SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) — The South Portland City Council has voted to put in place a temporary moratorium that bars tar sands from coming into the city.

The City Council on Monday voted 6-1 in favor of the moratorium. It lasts until May 5.

Some residents are concerned that a pipeline that sends crude oil north from South Portland could be reversed to bring tar sands oil from Canada. They believe that could expose the area to harmful toxins.

Voters in November rejected an ordinance that aimed to block tar sands from the city’s waterfront. Business groups opposed the initiative.

Monday’s vote gives the city council time to draft an ordinance that would address tar sands.

A lawyer for the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying group, has said a moratorium would face legal challenges.

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