State's Actions on Transport of Crude Oil
On January 28, 2014, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 125 directing several State agencies to do a top-to-bottom review of safety procedures and emergency response preparedness related to rail and water shipments of volatile crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and other sources.
Earlier this year DEC urged EPA to revise federal spill response plans to protect New York's most environmentally sensitive areas and critical infrastructure from oil spill disasters and that effort is now underway. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, DEC will continue to partner with our federal counterparts to protect our residents, communities and natural resources from the growing threat of crude oil being transported through our state. As part of these efforts, DEC, EPA and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) committed to enhance emergency preparedness and response capabilities for potential crude oil incidents and have started to:
Review and update in 2014 the NY/NJ Area Contingency Plan, which is a plan developed by the Coast Guard, EPA and state governments to outline how they will respond to man-made or weather-related incidents that may impact human health or the environment of a geographic area. The goal is to have this update completed by the end of December 2014.
Update in 2014 the NY Inland Area Contingency Plan, which is similar to the NY/NJ Area Contingency Plan, for areas not covered by a coastal plan. The plans are compiled by EPA and DEC.
Work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to update the New York-Hudson River Area Environmental Sensitivity Index as expeditiously as possible. This index includes NOAA-maintained maps of sensitive environmental areas such as wetlands or endangered species in a specific area such as the Hudson River.
Prioritize and develop Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) across NYS working with all applicable agencies, including local agencies. These action plans are developed to protect a specific environmental resource or potential human exposure, such as a booming plan to protect a water supply from an oil spill. A GRP is both a planning document and a spill response tool that can be used to guide initial efforts in response to a major oil spill.
Increase the coordination between the EPA and DEC regarding spill prevention and storage facility inspections.
Complete unannounced preparedness exercises by EPA with DEC in high priority areas.
This agreement is one in a series of actions taken by the Cuomo administration to safeguard New York's residents, communities, waterways and lands from potential serious incidents involving the increased shipment of volatile crude oil by rail or vessel in the state, including:
- issued an Executive Order directing a comprehensive assessment of safety procedures and emergency response preparedness related to the shipment of crude oil;
- written the Administrator of EPA about EPA's failure to update specific plans for response to oil spills in New York that are required by statute;
- urged federal officials to: revise design specifications and expedite the phase-out of older, unsafe rail cars; implement more stringent standards to test crude oil; and review the routing of crude oil to ensure the most appropriate routes;
- directed state agencies to implement an aggressive enforcement and inspection effort to better protect communities from train derailments carrying crude oil;
- issued fines to companies that fail to comply with current state regulations related to derailments; and
- contacted federal authorities urging them to expedite and strengthen rail safety standards and increase inspections
- Executive Order 125 Status Report (PDF) - state agencies outline 66 steps taken to regulate transport of crude oil and prepare for emergencies. 12/1/14
- Cuomo's Letter to North Dakota Governor (PDF) - supports proposed North Dakota state regulations changes requiring oil producers remove volatile gases from Bakken crude oil before cross-country rail shipping. 10/21/14
- Cuomo's Letter to White House (PDF) - urges immediate federal action to strengthen national standards and regulation of crude oil transport. 4/30/14
- State's Comprehensive Crude Oil Transportation Safety Report (PDF, 168 MB) - details ten critical federal recommendations and presents a package of state administrative, regulatory, and legislative action. See the Governor's full press release, including a link to preparedness training photos. 4/30/14
- DEC, EPA, USCG joint press release - outlines emergency preparedness in area. 4/10/14
- DEC Letter to EPA(PDF) - update spill response plans. 3/24/14
- Cuomo's Letter to Transportation and Homeland Security Agencies - strengthen rail safety standards, require reporting by railroad companies of derailments, increase inspections and more clearly identify and track rail cars carrying crude oil. 3/4/14
- State Letter to Federal Agencies (PDF) - urging new federal regulations regarding rail transportation. 1/28/14
- New Windsor Drill Spill Exercise (PDF) - collaborative drill with local, state and federal levels to test emergency response. 11/13/13
Global Companies LLC Permit - Albany Terminal
DEC is considering Global Companies permit application to modify its Air Title V Facility permit to allow Global to heat petroleum products (crude, residual fuel and bio-fuels) at its Albany facility.
The draft permit was listed in the January 29, 2014 Environmental Notice Bulletin and is available for public comment.
Due to broad public and community interest in the activities, DEC further extended the comment period. On May 21, 2014, the comment period was further extended to August 1. On July 30, the comment period was again extended to September 30. On September 26, DEC extended the comment period to November 30.
UPDATE May 21, 2015 - After a thorough review of Global Companies' application and supporting documents for a Title V air permit modification to its facilities at the Port of Albany, DEC announced its intent to rescind the Negative Declaration and Notice of Complete Application for the project. DEC identified significant proposed project changes and new information submitted after the Negative Declaration and the Notice of Complete Application that must be considered as part of a full environmental review of the project.
Global Companies LLC Permit - New Windsor Terminal
In August 2013, Global Companies LLC submitted a permit application to DEC to redevelop a former industrial shipyard into a railcar transloading facility in the Town of New Windsor. As proposed, once the site is redeveloped the facility would receive petroleum products by rail and distribute them to existing storage tanks located at adjacent NYSDEC-licensed Major Oil Storage Facility (MOSF) terminals operated by Global. DEC received application revisions in November 2013 and January 2014.
On October 2, 2014, Global sent a letter to DEC requesting to withdraw its permit application (PDF) for the New Windsor terminal. See DEC's Global New Windsor facility web page for additional information.