5% BIODIESEL BLENDING MINIMUM STANDARD SIGNED INTO LAW
Working alongside the National Biodiesel Board, NYSEC was successful in passing its number one legislative priority, a 5% biodiesel blending requirement for home heating fuel sold in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. This legislation was signed into law in September 2017, and these three counties will join NY City in a 5% biodiesel blend requirement as of July 2018. (NYC and those 3 downstate counties represent more than 70% of all heating oil sold in N.Y. State). NYSEC would like to thank State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, State Senator Phil Boyle and Assemblyman Steve Englebright for their leadership in this issue. Both NBB and NYSEC were represented by Michael Trunzo at the firm of Shenker Russo & Clark LLP.
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INCREASE FOR MOSFs KILLED
NYSEC helped kill legislation that would have changed the financial responsibility of Major Oil Storage Facilities from the current $25 per barrel, ($1 million or $2 million depending upon location), to the federal definition and treatment of a "vessel" which would have increased the financial responsibility to $350 million. This legislation was primarily aimed at crude transportation, specifically by rail and water. NYSEC successfully argued that this legislation was anti-small-business and would have harmed many family-owned retail home heating and energy companies which utilize small inland terminals for their own use.
HEATING OIL TANK REPLACEMENT MANDATE AVERTED
Legislation was introduced by Sen. Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, that would have required all heating oil tanks in New York State to be replaced with double wall tanks by 2020. NYSEC was able to intercede and convince the Senator that this legislation was not properly drafted and could be improved upon. NYSEC pledged and has been working with Senator O'Mara and his staff on legislation that would join together an existing legislative proposal for the voluntary replacement of heating oil tanks with a consumer tax credit to help cover the costs of the tank replacement. The tax credit, which was previously funded by the state but was allowed to lapse, is currently being proposed by State Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, both of Long Island. This is a priority budget issue for NYSEC in the 2018 Legislative Session.
ENFORCEMENT OF FILL PIPE AND TANK CLOSURE REQUIREMENTS BEFORE OIL-TO-GAS CONVERSIONS CAN BECOME EFFECTIVE
In 2017, legislation was introduced to address the proper abandonment of oil tanks and fill pipes upon the conversion from heating oil to another fuel, and sought to establish a registry of home heating oil tanks at the Department of Environmental Conservation. The bill's sponsor was not aware that New York State Law, NFPA and N.Y. State Building Code already require proper abandonment of the heating oil tank and the permanent closure of the fill pipe in order to avoid erroneous deliveries. NYSEC helped draft a new version of this legislation that would require a certification by a natural gas company employee of proper abandonment BEFORE any conversion to another fuel can be finalized and placed into service. Working with NYSEC to draft new and more legally/technically appropriate legislative language, Senator Phil Boyle and Assemblyman Chuck Lavine have introduced this legislation and will work with NYSEC to ensure its passage in the 2018 Legislative Session.