The Environment and Natural Resources Committee met on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 to discuss the potential drafting of legislation to address the monitoring of toxic chemical emission from above ground petroleum storage tanks in South Portland and throughout the State. 

In the second regular session of 2020, the 129th Maine Legislature passed L.D. 1915:

“Resolve, Directing the Department of Environmental Protection To Evaluate Emissions

from Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tanks.” The resolve directed the Department of

Environmental Protection (DEP) to study ways to measure and estimate air

emissions from aboveground petroleum storage tanks, to study methods to control odor and

other air emissions from emission sources at oil terminal facilities including emissions from

aboveground petroleum storage tanks, loading racks, and vessel offloading, to identify

methods or programs for assisting municipalities in the use and application of mobile air

quality monitoring devices, and to report its findings to the joint standing committee of the

Legislature having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources matters 

by January 1, 2021.


Several Bureau of Air Quality staff at DEP conducted the studies over. The report presented by DEP included recommendations for consideration. The Department presented a summary of this report to the ENR Committee.

DEP has the authority through Maine law to incorporate the necessary and appropriate requirements into the Department’s air emission regulations and air emission licenses, including emission controls, compliance monitoring, and recordkeeping requirements. Based on this analysis, the Department will implement the following measures:


Emission Controls

  • New distillate storage tanks with capacity greater than 39,000 gallons will be equipped with a floating roof.
  • DEP will propose to the Board of Environmental Protection revisions to Bulk Terminal Petroleum Liquid Transfer Requirement, to prohibit switch-loading at facilities unless equipped with a VOC collection and control system.
  • All heated, fixed roof petroleum storage tanks must be fully insulated and the temperature of the stored material monitored to minimize temperature fluctuations which lead to breathing losses.
  • DEP will evaluate the effectiveness of mist eliminators and carbon adsorption equipment, required by EPA consent decrees to control odors from heated tanks at certain Maine terminals, to reduce VOC emissions. 

Determining Emissions

  • DEP will require bulk petroleum storage facilities to conduct emissions testing for new or modified heated petroleum storage tanks greater than 39,000 gallons to establish site-specific emission factors to be used for annual emission reporting and determining compliance with licensed emission limits.
  • DEP will require the use of on-site emissions test data for determining actual emissions whenever such data is available. 


DEP will continue to support the ambient air monitoring studies that began in 2019.

DEP will propose to the Board of Environmental Protection revisions to Petroleum Liquid Storage Vapor Control, to require monthly leak detection and repair at all licensed bulk petroleum storage facilities with any petroleum storage tanks of capacity greater than 39,000 gallons. 

According to DEP, these measures will assist in reducing VOC and HAP emissions from petroleum storage tanks and facilities in Maine. To read DEP’s full report click here. Also available are DEP’s slides from the briefing on February 10th as well as Global Partners slides. 

Megan Diver

Megan has worked in Maine politics for more than ten years and all of her professional career, having served in many roles for elected officials (including former Secretary of State Charlie Summers), in-house with the Maine Association of REALTORS®, legislative specialist at Pierce Atwood LLP providing lobbying services and support to Pierce Atwood’s government relations clients and most recently senior government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Megan currently is the Vice President at the Maine Energy Marketers Association, utilizing her vast knowledge and legislative experience at the State House to represent MEMA on policies relating to the Association and its members.