HARRISON — Voters at Tuesday’s annual town meeting approved a resolution expressing their concern and opposition to any form of processed tar sands being piped through the town. The vote was 156-59.

Harrison became the sixth town in Maine, including Bethel and Waterford, to oppose the piping of tar sands through the ExxonMobil’s South Portland-to-Montreal pipeline.

Harrison residents collected more than 250 signatures from registered voters at the polls this past November and worked with selectmen to put the resolution on Tuesday’s ballot.

The resolution, in part, asks that the state and federal governments ensure an environmental impact review for any pipeline proposal involving tar sands.

Opponents say the 62-year-old pipeline, which stretches 236 miles from Montreal to South Portland, is being considered for the transport of tar sands, a form of toxic, thick oil that they say is associated with higher incidence of pipeline spills and can be nearly impossible to clean up.

The pipeline stretches five miles through Harrison and crosses the Crooked River near the Plains Road. The pipeline also passes through critical wetland habitat along the Crooked River watershed.

In March, on a 43-45 vote, Waterford residents narrowly defeated a request to table the tar sands oil issue until a full informational hearing could be held. A resolution to oppose the transport of tar sands oil through Waterford passed on a 56-34 vote.


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