State Attorney General Letitia James has joined with 13 of her counterparts in other states opposing a proposal by a Texas-based company to ship frozen ethane from Marcus Hook in southeastern Pennsylvania to the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, reports Times Union.
The opposition to the plan by the attorneys general, which if approved could traverse part of New York, comes amid heightened concerns about rail safety in the wake of the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. In that accident, a train laden with toxic vinyl chloride derailed, causing a chemical spill that had to be burned off.
The accident has created ongoing fear and worries in that eastern Ohio community and has renewed talk of rail safety.
Proposal to ship frozen ethane gas
That disaster “illustrates the inherent danger of transporting hazardous materials by rail,” according to comments from the attorneys general. New York University’s School of Law State Energy & Environmental Impact Center was also involved in the comments.
In Albany, rail safety was a major concern several years ago when activists protested train loads of crude oil coming to the Port of Albany area. Opponents of the shipments believed the trains posed a fire or explosion hazard.
Those shipments have since stopped, although ethanol trains still come into the port.
The current permit application from Gas Innovations LNG Refrigerants Inc. is to transport a less flammable and explosive cryogenic liquefied ethane. While not as potentially explosive as crude oil or other ethane-based products, it too poses some fire or explosive risk under the right circumstances.
The proposal calls for one of the trains to possibly enter New York at a yet-undetermined spot on its way to Canada.
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Source: Times Union