The Maine Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve a bill that would direct the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to study and recommend the best ways to measure and control odors and other air emissions from petroleum storage facilities.

Sponsored by Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, L.D. 1915 is of special interest in South Portland, where concerns about air pollution from oil terminals and tank farms have mounted in recent years.

In a federal lawsuit settled in December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency leveled penalties against Global Partners LP for Clean Air Act violations at its tank farm on the Fore River.

“For far too long, our community has been left wondering what negative effects the petroleum storage tanks might have on our residents,” Millett said Thursday. “Our residents deserve answers about the safety of these tanks, and this bill would do just that.”

If the bill becomes law, the Maine DEP would be poised to challenge widely disputed federal methods of monitoring and controlling petroleum tank emissions, including pollution estimates that even EPA officials have questioned.

The bill now heads to the House for further consideration.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.