Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

New York Ends LNG Storage Ban

January 29, 2015

New York is ending a more than 40-year ban on LNG storage by adopting stringent regulations for LNG distribution permits, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.

These new regulations will include evaluations of each permit application, compliance with fire and environmental standards, reviews of safety plans, and other permit conditions. LNG storage facilities have not been allowed in New York since a Staten Island explosion in 1973 that killed 40 people.

The notice of adoption for these new regulations was posted on January 27, and they will go into effect on February 26.

“New York’s new regulations provide the most comprehensive program to safely site build and operate LNG facilities in the country,” said Joe Martens, DEC Commissioner. “New York’s environment and economy will benefit from safely providing liquefied natural gas vehicles opportunities to fill up in the state.”

Facility designs will have to be certified by an independent third party to conform to NFPA standards which are in use nationally and internationally. The DEC will also require site inspections, fire department training, closure of unused LNG storage tanks and spill reporting.

While these new regulations do permit LNG storage in New York State, they will not affect an existing moratorium prohibiting LNG facilities in New York City. The DEC expects that nearly all permit applications for the first five years will be for facilities designed to service long-haul trucks and large capacity fleet trucks.

The regulations were decided on after the DEC opened a public comment period last year. During the DEC’s comment period, it received more than 57,000 submissions leading to further restrictions on the total amount of LNG which can be stored at large facilties.

Prior to these new regulations, New York was the only state in the nation to not allow LNG facilities to be built or intrastate transport of the fuel.

For more information, click here.

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