SHARE

The city council of South Portland (Maine) is expected to vote Monday night on a measure to ban the loading of oil sand-derived crude oil and oil sands in bulk onto marine vessels in the city’s port.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the measure would also block the construction or expansion of terminals and other facilities which could be used to move Alberta oil sands in bulk.

The council will also decide whether to prohibit the conversion of the city’s petroleum-import terminals into crude-export terminals.

South Portland residents and environmental groups say they’re concerned about the possible negative environmental effects and health risks posed by potential spills.

They argue that oil sands are more difficult to transport and more difficult to clean up after a spill.

Proponents of the ban also say that loading crude oil onto ships could have a “negative visual impact on the waterfront” according to the Portland Press Herald.

The ordinance arose in response to a proposed plan that would reverse the flow of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line and export Canadian oil sand crude into South Portland.

The city’s planning board gave the proposal preliminary approval last week.