South Portland City Council set for final vote on tar sands oil ban on Monday night

The South Portland City Council is set for a final vote on a proposal to ban tar sands oil from coming into the southern Maine city.

The vote will take place on Monday night. The city's planning board voted 6-1 last week to recommend the council approve the proposal. Nearly 500 people attended the council's first vote on the subject. That vote resulted in preliminary approval.

Environmentalists say tar sands are difficult to clean if spilled and dangerous to ship. Opponents of the proposed restrictions say environmental concerns are overstated and the ban would cost the city jobs.

Tar sands are a mixture of sand, raw petroleum and water. The proposal before the council would prohibit loading tar sands crude oil in bulk onto marine tank vessels in the city.