I like to keep things simple when it feels overly complicated.

We know that South Portland is home to a number of bulk oil storage facilities and tank farms. Environmental engineer David Falatko has told Protect South Portland that they collectively emit 633 tons a year of volatile organic compounds, 104 tons of which are hazardous air pollutants. That is an awful lot of toxins for the schools, the day cares and the people living near the tanks to be coping with.

We already have Chapter 16 of the city code, the nuisance ordinance, which prohibits air pollution, fining anyone or any company found to be in violation.

As a city we need to stand together and protect each other. We can’t leave a section of our population unprotected, struggling with constant headaches, sore throats and breathing problems, when we and the companies know that vapor recovery units could be installed to clean the air 95 percent.

Nationally, Global Partners alone makes nearly $13 billion annually. Other companies have to clean their emissions, too.

We just have to apply our home rule and say enough is enough.

Rachel Burger

South Portland

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