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New York’s Proposal to Lift Ban on LNG Storage Facilities Stirs Debate

Environmental groups and industry organizations are at an impasse over regulations proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that would lift the state’s 40-year ban on the construction and operation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities.  New York enacted a moratorium on the construction of LNG storage facilities after the explosion of an LNG tank in Staten Island killed 40 workers in 1973.  Several environmental groups that oppose the proposed regulations commented that lifting the LNG ban will open the door for shale gas development through hydraulic fracturing in New York.  Industry groups and the DEC, however, said that the regulations would facilitate the use of LNG in long-haul trucks, a cheaper and cleaner option to diesel fuel.  “These regulations have nothing whatsoever to do with fracking and everything to do with putting cleaner trucks on our highways,” said a spokeswoman for the DEC.   The DEC is expected to finalize the proposed regulations in early 2014.