New York clears the way for LNG refueling stations

New York’s State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finalized regulations that will allow construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations in all parts of the state except New York City.

Under the agency’s regulations, facilities would be allowed to store up to 70,000 gallons of LNG.

DEC anticipates that virtually all of the refueling stations would be used by long-haul tractor trailers to address the growing percentage of the nation’s trucking fleet that is converting to LNG. Manufacturers and retail chains have pressed for transportation of their goods by natural gas vehicles and companies such as UPS and FedEx have started exploring the option. Clean Energy Fuels, which boasts a network of more than 500 LNG and CNG refueling stations around the country, would appear to be a leading candidate for constructing refueling stations in New York.

On a global perspective, the intent of the regulations is to incentivize long-haul tractor trailers to convert from diesel – one of the dirtiest transportation fuels – to clean burning LNG. Thus, the agency appropriately concluded that the regulations would be beneficial from an air pollution perspective. Furthermore, any site-specific environmental impacts would be addressed in the permit proceeding authorized by the regulations.