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Riverkeeper Responds to Decision Regarding Albany Oil Terminal Expansion

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2015

Contact: Leah Rae, Riverkeeper
914-478-4501, ext. 238

Riverkeeper applauds the decision by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the proposed expansion of Global Companies’ rail-to-barge transfer terminal in Albany, which would facilitate the transport of heavy “tar sands” crude oil. Riverkeeper calls on the state to follow through on what they’ve begun today and promptly issue a “positive declaration” requiring an environmental impact statement.

“It is good for New York State that the DEC came to a proper decision in one of the most important environmental matters facing the state. We look forward to participating with the state on a full public safety and environmental review that is robust and protective of our communities and our waterways,” Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay said.

The shipment of tar sands crude oil would pose a whole new level of risk to the Hudson River. In the event of a spill, the toxic, sinking crude would mix into the water column and be unrecoverable.

A lawsuit filed by Riverkeeper and other groups in June 2014 challenged the DEC’s decision not to require an environmental impact statement. Riverkeeper had reminded the DEC that state law required an environmental impact statement on the proposal due to the 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 that those communities can be meaningfully involved in their review.

Riverkeeper is represented in the litigation by Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic.

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