Bill to study emissions in South Portland receives unanimous committee approval

Posted: February 12, 2020 | Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Millett

AUGUSTA— On Wednesday, a bill from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, received unanimous approval from the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. 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.

“It’s time that we take action and give our community peace of mind,” said Sen. Millett. “No one should have to live their life wondering if the air they breathe could be damaging to them or their family. I’m glad the committee recognized how urgent this situation is, and I thank them for their support.”

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 votes in the Maine House and Senate in the coming weeks.