Sep 14, 2011

DCP-Midstream plan to foul upper Penobscot Bay skyline runs into opposition

Mack Point Tank Farm, viewed from Searport Shores Campground, Searsport
Two Tanks, or 
No Thanks!

DCP Midstream Partners needs to respect the irreplaceable economic scenic asset that the unbroken skyline of the upper Penobscot Bay region constitutes, and not install New England's tallest gas tank in the heart of the upper Penobscot Bay scenic zone.

In the upper photo, the existing petroleum tank farms of Sprague and Irving Oil merge harmoniously into the landscape, below the skyline  from most locations.

In the lower mockup, the DCP Liquified Petroleum Gas Tank as proposed is far out of scale. It intrudes into the scenic visual space as far as away as Camden Hills State Park and Acadia National Park.

Put bluntly: the existing proposal outright violates the scenic resource protection standards of Maine law and regulations. These,  the Natural Resources Protection Act and the Site Location of Development Act, keep the immensely sellable scenic natural character of the Maine coast intact against the depredations of

When enforced well, these laws keep the bar very high for proposals like DCP's that would irretrievably  and permanently degrade a scenic area important for the employment of thousands of Mainers in coastal tourism dependent businesses living in dozens of communities.

Yet MDEP's draft order would approve the plan anyway, without truly evaluating the scenic assets at stake. But that's okay. It's only a draft. 
 DCP can meet the standards set forth in these laws, and their federal correlates, while still turning a hefty profit. It is a non-essential opportunistic addition to the energy infrastructure. Revising DCP's plan to fit in harmoniously with the existing neighborhoods is good business. 

DCP Midstream needs to either (1) build a smaller tank, (2) build two tanks of lower height, or (3) go away. In any of those options their process will, like Mack Point's existing oil tanks, remain below the scenic horizon for virtually all locations.  Or it spends spend lots of money responding to appeals and lawsuits by outraged Bay area scenic dependent businesses and other public interests

Maine DEP is onboard with the oilies. Here's MDEP's draft order.  But that's okay. It's only a draft.  We've got truth and beauty on our side.  Click image below to get the DEP coding and general facts


Anonymous said...

Brilliant work Mr. Huber in gathering all this information and structuring it to be easily read and understood. And you've even done so with humor, despite the very serious nature of the issue.

Ron Huber said...

Thank you GR. Humor may be our most powerful tool against humorless Big Gas and its bottomless pockets.