Use of New Mexico site for loading oil hits snag

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News,Business,New Mexico,Oil

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Dallas-based company's use of a site in a town near Albuquerque to load crude oil into train cars for shipping to refineries has hit a snag.

Bernalillo officials have ordered NuDevCo Midstream to stop using a closed wallboard manufacturing plant for loading oil from wells in the San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico, the Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/1puuQMx ) reported.

Residents began complaining after NuDevCo Midstream began using the site May 1 to transfer oil from trucks to train cars, and town planner Maria Rinaldi said the company hadn't obtained a required a special-use permit.

The company has now applied for a permit, but Mayor Jack Torres said residents have concerns about safety, traffic and potential threats to groundwater.

Company spokesman Steven McCain said the company overlooked inviting town officials when it met with other government officials about use of the site.

The Bernalillo site, "because of rail, refinery, oil producer and trucking distance considerations, is more favorable than many others, although the company has some other sites in New Mexico and other states in various stages of planning and development," McCain said.

Torres said he wasn't happy with how NuDevCo or the property owner, American Gypsum, handled the situation.

"I'm stunned that companies as big as American Gypsum and NuDevCo wouldn't know to check with local authorities," Torres said. "Their claim that they didn't know is an excuse, as far as I'm concerned."

Elsewhere in New Mexico, Lamy residents have fought a proposal by Pacer Energy Marketing, a crude oil transport company, to use a site in the village to transfer crude from trucks to rail cars.

That site, on a railroad spur near the Lamy Depot, is owned by Santa Fe Southern Railway.

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