Homeland Security to Assess N.J. Petroleum Infrastructure

Published in CSP Daily News

State offers grants to provide emergency back-up power to gas stations

TRENTON, N.J. -- Taking action to address future emergency fuel-supply challenges highlighted during Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey’s Christie Administration announced a $7-million grant program that will allow targeted retail fuel stations, on and near evacuation routes, faster and more reliable access to back-up power during an energy emergency.

“We learned firsthand during Superstorm Sandy that a reliable fuel supply is critical in a disaster to support essential facilities and emergency response operations,” Gov. Chris Christie said. “By enabling gas stations to stay open in the event of a disaster, the state will be better prepared. By working with homeland security experts, we will make New Jersey’s fuel supply and distribution systems more resilient, ensuring a more reliable source of fuel when it’s most needed.”

The state will make funding available under the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to more than 250 fuel stations located along key thoroughfares identified by state homeland security and emergency management personnel. Eligible station owners will use the funds to purchase generators or permanent connection points for mobile generators, also known as “quick connects.” Stations were targeted for the program based on factors such as proximity to evacuation routes and fuel storage capacity. The program is voluntary.

In addition, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and receive technical assistance to increase resiliency of the State’s petroleum storage and distribution and supply systems. Beginning in January 2014 through June 2014, DHS will conduct comprehensive infrastructure field assessments in cooperation with the state and private-sector owners and operators.

Currently, all 22 gas stations located on the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City Expressway are equipped with back-up power for outages. Under this generator incentive program, a significantly broader reach of gas stations within a quarter of a mile of key evacuation routes across the state would benefit from quicker access to back-up energy.

Click here for more information about the program.