N.J. senators ask EPA to ease shipping rules in storm-recovery effort

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Jersey’s senators yesterday urged U.S. EPA to relax rules on shipping biofuel along the East Coast to help relieve residents facing gasoline shortages after Hurricane Sandy.

Millions of gallons of biofuel, they said, have not been able to make it to New Jersey since the storm last week damaged two shipping facilities in the state. The shipments cannot be rerouted under current rules because other facilities on the East Coast do not have the proper equipment required by EPA.

“Since [fuel] shipments cannot reach New Jersey through the standard channels, alternative routes need to be opened in order to get this fuel to the region,” Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D) and Robert Menendez (D) wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “We ask that you allow appropriate fuel providers to reroute critical fuel supplies in order to reach New Jersey.”

The senators have asked EPA to ensure that it will not carry out any enforcement actions against the facilities involved for redirecting the fuel. On Friday, EPA took a similar action with bulk gasoline and marine loading terminals in New Jersey and New York.

Over the weekend, EPA also approved waivers that allow home heating oil to be used as fuel in disaster recovery vehicles and equipment in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York if ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is not available.