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Oil trains ignite more opposition

McCoy wants Ezra Prentice residents moved away from rail line

Ezra Prentice resident Deneen Carter-El speaks at a Wednesday, July 23, press conference addressing the oil trains that run through Albany County. Carter-El talked about the health problems she’s had since moving to the public housing complex. County Executive Dan McCoy wants Ezra Prentice residents moved to a new location to get them away from the rail lines.

Ezra Prentice resident Deneen Carter-El speaks at a Wednesday, July 23, press conference addressing the oil trains that run through Albany County. Carter-El talked about the health problems she’s had since moving to the public housing complex. County Executive Dan McCoy wants Ezra Prentice residents moved to a new location to get them away from the rail lines. Photo by Billy DeLap.

— As the smell of oil permeated the air and the rumble of oil trains being jerked into motion echoed in the background, residents of public housing in Albany gathered to hear officials ask for more regulations of the transportation of volatile oil.

On Wednesday, July 23, at the Ezra Prentice homes, County Executive Dan McCoy and other officials asked to relocate the people of Ezra Prentice and called for tougher regulations on the oil trains that run through their backyard.

McCoy proposed legislation that would impose civil and criminal sanctions on railroad operators who fail to report oil spills in Albany within 30 minutes.

“What really bothered me was a couple weeks ago when they had that recent spill. First, they said it was five gallons. Then, they said it was it 100 gallons. Then, they said all of our safety mechanisms worked. Well if it was such a negative thing and they turned it into a positive situation, why didn’t they invite us to come down?” said McCoy.

In June, oil spilled from a rail car vent when the car was stationary, and Global Partners did not quickly report the event. Global Partners is the company that is responsible for operating the terminal in Albany. In another event, a derailment was not reported for five hours. State law requires derailments to be reported within an hour. As a result, Global was fined $5,000.

For a company that made over $300 million in profits in the second quarter, McCoy said he doesn’t think the fine is steep enough. He wants to increase the fine to $250,000 and add the possibility of jail time for not reporting incidents.

“Right now, the legal limit is $5,000. Though it’s a lot of money to me, and it’s probably a lot to you out there, but to a company like Global that made over $340 million in profit in the first quarter alone this year, you think $5,000 means a lot to them?” said McCoy.

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keithwiggand 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Does no one else see the level of insanity surrounding the panic being created by our elected officials relative to the oil shipments into the Port of Albany?

Think of how ridiculous this is. This has gotten to the point that anyone who lives anywhere near anything that might be an inconvenience to them or poses any hazard whatsoever, should be relocated by the TAXPAYER.

OK, everyone in Glenmont who lives near the New York State Thruway should be relocated IMMEDIATELY because of the huge amount of hazardous materials that are transported on this highway - from nuclear waste to hydrocyanic acid - which, by the way, turns into cyanide gas upon contact with the air - dangerous exhaust fumes, accidents, and noise pollution that exists on this highway. Much more of a risk than the Kenwood Yards pose.

Also, every single resident who lives anywhere near the Selkirk Rail Yards in Selkirk, MUST be relocated. Do you know that at any time during the day, there are over THREE THOUSAND CARS sitting in this yard, many of which are filled with HAZARDOUS, EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS?

While we're at it, let's relocate EVERYONE in Bethlehem. We all are exposed to hazardous materials every single day without even knowing about it.

Please relocate me to Myrtle Beach, thank you very much.

Dan McCoy, PLEASE take a look at how off-the-charts your comments are regarding the oil trains into Albany. STOP pushing the PANIC button. This is getting out of hand, you are doing a serious disservice to your constituents.

You will easily win the next election, you don't need to grandstand to get votes.

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