DEC Issues Letter of Intent to Rescind Negative Declaration for Global Companies' Port of Albany Proposed Air Permits

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation | May 21, 2015 | Press Release

Letter Begins Process to Require Environmental Review

After a thorough review of Global Companies application and supporting documents for a Title V air permit modification to its facilities at the Port of Albany, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today its intent to rescind the Negative Declaration and Notice of Complete Application for the project. DEC identified significant proposed project changes and new information submitted after the Negative Declaration and the Notice of Complete Application that must be considered as part of a full environmental review of the project.

"Our review of Global's application has focused on protecting the health of people living around the facility and the environment," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "This community has voiced its concerns and raised some serious issues. Through the environmental review process, DEC will continue to evaluate the project's impacts."

Global has 10 calendar days to respond to DEC's notice.

State regulations (6 NY Codes, Rules & Regulations § 617.7(f)) provide that DEC must rescind a negative declaration when substantive: changes are proposed for the project; substantive: new information is discovered; or substantive: changes in circumstances arise that were not previously considered and the lead agency determines that a significant adverse impact may result.

In reviewing the 19,000 comments submitted during the public comment period significant issues were raised that meet the state regulatory standard to rescind the Negative Declaration for the project. For example, there is not sufficient information to evaluate how the proposed project would comply with the hydrogen sulfide ambient air quality standard. In addition, Global failed to provide sufficient information to determine the net emissions increase associated with the proposed project under the nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) program. Global has proposed to reconstruct Tank 33 with a floating roof and refit this tank with heating coils to store the heated bitumen. Global has the burden to demonstrate its compliance with all regulatory standards including the Hydrogen Sulfide standard. The company has not submitted any actual hydrogen sulfide emissions data from a heated crude oil storage tank with an internal floating roof.

Further, because of the close proximity of the 137-unit Ezra Prentice Homes residential housing development to Global's facility, the potential for these proposed changes to have significant adverse impacts on the environment must be fully analyzed.

To view DEC's letter to Global (PDF), visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/permits_ej_operations_pdf/globalnonegdec0515.pdf

http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/101868.html

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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.