DCP Midstream jumped the final permitting hurdle at the state and federal levels on Wednesday, September 5, when the state issued the company a Maine Fuel Board permit to build a 22.7 million gallon propane storage tank in Searsport.

The next step for the company is to submit the complete site application, including all state and federal permits, to the Searsport planning board for review.

The Maine Fuel Board changed a few citations to codes in the fire safety analysis for the project. Compliance is also required after construction is complete but prior to operation.

The permit issued this week indicates that the plans for the project comply with NFPA-58, the National Fire Protection Association's Standard for the Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases, which sets requirements covering plant equipment, leakage control, igniton source control and equipment spacing.

Two Maine Fuel Board site visits were made to Mack Point at the proposed building site, according to Doug Dunbar of the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which oversees the board.

The conclusion of the Fire Safety Analysis states:

"No deviations were identified that would require changes in the design, location or citing of the facility. DCP Midstream has given careful consideration to the location and placement of equipment to minimize exposure to the general public and surroundings."

As of Friday afternoon, September 7, Searsport Planning Board Chairman Bruce Probert was not aware that the fuel board permit had been issued, since no one representing DCP Midstream had contacted him to request being put on the planning board agenda. It is too late for DCP to appear before the planning board at the next regularly scheduled hearing on Monday, September 10, said Probert. The next possible planning board meeting date where DCP?could be on the agenda is the special planning board meeting scheduled for Monday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m. in Union Hall, said Probert.