DEC to monitor air around port for six weeks as oil trains continue

Times Union | April 23, 2014 | Column by Brian Nearing

Amid concerns over potential health impacts from an influx of trains carrying crude oil to the Port of Albany, the state is planning an air-monitoring program starting in May in the South End near the port.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to start the monitoring "to characterize air quality in the community," saidEmily DeSantis, a spokeswoman for the agency. "We are working out the details with community leaders and will make more information available once the plan is finalized."

Former city Common Council memberDominick Casolaro, who has been working with neighborhood residents on the oil-trains issue, said the DEC is planning to have temporary air monitors at up to three sites for six weeks— at Krank Park; at the Ezra Prentice Homes, a public housing project on South Pearl Street; and at another site near the port.

The monitors will be installed next month and remain in place for six weeks, he said. Monitors will check the air for the presence of volatile organic compounds and other chemicals.

DeSantis could not confirm details.

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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.