This summer, residents won with a huge step forward for clean air. Community leaders passed a bill that requires the companies that own oil tanks in Maine to test for tank emissions and monitor air quality!
South Portland neighbors came together to pass this bill when they realized their air was being polluted by dozens of oil tanks. These tanks had been polluting above and beyond the legal limit for years—and they are right near homes, schools, and daycares.
Testing and monitoring for pollution are critical first steps to protecting the air we breathe. This bill will protect communities living next to oil tanks across Maine, including Searsport, Bucksport, Hampden, and Bangor.
And secondly, after six years, the company seeking to bring tar sands through South Portland has given up the fight! The company dismissed its appeal of the federal court judgment that upheld the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance, effectively ending their lawsuit against the city.
This victory comes after years and years of community action.
Years ago, neighbors formed the group Protect South Portland to fight the tar sands pipeline. In 2014, they pushed the City Council to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance—which blocked ExxonMobil’s plans to load tar sands oil onto tankers in South Portland’s harbor. That plan would have included two 70-foot smokestacks spewing toxic chemicals.
These victories show that even fossil fuel giants are no match for neighbors who come together to fight for their community. Congratulations to ‘Protect South Portland’.