Gov. Mills signs into law bill championed by Sen. Carney to protect residents from harmful emissions

Posted: June 25, 2021 | Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Carney

AUGUSTA — On June 21, a bill championed by Sen. Anne Carney, D-Cape Elizabeth, was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills. LD 163, “An Act Concerning the Regulation of Air Emissions at Petroleum Storage Facilities,” was introduced by Rep. Ralph Tucker, D-Brunswick, as a concept draft, and worked on and amended by Sen. Carney, Rep. Rebecca Millett, Rep. Victoria Morales and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The new law strengthens the regulations surrounding petroleum storage facilities in South Portland, Searsport, Bucksport, Hampden and Bangor. South Portland in particular is a densely populated community, significantly impacted by the receipt, storage and transfer of petroleum products, from gasoline to asphalt. 

“For too long, residents of the greater South Portland community have been uncertain about the extent of any harmful effects from the petroleum tanks that stand beside homes, schools, daycare centers and businesses,” said Sen. Carney. “This law will strengthen regulations surrounding these tanks and require actual measurement and continuous monitoring of emissions. This information is the foundation for understanding potential risks to public health, improving air quality and ensuring Maine people have clean air to breathe. I want to thank the many activists in South Portland and throughout Maine who have worked on this issue during the past few years and who testified during the public hearing.”

 LD 163 updates the requirements a petroleum storage tank facility must meet for licensure. These requirements include, but are not limited to: implementation of technology to detect vapor leaks; continuous monitoring of emissions by a third-party; semiannual collection of site-specific emission data; monthly visual inspections of tanks with floating roofs; and more. 

The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.