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Major EPA enforcement backs Riverkeeper challenge over Clean Air Act violations by oil train operator

Contact: Leah Rae, Media Specialist
(914) 478-4501, ext. 238; [email protected]

Major new EPA enforcement backs Riverkeeper challenge over Clean Air Act violations by oil train operator in Albany

Ossining, NY — In a Notice of Violation released today, the Environmental Protection Agency charges that Global Companies, LLC – the operators of a crude oil transfer terminal in Albany, NY – has misrepresented emissions associated with crude oil “bomb trains,” as Riverkeeper and coalition partners have also argued in a lawsuit they brought against Global earlier this year.

The notice by the EPA, issued on July 29, 2016, states that 30 days after its issuance, EPA is authorized to issue an order requiring compliance with the governing law, issue a penalty order, or bring a court action against the company seeking a court order compelling compliance with the Clean Air Act and imposing penalties. Global may face fines of more than $25,000 a day and may have to obtain a new permit for the company’s East Coast operations.

The EPA notice states that the company misrepresented air emissions at the Albany terminal when it was granted permission to almost quadruple the amount of crude it could transport through the facility by the state of New York, from 500,000 gallons a year to 2 billion. EPA’s calculation of emissions from Global’s operations in Albany are over 3.5 times higher than that calculated by Global.

In its January 2016 Clean Air Act Citizen’s suit against Global, Riverkeeper, along with Earthjustice, residents of the Ezra Prentice Homes in Albany, and other groups, also contends, that the 2 billion gallons in annual shipments since 2013 violate the Clean Air Act. In addition, the coalition’s February 2015 filing alleges that Global failed to receive the requisite permits from the DEC for processing Bakken shale oil, which emits higher levels of volatile organic compounds than conventional oil.

“The EPA is stepping up to protect the Ezra Prentice community in South Albany, who are being exposed to the illegal emissions from Global’s facility. We welcome EPA’s support in our challenge to the permits that allowed crude oil by rail and barge traffic to quadruple, based on Global’s misinformation about the emissions that would result,” said Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper Director of Cross Watershed Initiatives.

Riverkeeper continues to fight for protections from the multiple environmental dangers brought by the transport of enormous volumes of crude oil through the Hudson Valley.

“The enormous increase in crude oil transportation on the Hudson since 2012 is neither safe nor necessary to meet the region’s energy needs,” says Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. “Here’s to the EPA for pushing back on Global terminal’s failure to get the necessary permits for this dangerous and counterproductive crude oil transport boom.”


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