Clarke to testify to Searsport Planning Board Jan. 16
Today the Islesboro Islands Trust released the independent “All Hazards Risk Assessment”of the highly controversial Liquefied Petroleum Gas terminal proposed for Mack Point in Searsport. The report was conducted by Richard A. Clarke’s consulting firm, Good Harbor Techmark.
Clarke, a counter-terrorism advisor to three Presidents of the United States, recommended “not proceeding with the project as currently proposed” and concludes that the Searsport Planning Board must deny the LPG permit applications submitted by DCP Searsport, LLC. Richard A. Clarke and the research team will present their report to the Searsport Planning Board on Wednesday, Jan. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Searsport District High School on Mortland Road.
The Islesboro Islands Trust — an intervenor in the regulatory review process — engaged Good Harbor last summer to conduct an independent and unbiased assessment to identify the risks, hazard zones, and the emergency response costs posed by the proposed tank. The Good Harbor team identified high risks and significant vulnerabilities in the proposed project design, and found that “both landside and maritime emergency response resources are currently inadequate to support major Liquid Propane Gas incident management activities.”
Findings supporting the recommendation to deny the permits are as follows:
· An independent blast analysis, which found that under a variety of accident scenarios, an explosion or leak at the terminal would cause lethal and devastating impacts to nearby homes and businesses, and to travelers on Route One
· The lack of a cost sharing plan, which could transfer significant project costs from the developer to local communities
· Gaps in current regulations, which leave citizens and businesses unprotected
· Insufficient depths in the Searsport harbor and at the existing pier, which will require expensive and environmentally damaging dredging before ocean going Liquid Propane Gas ships can safely access the port.
Clarke also cautioned regulators to look carefully at dramatic recent changes in global energy prices, which are leading industry to convert import terminals into export facilities.
Islesboro Island Trust praised the thorough and independent analysis by the Good Harbor team. “The Good Harbor Techmark report is exceptionally well done and provides a first ever look at the real costs and dangers associated with the proposed terminal.” said Stephen Miller, Islesboro Island Trust Executive Director. “Based on this analysis, the terminal should not go forward. The risks are too great and the costs too high.”
“The LPG Terminal project should be stopped in its tracks,” added Steve Hinchman, counsel for the Trust and Thanks But No Tank, a concerned citizens group opposed to the project. “The Good Harbor report confirms that Searsport and Pen Bay lack the resources or available space to safely host such a hazardous facility. This project would put too many people at risk.”