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Environmentalists Digging in on Maine Crude Oil Lawsuit

PORTLAND, Maine -  Environmental groups are digging in for a long fight against a federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn South Portland's ban on loading crude oil into tankers in the city.

The Portland Pipe Line Corp. is suing the city over a ban adopted last year. The city's ordinance is designed to prevent the South Portland-to-Montreal oil pipeline from being reversed. That would allow Canadian oil to come into Maine. Residents and environmentalists say they are particularly concerned about the potential importation of tar sands oil.

At least four environmental groups say they will join the lawsuit. Taryn Hallweaver of Environment Maine says the lawsuit seeks to "reverse the will of the people.''

Portland Pipe Line officials said last year the company doesn't have plans in the works to reverse the pipeline.