The Energy Department continues to work with its federal and state partners to restore critical energy infrastructure throughout the region affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As part of the federal government's ongoing efforts to assist in the response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy, the Energy Department is working in conjunction with other federal agencies to help local agencies facilitate the delivery of additional gasoline, diesel and home heating oil to the region. To date, these activities have included:

Waiving Requirements and Accessing Reserves:

  • The Department of Homeland Security issued, in coordination with Energy Department, the Maritime Administration and the Department of Defense, a waiver of the Jones Act allowing foreign vessels to ship petroleum products from the Gulf of Mexico to Northeastern ports.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with DOE issued a number of waivers that allow for fuel flexibility in using of a variety of fuel products.
  • For the first time, nearly 2 million gallons of diesel fuel from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve in Connecticut have been released for use by emergency responders, generators and emergency equipment and buildings.

Restoring Power and Repairing Energy Infrastructure:

  • The Coast Guard is working to ensure that ports and harbors are ready to receive shipments of oil and fuels.
  • The Energy Department is working with utility and fuel companies to assess their needs and ensure they are prioritizing repairs to critical fuel infrastructure like terminals and refineries.
  • The Energy Department is working to identify gas stations that can use generators to get back online before power can be restored, and is coordinating with the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to get generators to those stations.

Addressing Lingering Hurdles to Full Restoration:

  • While the major pipeline into the area is running, there is a need to repair and repower the terminals to offload the product. The Energy Department is working with the utilities, the Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to identify and restore priority facilities.
  • The Energy Department is working with utilities to expedite the restoration of power to filling stations and with the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to get generators to strategic stations and FEMA staging areas.

Restoration of Electricity

Local utilities have restored power to over 6 million customers, but we still have 2.5 million to go. The Energy Department continues to monitor and help coordinate power restoration activities including:

  • More than 70,000 linemen, technicians and other workers from around the country are working around the clock to turn power back on.
  • DOD is airlifting equipment from the Energy Department's Power Marketing Administration (PMA) offices in Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Other equipment, supplies and personnel from the PMAs are driving to New York and New Jersey from their home stations across 22 states.