Spared by Hurricane Sandy, Massachusetts Sends Fuel to New York and New Jersey

Boston – November 5, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced that Massachusetts is helping to enable gasoline shipments to New York and New Jersey as those states and their residents recover from Hurricane Sandy. The announcement comes at the request of New York officials, and will facilitate the distribution of gas supply throughout the region.

“Massachusetts was fortunate to be spared the harshest impacts of Hurricane Sandy, and I am so glad we are able to provide this additional help,” said Governor Patrick. “A week after Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast, the people of New York and New Jersey are still trying to recover. I am happy we are able to assist in that effort.”

New York Harbor serves as a primary fuel distribution center for the East Coast, including New England. Hurricane Sandy damaged the petroleum terminals there and disrupted the regional fuel distribution network. Ships that have not been able to offload in New York Harbor can now do so in Massachusetts waters by transferring their content onto smaller barges in order to get fuel to Boston-area terminals. The fuel will then be transported by trucks between Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

Several of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s agencies are coordinating to help facilitate and expedite these shipments. Massachusetts State Police will not be enforcing weight restrictions on fuel trucks and the Department of Revenue will expedite license applications and temporarily waive the $100 licensing fee for exporters who come to Massachusetts to pick up fuel for transit to New York and New Jersey.

Under the leadership of Governor Patrick, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) continues to coordinate and respond to mutual aid requests from those states most impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Governor Patrick has deployed a growing number of Massachusetts personnel and material assets to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

The most recent deployments include:

  • ·         A four-person Communications Support Team has been deployed to Nassau County on Long Island, with a cache of portable radios (150 radios) and a Communications Support Trailer. The team is comprised of one MEMA communications technician, one Massachusetts State Police communications technician and two communications technicians from Worcester (one from the Fire Department and one from Emergency Management).
  • ·         The Massachusetts National Guard (MANG) is supplying a 120-person Military Police company to Brooklyn, NY for Military Police support.
  • ·         New York City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) support is being provided by 13 Boston Emergency Management staff.
  • ·         One MEMA employee is working in Connecticut’s EOC in Hartford processing and managing requests for EMAC assistance.
  • ·         New York has asked for a six-person logistics planning team. The Massachusetts National Guard (MANG) will fulfill this request.
  • ·         Four MANG ground fuel tankers and 11 support personnel are fulfilling refueling missions in Brooklyn, NY.

Last week, the Administration fulfilled the following EMAC requests:

  • ·         Seven MEMA staff members continue to work at the New York Emergency Operations Center in Albany, NY. Additional MEMA personnel are being sent to Albany to rotate some of the staff out).
  • ·         MANG Staging Area Support: an eight-person team is helping to manage Warehousing Operations in Queens, NY.

“In addition to those who have been deployed, five MEMA staff continue to staff the EMAC desk at MEMA Headquarters in Framingham,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “This crucial MEMA team has been coordinating requests from the impacted states’ EOCs with many local, state, regional and state teams and agencies within the Commonwealth to ensure that Massachusetts is doing all it can to provide support.”

EMAC facilitates member states sending personnel and equipment to help disaster relief efforts in other states. Under EMAC, the emergency forces of any state offering assistance to another state are afforded the same rights, duties and privileges as the emergency personnel of the requesting state (except for the power of arrest). EMAC also provides for clear, predictable and standardized operating procedures for member states. The requesting state is also responsible for reimbursing the assisting state for any expenses.