For Release: Friday, September 16, 2016
DEC Letter: Global Companies Must Submit New Port of Albany Air Permit Application
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today sent a letter to Global Companies (Global) informing the company that its Port of Albany air permit renewal application will be considered as an entirely new application, requiring additional information to address issues identified by DEC and restarting the State's environmental review process.
DEC intends to provide a public comment period, and possibly a public hearing, as part of the new permit application and require Global to develop an enhanced outreach plan that fully explores the impacts of its existing and proposed crude oil operations on the environmental justice community pursuant to DEC's policy on Environmental Justice and permitting.
"Global Companies must restart its environmental review process, given the significant new information about the benzene levels in Albany's South End community and the hazards of crude oil transport," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC will ensure that this process includes a meaningful and thorough opportunity for public engagement."
DEC is also requiring Global to conduct new emission testing to accurately characterize emissions from the facility. In the new permit application, Global must address newly discovered material information and material change in environmental conditions, including:
- Benzene levels observed at DEC's new permanent air toxics monitor in the South End that are higher than levels observed in similar locations in Buffalo and Rochester;
- Noise impacts to the surrounding community;
- Odor issues potentially attributable in part to the facility;
- Incidents involving spills and fires attributable to the transport and processing of Bakken crude;
- Visual impacts from the storage of railroad cars;
- Potential for increased greenhouse gas emissions associated with the processing of crude oil derived from tar sands;
- Potential inconsistency with the City of Albany's plans to revitalize its waterfront;
- Projected future sea-level rise that could impact the facility; and
- Any potentially significant cumulative impacts associated with the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline.
DEC will also inform Buckeye Partners that its permit renewal application will be treated as a new application.