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Albany County to Seek Consultant to Assist in Reviewing Health Impacts of Crude Oil Processing

March 28, 2014

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today announced that the county will issue a Request For Proposals for a consultant to complement the health and safety study by the Albany County Department of Health on the impact of crude oil and the heating of crude oil at the Port of Albany.

The RFP calls for a consultant that will assist the DOH in carrying out County Executive McCoy’s March 12 Order requiring a comprehensive investigation of the potential for any risk to county residents as a result of activities by Global Companies at the port, and its moratorium on the heating of crude oil at the port and any expansion of the operations there, until a health and safety review is complete.

“This RFP will ensure we have all the resources we need to conduct a thorough examination of all the issues involved, including the impact on health and safety of county residents, or legal issues that we are facing,” said McCoy. “We are working to protect the people who live nearby and have to make sure these issues are fully vetted.”

Since issuing the moratorium on March 12, this issue has gained a national spotlight as the issue affects localities across the nation. The shipping of crude oil by rail has increased significantly over the last five years. More recently, the state has increased rail inspections and has directed state agencies to review safety procedures related to rail and marine shipments of crude oil. The state has also extended the public comment period until June 2. Albany County is the first county in the state to address the issue pursuant to state Public Health law. County Executive McCoy has communicated his concerns to the state and to the more than 7,000 residents living in the area closest to the Port of Albany.

“We are working to protect the public and to get the answers to our questions,” continued McCoy. “To date, Global has held resident information meetings which were poorly organized and not well publicized. We want to make sure all the information is presented in a transparent and open process.”               

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