New York DEC Adopts Stringent New Regulations for Liquefied Natural Gas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted new regulations that will make liquefied natural gas (LNG) available as a fuel for trucks in the state.

The stringent regulations enable permits to be granted – under DEC permit requirements – to safely site, construct and operate new LNG facilities. As a result, LNG will be available to haulers as an alternative to diesel fuel.

‘New York's new regulations provide the most comprehensive program to safely site, build and operate LNG facilities in the country,” says DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “By requiring an environmental and safety review for each new facility, New York's environment and economy will benefit from safely providing liquefied natural gas vehicles opportunities to fill up in the state.”

DEC says projections indicate that for the first five years, nearly all of the expected permit applications will be for facilities designed to supply fuel for long-haul tractor trailers and large-capacity fleet trucks that use LNG instead of diesel.

The LNG program will include the following:

  • Evaluation of each permit application on its own merits, taking into consideration the proposed location of the facility and tanks and additional siting criteria in the regulation;
  • Compliance with the siting requirements in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, which address setbacks, evacuation issues and tank capacities;
  • Reviews of the capabilities and preparedness of local fire departments; and
  • Adoption of permit conditions, such as enhancing local response capabilities and greater setbacks, or denial of applications as necessary to ensure safe operation.

The rulemaking sets standards for facilities that store LNG or convert LNG back into a gas for use as fuel. Facility designs must be certified by an independent third party to be in conformance with the standards of the NFPA.

The new regulations will also require site inspections, training local fire department personnel, closing out-of-service LNG storage tanks and promptly reporting spills. The regulations will not change the existing statutory moratorium that prohibits new LNG facilities within New York City.

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