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Note: This post is a follow up to Grace Nichols’ post yesterday, “Environmental Defense.”  As promised, we will share links and resource information on the Albany Port issues.

On Monday night, January 6th I attended a meeting of the Albany Common Council. My main reason for going was that I had heard via social media that a  big company (I now know is Global Companies, LLC) that brings in crude oil through the Albany Port was looking to get approval to heat and store oil onsite. The actual application can be found here: Global Companies Application,

The Council unanimously passed a resolution requesting three actions:

1. A public forum that will educate the public about the Global Companies, LLC project proposed for the Port of Albany and provide detailed public health and safety information.

2. An Environmental Justice assessment be conducted and made available to the public.

3. The public comment period remain open for at least one month after both the public forum is held and after the Environmental Justice assessment is made available to the public.

What was most interesting about the Common Council meeting was the public comment period. I knew little about this issue before 14 or so folks stood up and said their piece about the risks of both what is currently already happening at the Port of Albany (see this link for a little background: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2013/12/8536773/crude-awakening) and what is being proposed.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I am going to refer you to the Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations (CANA). CANA has very helpfully posted all sort of information links. You can find just about everything you want to know here including news articles, letters to DEC, and background information: https://sites.google.com/site/canasite/repository/virtual-oil-pipeline

Want to know what you can do? One recommendation (thanks, Bhawin:)) is the following:

“There is a DEC public comment period for the new boiler facility proposal–We have until January 31st to express our concerns.

Send an email to r4dep@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Letters can also be written to:
Karen M. Gaidasz | NYSDEC
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, New York 12306

Letters should request ‘a public hearing where Global Companies LLC is present to explain what they are shipping through the city, the risks, and the emergency plans that they and the city have in place in case of an accident’ and demand ‘a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).”

This from Capital District Against Fracking:

global llc handout

If you are interested in getting involved in the bigger picture, today at the Governor’s State of the State,  anti-fracking activists will gather to protest fracking and rally for renewable energy. More here: www.nyagainstfracking.org

One thing is certain, we need to be vigilant, stay informed, demand information and act where necessary. Let us know what you think.