2014-08-29 / Letters

Leaders need to listen

To the editor:

After reading different articles and letters written about the tar sands issue, I feel my thoughts are important to this issue as well.

I agree with Don Russell`s letter in the Aug. 15 issue of the Sentry. Shutting down the waterfront will not decrease our air quality. Anyone that watches the weather patterns knows that our pollution comes from the west of Maine. What we create is a very small part of what we breath. Looking at our tank farms and tankers that come into Portland, there is an excellent record on oil spills and containment issues. This is due to the precautions taken by the companies involved in this industry, (most people know who they are).

Most of the storage tanks have floating roofs inside the tanks. They also have vapor recovery systems in place. The vapor recovery system protects air pollutants from being released into the air. This process is used in offloading and loading fuels entering the tanks and loading the trucks leaving the tank farms. The tank farms have an oil/water separator system in place to collect all storm water that have any fuel traces in it from leaving the tank farm.

Before the South Portland Council takes the next step, without South Portland residents’ approval, they need to consider the effect on South Portland residents. The council needs to be better informed and allow the city’s residents to make decisions that change our lives for the better or the worst.

The income generated by this industry is huge and should not be ignored. They do need to be accountable for what they do.

The loss from this industry would be a burden on the residents of South Portland. The council’s last act was one not for them to make. That act should be considered a slap in the face to all residents of South Portland. I read a statement the other day and it goes like this: never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

With that said, be sure it`s thoughtful and committed people that push issues, and they need to listen to more than just themselves.

John Land
South Portland

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