Protect South Portland adds $10K to Clear Skies defense fund

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The City Council accepted a donation of more than $10,000 to the Clear Skies Ordinance defense fund during Monday’s meeting.

Protect South Portland, a nonprofit, citizens organization, said it crowdsourced the funds. The group was established in 2013 in response to Portland Pipe Line Corp.’s plan to import Canadian tar sands oil.

The donation from the group brings the Clear Skies Legal Defense Fund private contributions total to more than $135,000.

The Clear Skies Ordinance, adopted in 2014, prohibits the bulk loading of crude oil on tankers and effectively prohibits pumping tar sands oil through the 236-mile Portland-Montreal Pipeline to South Portland, where the fuel could then be transferred to ships.

Portland Pipe Line, which is a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy, and American Waterways Operators, sued the city in U.S. District Court in February 2015 to overturn the ordinance.

The city has spent more than $1 million fighting the lawsuit. Portland Pipe Line is also seeking a $320,000 tax abatement from the city on grounds the Clear Skies Ordinance has reduced the value of its property.

In other business March 21, the council set a public hearing for  7 p.m. April 5 at to discuss the proposed 2018 municipal budget.

Councilors also set April 3 at 7 p.m. for a public hearing to amend their standing rules. Some proposed changes include moving council meetings from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., as well as changing the deadlines for items to be placed on the agenda.

Also, during Monday’s council meeting, newly hired City Manager Scott T. Morelli was appointed to the board of directors of ecomaine, the company the city contracts for hauling waste and recycling.

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter@melaniesochan.

South Portland City Hall.

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  • spcitizen

    There will be an organizational meeting of the newly formed group ‘Protect South Portland from Protect South Portland’ on Sunday morning in front of Emperor Blake’s house.
    All hail Emperor Blake!
    spcitizen has spoken