Jun 25, 2012

DCP Midstream tells Searsport: muzzle citizens' speech & don't consider impacts of planned giant LPG tank on tourism.

Searsport. Citizens reacted sharply after disclosure of a letter sent recently to Searsport town officials by gas industry giant DCP Midstream. Signed by lawyer Kelly Boden, and reeking with arrogance, the June 15th letter tells the town to bar citizens attending all future planning board meetings from mentioning the company and its controversial plan to replace Searsport's Mack Point coastal forest with a 22.3 million gallon Liquified Petroleum Gas tank and trucking terminal. 
       Furthermore, the corporate lawyer sneers in the letter, it's TOO LATE to worry about the effect the Gassers' facility will have on the tourism-dependent upper bay area's tourism.
DCP attorney Kelly Boden, left, disrupting public speaking session .
"Opponents of the project are taking advantage of the 'open to the public' portion of the Board's meeting"  DCP whined in the five page letter. Boden called the citizens speaking their mind "prejudicial and disruptive".
       Area residents dismissed the company's assertions.
      "It was through the "Open To The Public" forum that it became apparent there was a [Maine] Fuel Board Permit missing", said Christopher Hyk.  "It was through the same forum that the lapsed lease came to light." 
     "Neither the Searsport Planning Board or Kelly knew of these issues." Hyk observed. "What else is missing or compromised? I suspect there are a few other issues Kelly would like to avoid."
     "They basically sent a letter "instructing" the board to muzzle any comment of the project during the public comment period of OUR meetings," said David Italiaander.  "Then they objected when they couldn't push to the front of the line during our open-to-the-public comment period to offer rebuttals."

DCP atty Kilbreth, left, tells board: stop public speakers.
"More galling" Italiaander continued " is their narrow reading and misreading and misinterpretation of  applicable ordinances.  We all know the intent of the property values ordinance was to protect the property values of all those potentially affected. In this case that is the entire town.       
       Ann Flack, also of Searsport, noted that the purpose of the public speaking time is to let citizens provide the Planning Board with "advice on how to thoroughly reject the DCP application, using their ordinances."
       The propane peddling company's letter complained that the list of  issues to be considered in an upcoming economic study of  DCP's giant propane tank is "far broader than necessary."  
       While residents point out that tourism is the primary economic engine of Searsport and nearby towns, the company declare in their letter that studying the effect of the giant tank on scenic tourism must not be part of the economic study.
       "{T]he proposal to include an assessment on "tourism" is inappropriate, as there are no performance standards that address tourism,  DCP attorney Boden wrote. "Evaluating the project's impact on tourism is not helpful and a waste of both the Planning Board's and DCP's time and resources. "  See Searsport Planning Board Performance Standards
       Opponents of the company's tank plan rejected Boden's assertion, pointing out that, as tourism IS the economic driver of the region, an economic study that fails take tourism into account would be hopelessly flawed. Moreover Searsport's Performance Standard 1. "Preserve and Enhance the Landscape", and Performance Standard 2  "Relationship of Proposed Buildings to Environment" exist largely to protect resources vital to local tourism.
       DCP's liquified petroleum gas tank, along with its associated flare tower and 24/7 truck operations cannot possibly meet either of those performance standards, according to Ron Huber of Penobscot Bay Watch. 
       "The recent balloon test showed that the giant tank, which would hulk thirteen stories high above the town, would be an egregious eyesore from every direction", Huber said. adding that "flattening an irreplaceable coastal forest and replacing it with concrete,  steel and asphalt  will not 'fit in harmoniously with the surrounding terrain' no matter how many times gas industry lawyers claim otherwise."  

1 comment:

Anandengineers said...

The company declare in their letter that studying the effect of the giant tank on scenic tourism must not be part of the economic study.
Lpg Gas Pipe Fitting Commercial