Another extension by state on Port of Albany oil expansion plan

Times Union | July 30, 2014 | Post by Brian Nearing

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is again extending the public comment period on a proposal by an oil terminal operator at the port to build a facility that would heat crude oil to make it easier to pump for shipment.

Global Partners handles crude oil from incoming oil tanker trains that are carrying crude from the Bakken fields of North Dakota. Opponents of the heating plant fear it would be used to process Canadian tar sands oil, a thicker type of crude that thickens in cold weather, making it difficult to pump out of rail tankers and into tanks for eventual transfer to barges and tankers that go down the Hudson River.

The company had applied to DEC for the project last year. This is the fifth extension of the public comment period, which was most recently set to expire on Friday. That has been bumped another 60 days to Sept. 30.

In March, the state demanded that Global answer some 20 questions about fire risk, evacuation plans, spill response and insurance coverage for accidents. DEC also warned it could yank its November ruling that crude heating would have no negative impact on the environment — a step that would trigger a much more detailed state review.

Per the DEC press release:

DEC will continue to work with community leaders to coordinate on a public participation plan and any further requests deemed necessary to supplement information Global provided to go along with its application. DEC will continue its dialogue with the community to ensure all questions are answered fully and objectively.

DEC’s review under Title V of the Clean Air Act and the State Environmental Quality Review Act is ongoing. DEC will not make a final determination on pending permit applications until it has fully reviewed all issues and only after the impacted communities are provided meaningful opportunities to learn about and comment on the proposals. The extension of the comment period will enable members of the public to participate meaningfully in the process.

Comments on the permit can be submitted to DEC by Sept. 30 via e-mail: [email protected] or mailed to the contact below.

William Clarke NYSDEC Region 4 Headquarters 1130 North Westcott Rd Schenectady, NY 12306

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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.