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South Portland residents in agreement to stop tar sands

Citizens, businesses and the City and are working together to protect the economic diversity of the working waterfront and the environmental integrity of South Portland.

21 July 2014: South Portland City Council votes 6-1 to pass the Clear Skies Ordinance to ban tar sands by prohibiting the bulk export of crude oil via ship from South Portland. The oil industry has 20 days to file a law suit or it goes into effect, so stay tuned!



There is currently a moratorium in place preventing any new development of tar sands oil distribution in South Portland; this moratorium remains in place for the 20 days until the ordinance goes into effect in case a legal challenge is filed.

What are Tar Sands?

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The terms are used a lot in SoPo these days: tar sands, oil sands, dilbit, synbit. What is it, actually, and is it different from regular crude oil? Is it more dangerous?

Follow the Ordinance through the Voting Process!

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The Moratorium is still in place, and the DOC has produced a final ordinance, which was passed by City Council.....

Click Here for updates on the Ordinance.

Air Quality and Storage

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There are plenty of air quality issues with the storage and handling of petroleum products in our community. The storage tanks are located in close proximity to schools.

Are Tar Sands really the same as Crude Oil?

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The oil industry has been advertising in South Portland that Tar Sands are the same as Crude Oil.

But that's not true.

In fact tar sands are dramatically worse in both environmental impact and safety. Click here for more information.

Pipeline Safety

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Oil spills are not uncommon when transporting tar sands through new, old and reversed pipelines.

In cities and town across North America, spills have costs billions of dollars in remedial clean up, major job loss, business closure and resident relocation because tar sands spills are substantially worse than crude oil spills.

Cornell University recently published a study about the impact of spills on jobs and the economy and the EPA has published a report on the need for tar sands pipelines to be be held to different standards.

Local Impact of Oil

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Watch video interviews with:

Mayor Tom Blake

Attorney Natalie West (Attorney)

Susan Hasson (Planning Board Member)

Greg Griffin (Lobsterman)

Dr. Carol Hubbard (Pediatrician)

Dr. Charles Tilburg (Oceanographer)

Andy Jones (Resident)

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