New hotline introduced for residents near rail line

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Updated: 7/30 9:32 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. – A new helpline has been established for people who live near the Port of Albany and the city’s rail facilities for when the smell becomes too overwhelming.

The Albany County Expert Advisory Committee on Crude Oil Safety launched a public reporting hotline Wednesday. The campaign, Uncommon Scents, urges residents to call 211 to report strong odors.

The data will help the committee determine limits in air pollution and possible violations of standards. Charlene Benton is the president of the Ezra Prentice Tenants Association. She has voiced her concerns for the kids who live and play there.

“My heart hurts every time I’m in that park and see kids rubbing their eyes or saying, ‘I gotta wash my face,’” she said. “I don’t know what that might be, and we have a lot of fear down there right now.”

Other recommendations include hiring an air pollution monitoring firm to conduct additional monitoring. The committee said the hotline and other health data will help them fully evaluate the effects of the exposure to any pollutants identified.

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