Feds, States Waive More Rules to Help Get Fuel to N.Y., N.J.

The federal government waived a shipping law and the states of New York and New Jersey waived fuel restrictions Friday as they ramped up efforts to quickly move diesel and gasoline supplies into the two states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy.

The Obama administration waived the Jones Act, which requires ships moving goods between U.S. ports to use U.S.-flag vessels, Bloomberg reported.

That action, which applies only to refined products, will boost the number of tankers available to transport fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to the East Coast.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this week waived fuel refining requirements in 16 eastern states in an effort to get more fuel out of refineries quickly following the storm.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suspended requirements that restrict filling stations from buying gasoline from out-of-state suppliers, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo waived taxes and regulations to accommodate more fuel tankers and process them more quickly, Bloomberg said.

The Colonial pipeline, the region’s biggest, restarted much of its northern line, and an oil tanker carrying 2 million gallons of gasoline docked overnight in Newburgh, N.Y., 60 miles north of New York City, Reuters reported.

The Port of Baltimore is in discussions to allow cargo ships scheduled to dock at the Port of New York and New Jersey to re-route to Baltimore, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.

The U.S. Coast Guard opened the New York/New Jersey port — which had been closed as the storm moved in — on an emergency basis Wednesday to move fuel supplies into the stricken region.

Christie said 12 other governors agreed this week to send workers to his state to help restore power, Bloomberg reported.


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