New York crude oil hub subject to new environmental review

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CNBC: New York regulators will require an extensive new environmental review of permits originally issued in 2012 that allowed fuel transporters to turn Albany into a major hub for crude oil rail shipments from North Dakota to East Coast refineries.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said Friday the agency will require Waltham, Massachusetts-based Global Partners to restart its environmental review process given significant new information about benzene air emissions in a neighborhood near the Port of Albany as well as the hazards of crude oil transport.

“DEC will ensure that this process includes a meaningful and thorough opportunity for public engagement,” Seggos said.

Environmental groups that have harshly criticized DEC’s quiet approval of the company’s original application in 2012 without public hearings hailed Friday’s action as a victory. The 2012 permit allowed Global to quadruple petroleum shipments at the port from 450 million gallons a year to 2.2 billion gallons. Oil trains bring crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale region to the port for transport by barge down the Hudson River.  Read more.  (Photo)

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