July 9, 2013

Crash may affect Tuesday vote on Maine oil transport study

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Chipman originally introduced the bill as a two-year moratorium on tar sands oil passing through Maine, but amended it after learning that enacting such a ban was not within the state's purview.

It is now a resolve directing the DEP to "conduct a review of the environmental and public health and safety risks associated with the handling and transportation by road, rail, water and pipeline" of tar sands oil, looking at its characteristics, resources for dealing with a spill, the impact on communities a spill would have and studies of previous spills in Arkansas and Michigan.

Chipman said he hasn't seen anything in writing that indicates the DEP plans to study the potential effects of a tar sands oil spill.

"I'm not convinced we would get it without the bill," he said.

Rep. Larry Dunphy, R-Embden, said he hadn't seen the study, but "if the governor is telling me a study is being done, I assume it's being done."

Dunphy, who represents towns, including Jackman, through which the railroad's trains go, said he will support the governor's veto.

"The situation in Canada is an absolute tragedy," he said. "Are we going to stop transporting oil? I don't think so."

The House of Representatives approved the bill in a 97-50 vote.

Chipman said what happens Tuesday morning "depends on who is there."


Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at



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