2013-09-20 / Letters

Ordinance won’t shut down waterfront

To the editor:

The Waterfront Protection Ordinance will do what it says: protect our waterfront.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “I’m against tar sands but …” Have you heard any other idea or proposal to protect our community?

Cities have authority to regulate land use. They do not have authority to regulate pipelines or substances that travel across international boundaries or across state lines in pipelines. The Waterfront Protection Ordinance is an amendment to our zoning that is within South Portland’s authority.

The Waterfront Protection Ordinance will not prevent Centerboard Yacht Club from putting docks in the water or stop Sunset Marina from building new fuel docks. It will not prevent Turner’s Island from shipping water, sardines and anything else they unload or load. It will not prevent Sprague from loading and shipping kerosene out of the port. It will not stop Citgo from unloading gasoline, or Gulf from loading gasoline into trucks. It will not increase the price of heating oil. In summary, the Waterfront Protection Ordinance will not shut down the waterfront.

The Waterfront Protection Ordinance will prevent toxic and volatile chemicals from polluting the air near our schools. It will prevent construction of oil storage tanks and other oil equipment on Portland Pipeline’s empty lot at the corner of Broadway and Preble. It will protect Bug Light Park from stacks and pollution on an adjacent pier. It will help shift heavy industrial oil uses from the waters edge as sea levels rise and storm surges increase. That is what the Waterfront Protection Ordinance will do for our community.

Why is big oil spreading false rumors that have no basis? Why are they taking words out of context and ignoring specific provisions in our zoning ordinance that protect marinas and boat fueling operations? They hope that confused voters will vote no. Don’t be confused. Stop by Protect South Portland headquarters in Knightville at 72 Ocean St. or visit us online at protectsouthportland.com for the facts.

Natalie West
South Portland

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