Crude oil leak at Port of Albany

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Updated: 8/20 10:55 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – A crude oil leak occurred at the Port of Albany Wednesday.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said a crude oil leak was reported at the Global site at the Port of Albany. Around 100 gallons of crude oil leaked in an area 10 feet in diameter from a service pipe that runs between two large storage tankers.

Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel said the fire department received a call about the leak around 3:45 p.m. He said the leak occurred in an area with six pipes that come from different locations.

A gasket fell on an inactive pipe that contained oil in the pipeline, according to Abriel. The chief said oil began spraying in the area, and crews found the leak while they were checking their pipes.

“They were going around checking all their piping like they’re supposed to. They found this leak,” he said. “There’s like a cardboard gasket in there that keeps the seal, and it corroded after time.”

Fire crews, emergency management officials and DEC Spill Responders and Environmental Conservation Officers responded to the scene.

Abriel said there was not much damage and the spill was minor. Crews pumped the rest of the oil out of the pipe. He said once all the oil in the pipeline has been removed, crews will replace the corroded gasket and work will resume at the site.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the number of gallons that leaked happens too frequently.

“It always seems like it’s 100 gallons,” he said. “The last spill we had went from five gallons to 50 to 100 back to 50 then to 100 again. So what’s with the 100 gallons? That’s what they always say.”

McCoy said he learned about the leak from the Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s Office and not Global.

Global, however, did notify the DEC within minutes, but McCoy said only he can declare a State of Emergency.

“We need to stay on top of it because more stuff like that is going to continue to happen, and I’m hoping that something like Canada doesn’t happen here because I sure don’t want to stand in front of you and explain to people why this accident happened.”

The DEC said there was no impact to the river or environmental issues due to the spill. Spill contractors began cleanup work immediately.

DEC staff remained at the site to oversee cleanup to investigate the cause of the spill.

The spill occurred one day before a congressional tour. Congressman Paul Tonko is expected at the site Thursday to tour the facility and learn more about products coming through the Capital Region.

No injuries or serious damage was reported.

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