McCoy names advisory committee chair to lead public safety review

Troy Record | May 20, 2014 | Staff Report

ALBANY >> Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy has appointed Peter Iwanowicz chairman of an advisory committee that will coordinate the hiring of consultants to investigate and report on concerns about crude oil issues that were the subject of the McCoy‘s March 12 Executive Order.

Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, is volunteering his time for this unpaid position. 

“On March 12th, I issued a directive leading to a moratorium on the expansion of the processing of crude oil at the Port of Albany pending a public health investigation by the Albany County Health Department, stating that the heating and storage of crude oil at the Port of Albany could create a condition detrimental to the public health and safety of the residents of Albany County,” said McCoy. “The directive further provided for an examination, investigation and to report on the transportation of crude oil through Albany County and the potential impact a large scale disaster will have on the health, safety and lives of the people of Albany County. As more information and concerns come to light, it’s clear the scope of this investigation requires that we bring in independent experts to help us. Peter Iwanowicz has devoted his life to public health issues, and there’s no one better qualified to help identify the experts and stakeholders we need at the table in order to get to the bottom of all the concerns that exist.” 

Iwanowicz, who for nearly two decades has helped guide state and national discussions about public health and environmental safeguards, has held key positions with the American Lung Association, state Department of Environmental Conservation, and as deputy secretary for the environment to former Gov. David Paterson. 

“County Executive McCoy recognizes that moving crude oil presents unique dangers, that this is an industry that has not been forthcoming with their motives or data, and that the public deserves a broad-based analysis into the dangers that exist both now and down the line,” said Iwanowicz. “My family and I are residents of Albany County, and I’m honored to help in this effort to ensure we’re asking all the questions necessary to keep our community safe. The advisory committee will identify the most qualified experts available, and engage in a robust and meaningful study about crude oil’s impacts on public health and safety in Albany County.”

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commented 2014-05-20 15:58:27 -0400 · Flag
Yes, this is very good news. Many thanks to County Exec. McCoy for initiating the committee and to Peter Iwanowicz for his willingness to chair.
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.