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Environmentalists concerned over Port Milwaukee contract for liquid cargo including ethanol

An energy company is a step closer to being allowed to develop a liquid cargo terminal at Port Milwaukee. The Public Safety Committee approved a vote 4-0 despite public concern over the hazardous material.

Public Safety Chair Bob Donovan was not present at Wednesday's hearing and therefore did not vote.

The city already has a lease with "U.S. Venture" and now the company wants to amend that lease to allow for more liquid cargo to come through.

About ten people showed up to voice their opposition to the amendment which would last until 2024.

Opponent’s big concern is ethanol. Representatives from U.S. venture were questioned for close to an hour about their contingency plans for any spills. They assured the committee that safety is a top priority for them and that ethanol is non-toxic.

Environmentalists fear this means more ethanol traffic in and out of the city, “What are the safeguards for Milwaukee, for our water, for our lakefront, for our harbor there’s much more than Port Milwaukee. We have many citizens who boat in the harbor, who sail in the harbor, who fish in the harbor,” Said Eric Hansen from the group Citizens Acting for Rail Safety.

The resolution will go before council on May 31.

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