Maine DEP officials say the fuel has been coming into Maine via rail since early this year, bound for a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.
A training session for responders is being held over the next couple of days in Portland on how to deal with spills of the fuel called oil sands, also known as tar sands.
Among the topics to be covered are the chemical composition of oil sands, how oil sands behave when spilled in a marine environment and how spills are being dealt with.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is participating in the conference. DEP spokesperson Samantha DePoy Warren says oils sands fuel has been coming into Maine via rail since early this year, when the conference was scheduled.
“My understanding is that there have been test runs running through from western Canada to a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, and that rail route does pass through the state of Maine,” DePoy Warren says.
The sessions are being organized by the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center.
This story was written and reported by Ed Morin.