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New Port Of Albany Air Monitoring + 24-Hour Hotline

WAMC Composite Image by Dave Lucas

Crude oil spill response capabilities will be enhanced across New York State with a series of actions announced today by state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

Martens says this year’s State Budget provided additional resources to enhance crude oil transport safety and enhance responses through Geographic Response Plans should a crude oil spill occur along the state’s rail or river transportation corridors.

In addition, DEC will begin systematic air monitoring study for hydrogen sulfide at the Port of Albany - DEC’s 24-hour, toll-free odor hotline number for Albany and Rensselaer port complaints is 1-800-457-7362. When a complaint is received, DEC responders will use new, portable air monitoring equipment to quickly assess air quality and pinpoint the origin of offending substances.

The new air monitoring study for hydrogen sulfide in the Albany port will use monitors that will be in place for a week at a time, at various locations within the port, over the summer months when hydrogen sulfide levels are expected to be higher.  Hydrogen sulfide, which may be produced in a variety of port activities, produces a noxious “rotten egg” odor.  Results of the monitoring will be made available to the public after being reviewed for quality control.  If elevated pollution levels are detected, DEC will investigate the source of the emissions using a handheld monitor.

Officials say these actions build upon what New York State has already done as a result of Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 125. Over 60 actions the State has taken can be found in the December 2014 report at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-significant-progress-better-protect-new-yorkers-crude-oil-rail

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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