Government officials have responded to citizen concerns over so-called “oil trains” and plans to build an oil-heating facility at the Port of Albany.
Following a directive from Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, the county Wednesday issued 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.
The order states 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.”
The order adds that pending the results of a public health investigation, Global Partners, the company seeking to expand crude processing at the port, cannot expand or increase current operations there.
Global has been planning to build several boilers at the Port of Albany, which would be used to heat crude oil before it is off-loaded and shipped for refining..
McCoy recently ordered the county Department of Health to determine the health risk posed to county residents by the processing of crude at the port. Under New York State Public Health Law, the county Health Department is empowered to address threats to public health or safety.
McCoy’s Executive Order also directs the Health Department to report on possible health threats due to the expansion of activities by Global Partners and requiring the department to work with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and other county departments to determine the potential impact a large-scale disaster could pose to the public.