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After one of several tank-farm operators in South Portland Maine, the nation's easternmost oil port, was cited for violating its emissions permit, it filled the city with noxious fumes and fear. Previous reporting chronicled the formation of a strong grassroots protest movement led by an existing group of environmental activists, focusing on an investigation of what, precisely, the tanks were emitting. 

This raised serious questions about what, exactly, is being emitted from these tanks, what the potential public health impacts may be and what regulatory holes exist to allow this key piece of oil infrastructure to avoid actual emissions monitoring. This project will document how emissions are regulated and how little is known about their health effects while chronicling how a grassroots environmental movement grows over time or, even, how competing grassroots movements coalesce.  

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Environment and Climate Change

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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change