Emergency fuel delivery bill advances

TRENTON – Senate lawmakers released legislation from committee they say will help get gasoline to New Jersey in times of an emergency.

The Senate Transportation Committee unanimously released S2581 that would temporarily waive the requirement that fuel merchants obtain a distributor’s license to import or deliver fuel from another state when the governor declares a state of emergency.

Officials argued fuel delivery to New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy was slowed because of the licensing hurdle.

“We found during Sandy that the movement of fuel, as I’ve been told, was impeded because there were not enough fuel distributors licensed to bring fuel from other states,” said Sen. Bob Gordon, (D-38).

“Of course, we had some serious shortages,” he said. “What we’re really trying to do is just streamline and remove an impediment to delivering fuel during an emergency.”

Gov. Chris Christie issued an “energy emergency” following Sandy which waived the license requirement.

The proposal that cleared the committee would allow future governors to avoid issuing an energy emergency.

Senate lawmakers also released S2582, which provides that when a retail motor fuel dealer exhausts the supply of his lowest grade motor fuel during a state of energy emergency that dealer may sell any remaining supply of higher octane motor fuel at the same price per gallon or liter as the price the dealer charged for a gallon or liter of the lowest grade motor fuel, according to the bill.

The New Jersey Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey argued amendments are needed to the bill before it’s voted on by the full Senate.

Rest area sponsorship

Senate lawmakers unanimously released S2514 from committee. The legislation would provide for sponsorship of certain rest areas by private entities.

Under the proposal, private entities sponsoring rest areas would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of those rest areas.

The bill cleared the committee with little discussion.

The committee also voted to release the following bills:

S1547, would direct the Department of Transportation and New Jersey Transit to study and report on transportation infrastructure needs in coastal counties.

The bill was released with unanimous support from the committee.

S2260, would clarify that motor vehicle rental companies may recover certain costs of doing business, specifically through “vehicle license cost recovery fees.”

This bill would clarify that it is a lawful practice under the “Consumer Protection Leasing Act” for a motor vehicle rental company to collect from customers a “vehicle license cost recovery fee” to recover the costs paid or incurred by the company for the licensing, titling, registration, inspection, and plating of its motor vehicles, according to the legislation.

S2405, would allow drivers with diabetes to voluntarily make notation of their medical condition on their driver licenses.

S2580, would designate State Highway Route 53 as “Alex DeCroce Memorial Highway.”


Emergency fuel delivery bill advances