Between Sumatra & Searsport

This week, we have a cautionary story which could apply to the LPG mega-tank project in Searsport. Last Wednesday morning, on the other side of the world, an LPG tanker owned by a Norwegian company, The I.M. Skaugen Co., collided with a passenger ferry in Indonesia. Both were travelling the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java. Eight people are confirmed dead and more than 30 are missing after the ferry sank. The ferry manifest listed more than 213 passengers and crew and 78 vehicles; it is believed people may have been in cars and trucks, divers have been searching the area. An interview with a sea transport expert in the Jakarta Globe mentions bridge-to-bridge miscommunication may have been a cause. The expert also points out exhaustion may have contributed to the human-error factor, as the accident occurred during the early morning hours and a language barrier could have led to the miscommunication. The tanker, the Norgas Cathinka, was operated by the company’s Singapore subsidiary; both the Captain, a Filipino national and the chief officer, a Chinese national have been charged with negligence. We mention this because these tankers delivering LPG to Searsport from the Middle East and the North Sea will be coming on foreign tankers with foreign crews. And Penobscot Bay has ferries constantly running to Isle Au Haut, Monhegan, Islesboro, Matinicus, North Haven and Vinalhaven islands. Again, we see this project is regional in scope.

Back in Maine, we have a number of important meetings coming up:

Searsport

The next Planning Board meeting will be on Monday, October 8 (Columbus Day) upstairs in Union Hall at 6:30. The DCP Midstream application is the only item on the agenda. The Board is expected to accept the application as complete and begin the review process.  We also anticipate the board is to set a date for public meetings.

The next Board of Selectmen meeting will be Tuesday October 2 at 7pm

Belfast

The next City Council Meeting will be Tuesday October 2 at 7pm at City Hall.

We continue to do outreach in front of the Belfast Co-op and will be there this coming Tuesday starting about 10, we will have yard signs available (please consider making a donation typically $8-10 to cover printing costs).

Stockton Springs

The selectmen’s meeting is the first and third Thursday of each month at 6pm.  October 4 will be the next meeting.

Please mark your calendar: We will be having an informational meeting on Monday October 15 at the Stockton Springs Town Office at 7pm. Please spread the word.

Lastly, please see the Video page to see last week’s Waldo County Legislative Candidates Forum including their positions on the mega-tank.

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