Earlier today TBNT members took part in a greater movement to illustrate the gigantic 202’ diameter footprint of the Searsport mega-tank. This action was conceived late last week to demonstrate the enormity of the mega-tank and in response to the fact we asked for a scale model of the project a year ago. To date, DCP Midstream Partners, LP and its new subsidiary, the limited liability company “DCP Searsport LLC” have refused to provide a scale model to reveal how this mega-tank will tower over Searsport and the entire upper Penobscot Bay coastline. Close to 250 people from across the Midcoast region took part in the action, demonstrating the LPG mega-tank is a regional concern. What you cannot see from this photograph below is our balloons which where aloft at 14 stories—138 feet in the air. Thanks to all the organizers, to all who got word out, and most of all to all those who stood together and participated. Job well done!
Photo: Peter Wilkinson
Searsport Public Hearings, November 26 – 29
The following schedule was presented at this morning’s TBNT meeting. The first night; November 26 is to be mostly procedural in nature. We anticipate at this time the Searsport Planning Board and their attorneys will interview those who have filed letters requesting interested party status. These interviews may be short or long depending on the applicant. Following the interview, a decision as to whether or not that person or organization has standing to act as an interested party will be made. Even though it is not a night for testimony of the application, we strongly encourage everyone to attend at the Searsport High School cafeteria in a show of strength and that all eyes are on the Planning Board and they possibly will need a bigger venue to hold these hearings. In addition, you may hear something that will be useful in testimony later in the week. Please make it a point to attend this first night.
Tuesday, November 27 will be devoted to DCP’s testimony.
Wednesday, November 28, Steve Hinchman, on behalf of TBNT and IIT will make a presentation on ALL the reasons the application should be denied. Others having standing will also present on Wednesday and could be subject to cross-examination by DCP Midstream.
Thursday, November 29 we anticipate those who are NOT acknowledged as having standing will still get a chance to speak. Residents of Searsport will have preference and will be allowed to speak first. There is a tremendous amount of interest in participating. On the other hand, SPB chair Bruce Probert will be limiting speaking time – perhaps five minutes – and has said he will stop anyone whom he believes is simply repeating past testimony. The SPB may extend the hearing another night or two to accommodate all those who wish to speak. Again, we wish to have as many speakers as possible. Come and speak, this is your time to have an impact.
In addition, written testimony can be submitted for the hearing and for the record, as an accompaniment to speaking or as a stand-alone expression of concern. This is the best way to ensure that your voice becomes part of the SPB record. Speak from your experience, emphasize how the LPG facility will affect and injure you — your livelihood, your business, property values, your sailing, your safety, your medical issue, your love of hiking, your fishing, clamming, birding, astronomy, etc. Please keep in mind this schedule could change at any time and is another reason we strongly encourage participation on all nights or as many nights as possible.
The formal deadline to file as an interested party is Monday, November 19.
The address to write is:
Searsport Planning Board
c/o Town of Searsport
P.O. Box 499
Searsport, ME 04974
We also anticipate the hearings to be continued into January to hear conclusions from the Good Harbor All Hazards Risk Assessment. The main reason this report has been delayed is due to DCP Midstream and the Army Corps of Engineers are not cooperating with Good Harbor. This was after re-assurances to the Searsport Planning Board from DCP’s attorneys that the firm would cooperate with Good Harbor. This fact was missing from last week’s press coverage of last Monday’s meeting.
Also in Searsport there are two meetings which need to be monitored:
The Board of Selectmen meeting is Tuesday, November 20, 7pm upstairs at Union Hall
The Board of Appeals meeting is Wednesday, November 21, 6:30 presumably at Union Hall
While in Searsport please feel free to stop in our office at 21 E. Main Street to pick up a yard sign during business hours. We ask for a donation to cover the printing costs.
We will have a table outreach at the Belfast Co op on Tuesday starting at 11AM with TBNT yard signs for distribution. Please consider placing a yard sign. We need maximum exposure on as many mid coast roads and highways as possible now.
Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.