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Oil company wants to build terminal in small village of Lamy

Created: 01/15/2014 10:44 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

About 200 people live in the village of Lamy, along the Galisteo River south of Santa Fe.

Tonight, village leaders tell KOB Eyewitness News 4 they are under siege.

They say a major crude oil shipping company wants to build a big terminal in town.

Sana Morrow lives in Lamy to be close to nature; to feel far from the big lights and loud sounds of the city.

Right now, the only sound of the city in Lamy is a twice-daily Amtrak train.

But now, she says the small village she loves so much is under attack.

Morrow's neighbors feel the same way, powerless to a big industrial project planned for the little town.

The town sits on a rail line; a seemingly perfect spot for Oklahoma-based Pacer Energy Marketing to set up shop.

The company moves crude oil from companies that need it moved. Now they want to set up a terminal in Lamy.

Neighbors say the proposed depot would be built on railroad land; no need for much more approval.

Parke Duttenhofer has led the charge to keep Pacer out of Lamy, but it wasn't hard to organize the town against the project.

Everything about it scares the neighbors here. Lamy is basically a cul-de-sac; there's one road in, and one road out. If something went wrong, and crude oil caught on fire, Morrow says there's no way to leave the village.

Morrow says an evacuation in case of emergency would be nearly impossible. But neighbors say the potential for danger goes far beyond that.

The proposed site stands nearby the Aquifer Lamy, and the neighboring village of Galisteo uses it for drinking water.

Roger Taylor is the president of the Ranchitos de Galisteo Water Users Association. Taylor says that's why several surrounding villages are standing with Lamy and speaking out against the project. But, community leaders fear the worst.

People from Lamy and surrounding towns plan to gather Saturday night at 7 for a community meeting at the Legal Tender Saloon.

KOB reached out to Pacer Energy Marketing's Tulsa headquarters on Wednesday. What follows is an email sent to KOB reporter Caleb James from Thomas Birkett, Rail Asset Manager for Pacer Energy Marketing:

Caleb

It was good to speak with you earlier today.

What have we done to protect the residents of Lamy in the event of a fire?

We ground our trucks and rail cars to protect again static electricity. Additionally we submerge load so there will not be oil dropping from the top of the car to bottom which also can create static electricity. I am not (a)ware of a fire at a tank car loading rack in a long time.

Environmental impact:

We have a formal spill control and containment plan. Our loaders are trained that the first order of business is safety and the second order is to keep oil off the ground. We have been doing this work for about 6 years and have spilled very little. And what little we have spilled, we have cleaned up within hours and replaced the gravel that was sullied with clean material. We have loaded at Thoreau, NM for three years and you won't find oil stains all over the area. The vapors are collected during the loading process and taken back to the oil field and placed in the tanks there.

Call me tomorrow if we need to discuss further.

Regards

Tom


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