Nov 29, 2012

Tank battle rages in Searsport for third night - reports

Searsport's planning board has held  three  public hearings this week on  gas middleman giant DCP Midstream's increasingly sketchy plan to build a liquified petroleum gas megatank in the remaining Mack Point Woods, the buffer between existing oil and gas tank farms and  both Penobscot Bay and  US Route 1.
(Listen to audios from all week)

MONDAY NIGHT 11/26/12:  the Searsport planning board  ruled on a succession of would be  interested parties;
Dave Italiaander of Searsport getting interested party status
Approved: Thanks But No Tank, Ed Bearor representing the (owner of Baits Motel); Friends of (part of) Sears Island , Ann Flack & Janet Williams representing "the retirees"; Dave Gelinas, Penobscot River and Bay Pilots,  David Italiaander, Chris Hyke, Phyllis Somer, Arlene Leighton, Diane Messer.

Denied City of Belfast (no show); Arlene Leighton; Charlene Farris Searsport historian;
Nancy Galland and Joelle Madiec, both residents of Stockton Springs.

Dr. Phani Raj
TUESDAY NIGHT 11/27/12: DCP's dog U& pony show; their hired guns, like industry expert Phani Raj,  earning their pay by showing power point presentations of questionable data and images, purporting to show what a wonderful harmless, innocuous, patriotic opportunity they were offering to area residents. Their pettifoggery instead earned each of them a goodly share of contemptuous laughter from the citizenry arrayed before them.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT 11/28/12 Tensions flare as police scuffle with, remove elderly Mainer from the public hearing, which featured a presentation of the "Fannon Report. (47pg pdf) a study of the economic impact of the tank on municipal services, property values, tourism, and property taxes prepared by Nancy Fannon

Hinchman for the People
Meeting attendee reports:  "Attorneys for TBNT Steve Hinchman and for Angler’s Restaurant, Ed Bearor, shredded her presentation and methodology.

Among the shortcomings illustrated by cross examination was a basic lack of a fact check on any information provided to her by town officials."  Ken Agabian noted that Fannon cites the economic base of Searsport as small boat building and industrial businesses,

[An economic hegemony long vanished from the waterfront,  found only in this waterfront town's Penobscot Marine Museum. -ed]
Later, Nancy Fannon did admit there would be a negative effect on property value which she could not easily quantify and a negative effect of tourism.  Her report can be read on the website under the document’s page.
Ken Agabian of TBNT wrote  that Cross examination of DCP Midstream safety and project management personnel focused  on three concerns  (1) why are there no “exclusion zone” around the tank similar to LPG tanker vessels; (2) DCP admitted in the last year there has only been ONE tanker to deliver LPG to their facility in Chesapeake, VA  and (3)  one of the only other rural LPG facilities that DCP operates is in Berlin, VT with total storage capacity of just 90,000 gallons.  This is in stark contrast with their plans for Searsport."

Police Action: The Bangor Daily News reported " A confrontation between police and opponents of a liquid propane tank under consideration by the town planning board erupted in the lobby outside the meeting Wednesday night after an officer evicted an elderly man. Almost three hours into the meeting in the Searsport District High School cafeteria.".click for full story
TBNT response to police action. Spokesperson for TBNT KIen Agabian  issued a statement that "the removal from the audience of a TBNT member engaged in a conversation with me from the audience was completely uncalled for and the actions of an overzealous officer".

"We truly hope it is the first and last time we witness this. We have spoken to the police chief and asked him in no uncertain terms for assurances for Chairman Probert to run the hearings. There was no disturbing the testimony or disrupting the proceedings in any way until the police officer took it upon himself to respond in an action which was wholly uncalled for. What the member was objecting to is the Searsport Planning Board’s consultant answering questions on DCP’s behalf. This is wrong and should not continue"

Below the photo:the Fannon report.
Will forest in lower half of photo  be bulldozed, blasted & coated w/concrete & steel?.

Fannon Report  According to a meeting participant, the Fannon Report, funded by DCP, "basically leaned toward discounting any negative effects and accentuating what few positive effects existed."  The study examined the impact of an LPG terminal in Turkey and concludes that  residents of a Turkish coastal area were not upset when their ocean views were obscured. Therefore Americans of Penobscot Bay should too. Oooookay....

Still to come:
Night Four of Tank Battle of Searsport. In which TBNT and Islesboro Islands Trust show their mettle.

1 comment:

Anandengineers said...

We have spoken to the police chief and asked him in no uncertain terms for assurances for Chairman Probert to run the hearings. Lpg Gas Pipeline Contractor Delhi