Department of Environmental Conservation

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Operation Eco-Quality in Albany South End

In 2010, DEC created the Operation ECO-Quality program to reduce air quality issues in economically disadvantaged communities through a community-centered approach. DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) concentrate activities in targeted communities and look for violations of diesel truck idling and tailpipe emission regulations. ECOs also conduct unannounced inspections of facilities and commercial sites in those areas. Enhanced activities began in the Albany South End neighborhood in 2012.

ECOs conducting a truck inspection

Increased Inspection Results

2016 - As part of Operation ECO-Quality, DEC carried out about 400 visual inspections at diesel truck air quality check points and on roving patrols on Route 32 in Albany's South End. DEC ECOs checked more than 20 heavy-duty diesel trucks' tailpipes to make sure emissions were in compliance with state and federal environmental laws.

ECOs conducting a truck inspection

In 2014, DEC fined Buckeye Albany Terminal $181,000 for air permit violations relating to the transfer of ethanol at its Port of Albany facility. The violation was uncovered during the ECO-Quality inspections of Port of Albany facilities in 2012. Even though the violations did not affect air quality, Buckeye must make sure it is in full compliance with state air regulations. Part of the penalty, $145,000, will be put toward an Environmental Benefit Project.

2012 - More than 40 inspections and 11 follow-up ECO-Quality inspections of commercial sites in South Albany were conducted during summer 2012. The types of sites inspected include gas stations, dry cleaners, auto repair/dismantling shops, and a chemical company. The types of issues found include incomplete record-keeping and improper storage and labeling of hazardous materials.

ECOs conducting a truck inspection

The 2012 ECO-Quality inspections also included vehicle inspections. Tickets were issued to 13 of 16 diesel trucks inspected for either exhaust violations or traffic law violations. Warnings were also given to truck drivers for less serious infractions.

What's next?

More facility and truck inspections are expected in the Albany South End neighborhood and Ports of Albany and Rensselaer throughout 2017.

ECOs conducting a truck inspection

Report nuisance odors

1-800-457-7362 toll-free 24-hour hotline.

DEC will conduct on-the-spot air quality inspections using portable air monitoring equipment to assess the odor issues and help identify the cause in response to complaints.

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  • Division of Air Resources
    Bureau of Air Quality Surveillance
    625 Broadway
    Albany NY 12233-3256
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