The campaign for a healthy Ezra Prentice community continues on many fronts, but much more publicly than we had expected at this point. Part of the story can be told in the media coverage that has come following the visit by EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck last August.
Here are some more developments since our last post:
- A lengthy and well researched article, Carbon Wars, by Jenny Zou appeared on the website of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington think tank and was picked up by Huffington Post and circulated locally. The video that Jenny shot while visiting Albany framed the Ezra story very well, and the article puts our issues in the context of the nation-wide problems of the failure of governments at all levels to properly fund environmental protection or address environmental racism. The article drove home to us the importance of local organizing
- Another lesser known but important source is Desmogblog.com, which published this article by their local correspondent, Justin Mikulka: Ruling by Little-known Federal Agency Paves Way for Communities to Say No to Oil by Rail. Justin has been following the Ezra story for several years, and his blog has become a must-read for locals.
- Fred LeBrun, the Times Union columnist who makes the Cuomo Administration cringe every time they pick up the Sunday paper, weighed in with his October 16 column (Oil Scales Tip to Albany Citizens). Although this is the first time in a while that Fred has covered the Oil Trains at Ezra Prentice, we owe him a great deal of thanks for his relentless coverage of the Hoosick Falls PFOA debacle. Without Hoosick Falls there might not be an Ezra Prentice in the news.
Meanwhile, the wheels turn, but slowly. We have established regular meetings at Ezra Prentice so residents can keep informed, and so that the various players can come there to report and answer questions. That would include the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Port of Albany, and also Global Industries, which is now mandated by DEC to address the environmental racism issues in the continued presence of the oil trains yards away from Ezra Prentice homes.
Our team of advisors is planning to meet soon with DEC to dig into their plans for air quality studies that are scheduled to start next spring. They will report to residents after that meeting.
And while we have heard nothing directly from the Port of Albany, we are informed that their traffic counts are pretty close to the traffic counts we did on South Pearl this summer — about 1,000 diesel trucks during work days.