Maine Oil Spill Cleanup Fund Tanks, Leaving State Vulnerable: Experts

"AUGUSTA, Maine -- A steep decline in revenues from pipeline tariffs and a loophole that allowed companies shipping crude by rail to avoid payment have slashed Maine's oil-spill fund to levels experts say could hurt its ability to respond to an accident."

"Focus on the safety issue has intensified in the wake of the deadly Lac-Megantic disaster in Quebec. Maine's emergency fund has shrunk more than 40 percent over nine years. Surging train shipments, meanwhile, are making the state one of the biggest conduits of crude produced from U.S. shale to Canada.

According to Maine Department of Environmental Protection figures obtained by Reuters, revenues of the Maine Coastal and Inland Surface Oil Clean-up Fund have dropped from $6.7 million in 2003 to $3.7 million in 2012."

Dave Sherwood reports for Reuters July 11, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 07/12/2013