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New Jersey Reviewing Requests to Ease Barge Loading Rules

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing requests from several facilities to allow barges to load fuel without using marine vapor recovery equipment following Hurricane Sandy.

“We are in the process of reviewing and granting each individual request on a limited basis, as part of the response to Hurricane Sandy,” Bob Considine, a spokesman for the agency based in Trenton, said by e-mail.

Two refineries in New Jersey, operated by Hess Corp. and Phillips 66, remain shut four days after Sandy came ashore as a powerful, wintry storm. AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization, estimated that 35 to 40 percent of stations selling gasoline in New York City and New Jersey are open.

Hess is loading barges with gasoline at its 70,000-barrel-a-day Port Reading plant on an emergency basis to help supply fuel to the New York Harbor area, the company said in an e-mailed statement. The refinery’s truck rack is also running on a back-up generator to supply gasoline and diesel to stations locally.

The company has advised New Jersey regulators that it’s loading the barges without the use of a marine emissions recovery unit, which was “badly damaged” during the storm, according the e-mailed statement.

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