ALBANY, N.Y. – Residents of Albany's South End have a chance on Wednesday to voice their concerns over Global Companies plans to build a heating facility practically in their backyards.
Global Companies put in a permit application to build a crude heating oil facility in the Port of Albany. Community members are meeting at Griffen Elementary on Wednesday afternoon.
Global Companies said the new facility would make it easier to load crude oil onto barges to be shipped down the Hudson River. However, catastrophic explosions, derailments, oil spills, and burning emissions settling into soil where children play and gardens grow have people concerned according to 2nd Ward Councilmember Vivian Kornegay.
"I hope the DEC will give us as many clear answers as they can about the question we sent, and hopefully global will follow their lead," said Kornegay.
The Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, is hosting the public informational meeting to talk about Global Companies proposal to install 7 oil burners at its port of Albany facility.
"We look back to last summer in Quebec where one of these trains went off the rails and like 50 people were eviscerated," said Conor Bambrick of Albany's Environmental Advocates group.
Concerns Bambrick's are being brought to the table Wednesday.
"There will be mixed emotions in the audience tonight. People have a lot of questions. Rightfully so, people are fearful and concerned and also frustrated at the fact that there was a process that happened, and they were not included in that process," said Bambrick.
The DEC is hoping to provide information on the global facility at the port and answer questions about its permit application to build those burners. Tanker cars carrying petroleum to be burned currently sit within 20 feet of Ezra Prentice residences, and a popular playground.
"We have children who play at that Ezra playground. If they are crawling on the ground, they are exposing themselves to potential toxins and pollutants that have settled into the soil," said resident and 1st Ward Councilmember Dorcey Applyrs.
Applyrs will be at the meeting. She says South End residents feel as though their health and safety aren't being taken as seriously because they live in a low income area.