Feb 12, 2013

Good Harbor says DCP stay out of Searsport Harbor

from  Thanks But No Tank, Bangor Daily News' story and other sources

GOOD HARBOR REPORT:  LPG should stay out of Searsport Harbor 
Richard A. Clarke was unable to travel to the Searsport hearing last night. 

The presentation was done by Frank Gallagher and Mike Lucy, co-authors of the All Hazard Risk Assessment for Searsport. Their message that the Board should deny the project, was heard loud and clear by everyone in attendance:  

Frank Gallagher, Good Harbor, presenting.
No strategies for  dire scenarios. If fire or explosion take place at the $40 million, 23-million-gallon tank that DCP Midstream wants to build at Mack Point Industrial Zone,  who would pay for the firefighting equipment and training? How would project neighbors evacuate the blast zone? Who will ensure that verbal agreements are followed through?

Mack Point site too small: T-he site is too small to be safe (and there is no way to make it bigger); the facility is too close to residences, businesses, and Route 1; the community lacks the necessary emergency response capabilities; and the Searsport channel is not deep enough. They went further to discuss how a detailed analysis of plans should not be left after the permit is granted. At that point, as Lucy paraphrased Clarke, “the train has left the station” and can’t be turned back—that is to say too many crucial questions are still unanswered but the project is underway. 

Current LPG markets They also brought to the board’s attention the current markets with LPG imports and exports. Another key point they made is this facility would be denied for an LNG permit by the federal government’s standards and essentially LPG and LNG act in much the same way as flammable materials. As Frank Gallagher put it, the difference is between burning yourself with fire from a match or burning yourself on a hot stove, the result is the same. The big picture question still remains: why would Searsport ever want this facility—knowing the inherent risks involved??

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Moore
USCG Capt Moore
We heard also from U.S. Coast Guard Captain Moore who after making a number of points when questioned by TBNT attorney Steve Hinchman essentially agreed that the Coast Guard’s opinion was the same as Good Harbor’s, that there are too many unanswered questions, the channel needs to be dredged and there are no marine fire tugs that can respond to an emergency.

David Gelinas of the Penobscot Bay Pilots
David Gelinas of the Penobscot Bay Pilots got into the record his statements that some of these ships coming to Searsport would not be carrying full load, either making another stop first before Searsport or coming in without a full cargo. His exercise appeared pointless as pointed out by David Italiaander, there currently are no ships delivering either LPG or LNG coming to the U.S.

Searsport Planning Board:
Some members of the planning board did ask questions. One being what is a “most likely scenario”. The response from the Good Harbor team was a combination of a human error, either someone making a mistake not paying attention to the task at hand, a motor vehicle accident, a piece of machinery that breaks down or a combination of both.

DCP cross examines
The cross examination by DCP’s attorney was, as we have seen before, ineffective. DCP presented a blast analysis, commissioned by Baker Engineering (the Good Harbor subcontractor) in July, 2012 without any support documentation. This was a confounding moment, as suddenly this map appeared on the screen. We will investigate fully and report on this.

Bud Rivers Searsport Safety Chief
Almon Rivers, the safety chief of Searsport took an adversarial position while questioning Good Harbor. His tone left this resident of Searsport with grave concerns if he really has the safety and well-being of Searsport as his primary concern, or if his allegiance is toward proving at any cost that the 22.7 Gallon mega-tank DCP Midstream proposes can be built and operated safely.

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