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Summary of Express Terms - 6 NYCRR Part 570

Liquefied Natural Gas

This rulemaking is proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt 6 NYCRR Part 570, the statewide regulations that implement safe siting, operating, and transportation requirements for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities under Article 23, Title 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL).

Chapter 892 of the Laws of 1976 added a new ECL Article 23 Title 17, "Liquefied Natural and Petroleum Gas" (the LNG statute). This statute requires DEC to implement regulations with criteria for the safe siting, operation, and transportation of LNG and LNG facilities throughout New York State (the State). It is necessary and desirable to promulgate these new regulations to conform to the LNG statute, especially due to the recent interest from businesses and utilities in New York State who have proposed LNG projects in the State.

DEC's general authority to adopt any necessary, convenient, or desirable rules to carry out the environmental policy of the State is provided by ECL Article 3 Title 3 section 1(2), (a), (m); additionally, DEC's specific authority to adopt rules of procedure for adjudicatory proceedings is provided by the State Administrative Procedure Act section 301(3).

Partly in response to a 1973 maintenance accident at an LNG facility on Staten Island, the Legislature enacted a statewide moratorium on the siting of new LNG facilities under Chapter 395 of the Laws of 1978. This moratorium was lifted on April 1, 1999 for all locations except municipalities with a population of one million or more (i.e., New York City). The moratorium has been repeatedly extended every two years by the State legislature. Most recently, in May 2013 the moratorium was extended to April 1, 2015.

In addition, ECL Section 23-1709 requires DEC to implement the provisions of Article 23 and provides DEC with the authority to adopt regulations establishing criteria for the siting of LNG facilities to protect public health and the environment of the State. To fulfill this requirement, DEC must promulgate regulations prior to any new LNG facilities being sited and operated, which can only occur in areas of the State not impacted by any moratorium.

The following outline highlights the organization of 6 NYCRR Part 570.

Section 570.1: Introduction

Section 570.1 contains a description of the general purpose, applicability, definitions, exemptions, severability, and enforcement throughout Part 570. The purpose of this section is to ensure the orderly and efficient administration of Article 23, Title 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) at LNG facilities throughout the State. Consistent with Title 17, this proposal does not regulate compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). These regulations do not require permits for vehicles or vessels that are fueled by LNG but does regulate dispensing facilities (fueling stations) that store LNG.

Section 570.2: Permit Requirements and Application Procedures

Section 570.2 applies to the permit requirements and application procedures for LNG facilities, including an explanation of the permit application process; contents of an application, criteria for siting; permit issuance, duration and renewal; public participation guidelines; modification of permit and change of ownership; permit suspension or revocation; and program fees. This section also outlines the required procedures to obtain a permit. Issuance of these permits is expected to attract corporations/industries interested in constructing and operating LNG facilities, which is expected to result in increased economic growth and job creation throughout the State.

Section 570.3: Site Inspections and Training of Local Fire Department Personnel

Section 570.3 applies to site inspections and training of local fire department personnel. Applicants for permits shall offer emergency training for local fire department staff. Compliance with training and inspection requirements can either be determined by DEC's personnel or third parties who are qualified to monitor compliance.

Section 570.4: Transportation of LNG

Section 570.4 explains the intrastate and interstate transportation requirements of LNG within the State. The regulations prohibit the intrastate transportation of LNG to supply a facility permitted under this Part unless the intrastate transportation route has been certified as set forth in subdivision 570.4(a). In reviewing the requirement within the ECL for certified routes (ECL 23-1713), the NYSDOT has determined that since certified routes are not established for other hazardous materials, it would be impracticable to establish certified routes for LNG from sources within the State. Consistent with ECL Article 23 Title 17, the proposed regulations do not require certification of routes from out-of-state sources of LNG.

Section 570.5: Non-Conforming Facilities

Section 570.5 applies to the requirement for pre-existing non-conforming facilities to comply with the rules and regulations of this Part and the procedures outlined in the LNG Statute. There are three facilities which fit this situation: National Grid's Holtsville and Greenpoint facilities, and Con-Edison's Astoria plant. These facilities operate pursuant to DEC Orders issued in 1979.

Section 570.6: Permanent Closure of Out-Of-Service LNG Storage Tanks

Section 570.6 applies to the permanent closure of out-of-service LNG storage tanks, referring to engineering guidelines and procedures that must be complied with to ensure proper closure.

Section 570.7: Financial Assurance

Section 570.7 states that financial assurance, the form and amount of which will be established by DEC, may be required to ensure proper closure of LNG facilities.

Section 570.8: Reporting of LNG Spills

Section 570.8 explains the requirements for reporting a spill of LNG at a permitted facility.

Section 570.9: Moratorium

Section 570.9 pertains to the existence of a moratorium on the siting of LNG facilities in cities with populations of one million or more. It emphasizes that the LNG regulations will not affect any moratorium. In May 2013, the moratorium for these municipalities was extended to April 1, 2015.

Section 570.10: References

Section 570.10 provides a listing of reference materials that are cited in 6 NYCRR Part 570, including those that are incorporated by reference, and explains how they can be obtained for inspection and/or purchasing.

In summary, this rulemaking will incorporate the statutory requirements in Article 23, Title 17 of the ECL to adopt statewide regulations that implement safe siting, operating and transportation requirements for LNG facilities in the State. With the construction and operation of new LNG facilities, numerous employment opportunities will be created as this new, environmentally preferable, alternative fuel becomes available throughout the State.

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