Searsport Propane Terminal Has Folks in Town Talking
A proposed gas terminal might change the look of the Searsport shoreline. DCP Midstream, which is headquartered in Colorado, says its plan will help the propane market throughout the Northeast. But the project has raised concerns for some residents of Searsport.”Once we started talking amongst ourselves, we realized that if something like this comes in, it’s going to have a huge economic impact but not necessarily in a way that fosters what we see as quality of life,” said Astrig Tanguay.Tanguay owns the Searsport Shores Campground with her husband. She says citizens have a number of issues with the proposal including the size of the tank, noise, smog, and safety. One major concern is the means of transporting the fuel. The terminal is permitted for hundreds of tanker trucks to travel there everyday. But a spokesperson for DCP Midstream says it’s unlikely to reach that amount.”In actuality, it would be more like 50 trucks and those trucks are already driving through the area, they’re just not stopping in Searsport,” said Roz Elliott, DCP Midstream spokesperson.But Tanguay says even that number is more than Searsport and neighboring communities would like on their roads.”These trucks are going to be on Route 3, Route 1, Route 1A, going up to Ellsworth, going down to Deer Isle and Stonington and if we become a major trucking corridor, then we will change the face of Penobscot Bay,” said Tanguay.DCP Midstream says the changes will be positive ones for both Maine and other states in the Northeast. Among those is job creation.”The propane facility would bring about 12 to 15 highly skilled jobs that we would prefer to hire and train locally. That’s usually our intent. And we would bring in hundreds of construction jobs to the area to built the plant,” said Elliott.Tanguay and others in town are hoping to get more people talking about the proposal.But while they’re doing that, DCP Midstream is working on securing its state and federal permits. The company gave no specific timeline for when they’d like to start building.