Colorado-Based Company Talking with Searsport Community About Proposed Gas Tank
A 137-foot tall propane gas tank might be built on the Searsport shoreline at Mack Point. Colorado-based company DCP Midstream is in the permitting stages of its project right now, but it already has some folks in town talking. Representatives from the company are working on clearing up what they call misconceptions about the project.”They call it the tallest and yes it is, but it’s cited in an area that’s industrial and I think what’s more important is that this already is an industrialized zone, it’s an active port with existing activities,” said DCP Midstream spokesperson Roz Elliott.Some members of the community, including a group called “Thanks but no Tank,” are spreading their own message. They say this tank will be much closer to Route One and Searsport’s downtown areas. They’re worried its size might change the look and feel of Searsport.”I think in this town there’s a balance. I think we have your industrial zone, and I’m not entirely happy with that but it’s there, we have our historic district, we have our residences, our little businesses and this is going to completely change our way of life here,” said Betty Schopmeyer, a Searsport resident who works at the Penobscot Marine Museum in town.Community members are also concerned about safety both on the roads and at the tank facility itself. But DCP Midstream says it has a stellar track record.”I operate 7 facilities across the Northeast right now and we’ve never had an incident in the history of this operation. It’s how we approach operating, maintaining, and just being there, doing the right things, being responsible operators,” said Jeff Hurteau, DCP Midstream’s Asset Director for its North East Propane Operations.In March, the town will vote on a moratorium that would give the community more time to do studies and review town ordinances. But DCP Midstream wants town members to vote no, so that the project can move forward. The company says it’s also performing its own economic impact study on the tank that it hopes to release to the public soon.