Debate continues over S. Portland waterfront protection ordinance | News

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Debate continues over S. Portland waterfront protection ordinance
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A coalition of businesses and petroleum industry leaders are speaking out against South Portland's Waterfront Protection Ordinance on the ballot later this year.

If passed, the ordinance would prevent Portland Pipe Line Corporation from building new infrastructure at its existing facilities near Bug Light Park in South Portland.  

Several petroleum industry leaders who are opposed to the ordinance held a news conference Monday morning at Sprague Energy in South Portland.  They say the proposed ordinance would negatively impact the economy.

"We are here to ensure the preservation of the South Portland working waterfront," Maine Energy Marketers Association Executive Director Jamie Py said.  "We are also here to ensure the energy of every citizen in the state of Maine and in the region that energy is affordable and abundant."

Several industry leaders are using a report put together by local economist Charles Lawton to voice their opposition to the ordinance.  The report states that if the ordinance passes, it would reduce shipping traffic and potentially cripple waterfront businesses.

South Portland Mayor Tom Blake supports the ordinance.  He said it would help grow the local economy and prevent tar sands oil from flowing into South Portland.

"To allow the petroleum industry to grow and bring in dirty products like tar sands will be detrimental to this community," Blake said.  "Our children will not be breathing as healthy air, drinking as healthy water, and our property values would go down."

Members of the coalition opposed to the ordinance have maintained there are no plans to bring tar sands to Maine via the Portland Montreal Pipe Line.  

The ordinance is set to go before South Portland voters on November 5th.

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