SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- South Portland city councilors passed a moratorium on tar sands coming in to the city Monday.
The vote follows a lengthy and heated public debate on the issue. Councilors voted 6-1 in favor of the moratorium. It will keep tar sands out of South Portland for six months while the city decides how to address the issue. The vote follows a hotly-contested citywide referendum in which South Portland voters rejected an ordinance that would have banned tar sands products from the waterfront. Last week, during a city council workshop, councilors decided to form a committee charged with drafting a tar sands ordinance. Most members of the public who spoke Monday night applauded that decision and thanked councilors for their support. A representative from Portland Pipeline expressed the company's frustration with the moratorium, saying that it sends an anti-business message.
Tar sands opponents encouraged the council to appoint a small, three person committee to draft a tar sands ordinance. They urged the council to exclude any representative of Portland Pipeline from the committee.