Safety concerns aired over proposed Marion propane storage

Apr 6, 2021

MARION — The Planning Board discussed safety hazards connected to a proposed propane storage area to be located on Luce Avenue near the Marion Indoor Tennis Club on Monday night.

Papas Real Estate requested comment on a special permit needed to store two 30,000 gallon propane tanks in a currently wooded lot in Marion’s limited industrial zoning district, according to the Planning Board discussion.

The site requires a special permit due to its location in a Water Supply Protection District, Town Planner Gil Hilario said. However, Board Member Eileen Marum said the proposed storage area is not inside the bounds of the town’s Aquifer Protection District and Board Member Norman Hills added the risk of propane to the water supply is limited.

“If there was a leak, all the propane would evaporate,” Hills said. “It would not go into the ground like gasoline or something like that.”

A worst-case-scenario leak might pose a potential fire risk, though, Marum said, and could have a notable “fiscal impact on the city.”

Marum noted that if people consider nearby propane storage a risk, “they may not be inclined to locate their businesses in the limited industrial area or purchase a home in Marion.”

Marion already hosts several propane tanks, Hills said, with the fire department ensuring safety precautions are followed on-site.

“There’s an entire code when it comes to outside storage of flammable liquids,” Board Member Andrew Daniel said. “It's a large code actually.”