THE MEGA GAS STATION SETBACK COALITION
This website was archived once it became obvious that, even though Costco continued to lose at every step of the process, the legislators in Annapolis were unable to see that corporate bullies such as Costco would continue to force small communities to fight them in court for as long as possible (in the hope of causing them to run out of money) and that only legislative action could remedy the situation. We therefore abandoned efforts to get the legislators to act responsibly. Therefore the MGSSC will pursue any further action against the bullies (who want to sell gasoline at inappropriate sites) via another mechanism; most likely The David Coalition, but possibly via the NIABY Coalition.
Welcome to the MGSSC website! We are a growing coalition of individuals and groups who, having observed the trend towards constructing very large (mega) gas stations and siting them in proximity to homes, schools, and places where people are active outdoors, are concerned about the negative impacts mega gas stations can have if they are not setback from such 'sensitive land uses' by an appropriate buffer distance. We have two interrelated objectives:
- a. engage the public, policy makers, legislators, and regulators in a serious discussion of the issues raised by the advent of mega gas stations and
- b. bring about the passage of legislation that defines minimal safe setbacks - from sensitive land uses - to which any mega gas station must conform, whether it is a new station or the proposed expansion of an existing station. In addition, the legislation would establish guidelines relating the actual setback to the size of the mega gas station and a mechanism by which the setback guidelines are continually re-examined so as to adjust them in light of ongoing studies of the trends and research findings regarding the concerns presented here.
Please visit the other pages of this website, in which we discuss in some detail the TRENDS and CONCERNS alluded to above, describe ACTIONS that are being undertaken by the MGSSC and how others can become involved, post UPDATES about our activities, and provide information as to how others can JOIN US.
To be quite honest: We want to provide information (to those who visit this website and read the various content pages). We hope to convince you that we are talking about a significant problem - a risk to public health. We want to motivate you to join our effort. The content pages that follow will become quite dense (as we add more material, references, etc.); hence it will become harder to see the 'field' clearly. Before you look at those pages, please look at the name we chose for our coalition: it is not 'catchy', because we want you to consider the issue carefully and not be swayed by slogans. Now look at the picture at the top of each page: it is probably not a scene you can find in your neighborhood. But you can imagine your neighborhood somewhere in the picture. Then add a VERY large gas station to the picture. Where would YOU put the gas station, in relation to your neighborhood? We assert that, as a society, we should think about this question and we should agree - as much as we can - about what constitutes an appropriate buffer between a VERY large (mega) gas station and the places where people live, shop, play, etc. Perhaps this is not the sort of issue upon which the fate of our civilization depends, but it is surely an issue that we can address and - with appropriate legislation/regulation - begin to resolve.
Just one more point, before you look at the information on the other pages of this website. Think for a moment about another issue, related to public health, that our society wrestled with for many years and which still impacts us: smoking. Consider the length of time it took for us to come to the present consensus about the health risks posed by smoking. Consider how long it takes us to reach consensus about so many 'quality of life' issues (like public health) and how complex a matter it becomes to draft appropriate laws (and regulations) to deal with such problems. Big or small? Affecting many or only a few?
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