Tank opponents bring concerns to Collins

By Tanya Mitchell | Oct 09, 2012
Photo by: Tanya Mitchell Searsport resident Harlan McLaughlin, right, presents a letter outlining his concerns about the Liquefied Petroleum Gas storage tank proposed for Mack Point to Sen. Susan Collins.

Searsport — During a press conference aimed at raising awareness about the need for safe, affordable housing and the volunteers who make it possible, a few Searsport residents bent the ear of Republican Sen. Susan Collins about another local concern — the Liquefied Petroleum Gas storage tank proposed for Mack Point.

During a World Habitat Day press conference at the Waldo County Habitat for Humanity construction site on Old County Road Friday, Oct. 5, Searsport resident Harlan McLaughlin presented the senator with a letter he had written her outlining his concerns about the proposed development from Colorado-based DCP Midstream. After the brief exchange between McLaughlin and the senator, Thanks but No Tank spokesman Ken Agabian said McLaughlin never got a response to his letter and decided to hand-deliver his correspondence at Friday’s gathering.

“We have some housing concerns here in Searsport,” said McLaughlin as he handed his hand-written letter and a TBNT pamphlet explaining the group’s opposition to the proposed 22.7-million-gallon LPG storage tank and terminal.

In his letter, McLaughlin explained the scope of the proposed project and expressed concern that the Army Corps of Engineers lent its approval based on the word of “our local small town officials that we could handle whatever disasters that this decision might bring.” He also called attention to the ongoing study that Good Harbor Techmark is now conducting in an effort to identify any safety and security weaknesses that may exist in the Penobscot Bay region.

“We, many of the citizens of Penobscot Bay, think this was irresponsible of the Army Corps,” stated McLaughlin. “Richard Clarke’s group Good Harbor has been hired by some third-party groups to see what they think about our situation, and how ready we are to deal with industrial-scale disasters. Please support our efforts to get the Army Corps to reconsider this permit for this project.”

After Collins completed her address, all in attendance were invited to take a tour of the Habitat home. During the walk-through, McLaughlin, Agabian and fellow TBNT member Peter Taber approached the senator about the tank proposal and their associated concerns.

Collins thanked the trio for presenting her with McLaughlin’s letter.

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