South Portland, Maine banned the transport of oil sands through the city’s waterfront on Monday night, the Bangor Daily News reports.

The Portland-Montreal Pipeline runs through South Portland.

Currently the pipeline transports crude from Portland to Canada.

The ordinance is intended to prevent the reversal of the pipeline’s flow that would bring Alberta oil sands into Portland.

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

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

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

South Portland is the second-largest oil port on the east coast.

Prior to Monday’s vote, the city council approved a temporary moratorium on the development of infrastructure necessary for the export of oil sands from the waterfront, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The moratorium is now in place but the council can lift it with a later vote.


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