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Will NY State clear way for oil terminal expansion in Albany – despite EPA’s concerns?


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tarsandsIs New York State about to clear the way for an oil terminal expansion in Albany – and the shipment of heavy “tar sands” oil – without studying the potential impacts? Despite the potential for a catastrophic spill into the Hudson?

And despite the long list of unaddressed questions from the EPA?

Thankfully, the EPA reminded DEC of the air quality questions it had asked Global in April 2015 letter that still must be answered before the state issues a permit for the facility. Riverkeeper has reminded the DEC that state law requires an environmental impact statement due to the proposal’s significant environmental and public safety impacts, ranging from air pollutants to the increased risk of fire and explosion in downtown Albany. The DEC’s own Environmental Justice Policy requires that nearby communities be consulted and informed about proposals that may affect them so those communities can be meaningfully involved in their review, which DEC and Global have failed to do.

We see evidence almost daily of the potential for accidents involving crude oil shipment. This week, in fact, at the Port of Albany, a spill occurred and two people went to the hospital.

Tar sands oil poses another level of risk to the Hudson and the communities that rely on the river for their drinking water. Remember what happened in the pipeline spill in Kalamazoo, Mich. In a moving, turbid waterway like the Hudson, heavy crude oil would mix into the water column and be unrecoverable. The experts acknowledge that cleanup is impossible.

Communities including Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties have spoken up to register their concern and insist on a full environmental review.

Will our state simply go along with what the industry wants? Or will it follow the law, and the protect the rights of the people and the safety and health of the many communities that will be impacted if this permit is granted?

The choice is clear, New York.

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