On Feb. 10, the Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will meet to consider the possibility of writing a committee bill on aboveground storage tank emissions.

The goal is legislation to require effective monitoring and control of emissions from all aboveground oil terminal storage tanks in Maine.

I am a resident of Portland and have been attending Protect South Portland meetings for almost two years as a representative of 350 Maine. I have since become a passionate advocate for the citizens of this community. Fumes are the symptom of a much greater harm to South Portland, Portland and Casco Bay.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is not considering the long-term human impact of leakage from the tanks. Testimony reveals that members of communities in proximity of the tanks experience headaches, nausea and anxiety about the health of their children. We have also heard testimony of homeowners taping their windows to keep fumes out of their homes, of not being able to garden and of smoke alarms going off in the night, when fumes are especially volatile.

Recently I took a road trip with my grandson. I wanted to see what the communities of Searsport, Bucksport and Hampden were contending with regarding aboveground storage tanks. My teenage grandson’s words as we viewed the chain-linked fences: “The fossil fuel industry just does what it wants.” The Environment and Natural Resources Committee needs our support for this effort.

Susan Strode Pastore
Portland

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