After snowfall, fun was had by all

To the editor,

We had the most lovely visit to Willard Beach on Saturday, Jan. 8. My husband and I had our 2-year-old grandson with us and after the Friday storm there was enough snow for sliding down a small hill. It was so nice to see so many people and dogs on leashes on the beach at 2 p.m. that day!

I look forward to bringing our little boy again to use his trucks in the sand between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when we don’t need to be afraid of running dogs. For so long we haven’t been able to enjoy the beach between November and April without fear of being knocked down while dogs are having fun.

Julie Lucci
South Portland

Wording of regulations is critical

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To the editor,

Thanks to the hard work of some dedicated South Portland citizens and the efforts of several elected officials, LD163 was recently passed. As a resident of South Portland, I am especially appreciative of the passage of this bill. LD 163, not only mandates testing of emissions and leakage from above ground petroleum storage tanks, but also stipulates that the collected information be publicly available and that the testing costs be covered by the oil companies.

However, now the rules and regulations that will clarify and enforce LD 163 will be reviewed by the Board of Environmental Protection on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. and then go before the Environmental and Resources Committee. It is critical that these regulations be worded to ensure the greatest protections for the safety and health of all residents of South Portland and other communities of Maine.

To that end, these are some of the considerations that need to be addressed:

Petroleum distillates and residual oils need to be added to the list of pollutants.

Benzene and related compounds toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene should be covered.

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The time frame for installing and conducting testing be shortened so that a final report to the CDC takes no longer than 27 months.

Above all, careful emphasis should be placed on transparency. All data must be reported quarterly to the Department of Environmental Protection and the affected municipalities, and be available to the public.

For many years, I have worried about the health impacts of living in an environment with over 100 oil tanks. How is this affecting my family, neighbors and myself. I am especially concerned that so many tanks are located near several of our schools and senior living. As concerned citizens, we need to make our voices heard.

To stay informed on how to help, go to protectsouthportland.com and click on newsletter to subscribe. No area in South Portland or in any other part of Maine should serve as a “sacrifice zone.” Taking action now by submitting testimony will help achieve the best results in the final version of LD 163.

Lucy Breslin
South Portland

 

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