Bill to study emissions in South Portland advances in Maine Senate

Posted: March 06, 2020 | Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Millett

AUGUSTA— On Thursday, a bill from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, received unanimous support in the Maine Senate. The bill, LD 1915, “Resolve, Directing the Department of Environmental Protection To Evaluate Emissions from Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tanks,” would direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to study the emissions from aboveground petroleum storage tanks, such as those in South Portland.

“For far too long, our community has been left wondering what negative affects the petroleum storage tanks might have on our residents,” said Sen. Millett. “Our residents deserve answers about the safety of these tanks, and this bill would do just that. I thank my Senate colleagues for their support of this study.”

Last year, Sen. Millett sponsored a bill, now law, to ensure that an affected municipality is notified when violations of the Clean Air Act occur. LD 1706, “An Act to Ensure Public Notification of Air Quality Violations,” was introduced after South Portland learned of a consent decree filed against Global Partners LP for a violation of the Clean Air Act. The community only learned of the violation because of media reports after the violation had taken place.

LD 1915 would direct the DEP to study methods to measure and control emissions and odor from aboveground petroleum storage tanks. The bill also requires DEP to assist municipalities in the use of air quality monitoring devices. Additionally, DEP is required to submit a report to the appropriate legislative committee by Jan. 1, 2021, detailing its findings and any recommendations. 

LD 1915 faces further votes in the Senate and House before it heads to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills for her consideration.