Apr 9, 2013

DCP Down! The early resistance: September 2011

Back in the mists of time,  DCP Midstream filed its first application with MDEP, following the Searport height elevation change.   Below, a copy of  Astrig Tanguay's September 9, 2011 letter to the Maine DEP, one of a number sent by local citizenry who, shortly after, coalesced into Thanks But No Tank!
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Astrig Tanguay
Searsport Shores Campground
216 West Main Street
Searsport, ME 04974
Sept 9, 2011
Ms. Robin Clukey Project Manager
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
106 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401
Re DCP Midstream Applications L-025359-TG-B-N and L-025359--A-N.

Dear Ms Clukey
 here are our comments on the DCP midstream LPG tank proposal. 
Please contact me if you have any questions. My tel# is 548-6059

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Ms. Robin Clukey Project Manager
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
106 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401.

Re DCP Midstream Applications L-025359-TG-B-N and L-025359--A-N.

Dear Ms Clukey

We are writing concerning the applications by DCP Midstream Partners LP to build and
operate an LPG terminal at Mack Point in Searsport, Maine. DCP proposes a 137-foot
high storage tank, 202 feet in diameter. 
We are owners of Searsport shores campground and the DCP tank as proposed would 
intrude into our scenic areas. This is not good for our business which brings many 1,000s of 
guests. And we believe that Maine DEP should consider the wellbeing of existing businesses 
before permitting a new one that could harm them including us.

The proposed tank farm would be visible from most of the part of Sears Island including the part under
conservation easement. The other third of the island faces directly on Mack Point and is
also heavily used by pedestrians for scenic appreciation and other recreational
purposes. Because the existing tank farms are lower than the horizon from the island,
they fit harmoniously into the environment’s viewshed and do not intrude into ours

DCP-Midstream’s proposed facility, by contrast, would be tall enough to emerge into
numerous protected scenic viewsheds of the bay region, including our campground.

It would violate the Natural Resources Act’s and Site Location of Development Act’s
requirements that a developer fit its development “harmoniously into the existing natural
environment”.

As detailed below, we urge the department to require the applicant to design its
proposal facility to fit as harmoniously as possible into the existing environment, by
limiting the elevation of the proposal LPG tank to a height similar to existing tank farms
of Mack Point, even if it requires two tanks instead of one. If the applicant declines to
amend its plan to be consistent with site law and the NRPA then the Department needs
to reject the application to protect irreplaceable resources that are presently generating
substantial economic activity in the area, including our business which also supports many
other businesses

Our campground like many other sectors of Penobscot Bay area economies are closely tied to the 
natural character of the bay region. Quality of life, particularly scenic quality, are major
selling points for hundreds of area businesses from bed & breakfasts to cruise ships,
that employ and support thousands of area citizens and bring many more thousands to
enjoy Penobscot Bay

DCP Midstream and the Department have not as far as we can tell, given

sufficient consideration to the potential that the project, as proposed , will cause
permanent degradation of protected scenic vistas both near and distant from the
proposed project.

In the application before you, the developer proposes to exploit a recent Searsport
ordinance raising height limitation in that town. However, state laws, including the
Natural Resources Protection Act and the Site Location of Development Act, will trump
municipal ordinance when a dispute arises over protecting significant scenic resources
of local state or national significance , including those outside of the town of Searsport.
The proposed configuration would irretrievably degrade the unbroken natural skylines
that exist within most of the recreational and tourism areas of Searsport, Stockton
Springs, Islesboro, Deer Isle and other locations at greater distance . These are not
replaceable scenic assets.Many are very well known and reachable only by footpaths.

The existing tank farms are not visible from most scenic views including ours. In those area
views where they are visible, the existing tank farms are nestled below a hill and do not rise above the horizon, as DCP’s proposed facility would.

Because the applicant’s reasons for preferring a facility that does violate scenic
protection rules and statutes appear to be simply higher profits and not geographic
limitations or other necessity, the Department needs to require alternatives of either a
single smaller tank or two smaller tanks to meet its plans

The Site Location of Development Act 38 §481 et seq. (Site Law) applies to the DCP
Midstream oil tank proposal. The discretion of the Department must prevail over municipal
ordinance when it comes to determining whether a development project will cause irreparable
unnecessary impact to irreplaceable scenic aesthetic, recreational or navigational uses to be
unreasonable.

We strongly believe that in this case, the Department must find that the applicant has a
practicable alternative that would meet the project purpose and not result in adverse
impacts to existing scenic, aesthetic, recreational uses. Therefore, if the applicant fails
to adopt such an alternative , the Department must find that the impacts of this project
on scenic, aesthetic, recreational and navigational uses are unreasonable.

Sincerely
Astrig

Astrig and Steve Tanguay
Searsport Shores Campground
Searsport ME

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