South Portland. 

As we continue to struggle through this dangerous time we would be would be most grateful for all your efforts. Sample #3 The citizens of South Portland need to know that a change has occurred in the way oil tank companies will be held to account for their emissions.  Global Oil has applied for a license revision that will include 5 times the amount of product that they will be allowed to handle than they have averaged over the last several years. At the same time, the new mathematical formula of their emissions has reduced that amount by 75% because it is not using true air pressure in its calculations. This means that instead of unloading, say, 2 tankers per week, they could potentially unload 10 tankers per week. How can this happen? This is possible only if there is no actual monitoring done.

Our first concern is that MEDEP has not required Global to use true vapor pressure in calculating their emissions despite the fact that the most recent version of AP-42 references the use of true vapor pressures on pages 23 and 81.

It is our understanding that when the true vapor pressures for # 6 fuel oil and asphalt determined in 2013 (as required by EPA Region 1) are used, Global significantly exceeds their current permitted emissions and becomes a major emitter. David Falatko's proposal would provide a way to have actual measurements of emissions on the heated tanks and also the capacity to effectively reduce the amount of emissions. The DEP is in a position to provide our only protection. I encourage you to take strong action on our behalf.

91 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Together We Are Strong!

It's been just over a year now since news broke about Global Partners' years-long violation of the Clean Air Act.


bottom of page