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November 27, 2012 | last updated November 27, 2012 11:31 am

Tank opponents get status in Searsport hearings

The leading opponents of plans for a 23-million-gallon liquid propane tank in Searsport will play a special role in the project's local approval process after a planning board decision Monday, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The proposal by DCP Midstream, one of the nation's largest marketers of natural gas, would construct a $40 million liquid propane tank at the town's Mack Point industrial zone, where it has received approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal regulators.

Now, the project must clear Searsport's planning board, which decided Monday who will have "interested party status" as it reviews the company's proposal.

Represented by attorney Steve Hinchman, the group Thanks But No Tank received interested party status in the hearings alongside opponents representing the Isleboro Land Trust.

Those with interested party status will be able to present evidence and cross-examine company representatives as hearings on the issue continue in Searsport.

On Monday, the paper reported, TBNT argued that the company should not be allowed to apply for local permitting without first securing full permits for an associated pipeline that would connect the tank to an off-loading facility nearby.

The town attorney decided the process could continue and a public hearing will continue tonight on the proposal.

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