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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

October 31, 2012

Contact: Larry Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795


(12/P131) TRENTON - TThe Department of Environmental Protection today advised facilities that operate in the public interest that it is acceptable to use home heating oil in emergency generators instead of diesel fuel as the state recovers from Hurricane Sandy.

The DEP is issuing the advisory in response to emergency management officials who are concerned that temporary disruptions in supplies of diesel fuel caused by the storm may impact essential services provided by hospitals, nursing homes, water and sewer utilities, solid waste disposal facilities and other facilities operating in the public interest.

“The DEP is taking this action due to the critical need to maintain power to essential facilities as the state recovers from this historic storm,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “It is crucial that these facilities experience no disruption while crews work to restore power to the state.”

The DEP worked closely with the federal Environmental Protection Agency in developing the advisory.

The types of generators that are covered by the advisory are units designed for larger power loads. They can be stationary or portable units. Small generators that are used in residences are usually designed to use gasoline and are not subject to the advisory.

The advisory is in place until Nov. 13, and will be extended if necessary. Any applicable regulatory requirements for air pollution limits from these units will be waived during this period. This will allow operators to use diesel fuel or home heating oil regardless of installation date or type of emergency generator.

Operators of emergency generators should first check manufacturer specifications before switching from diesel to home heating oil.  Higher sulfur home heating oil usually can be burned in emergency diesel engines, but should be avoided in model year 2012 units rated between 175 horsepower and 700 horsepower because it may damage parts of the unit. Model year 2012 units were sold this year and in 2011.

For a copy of the DEP’s compliance advisory, please visit:

For questions about emergency generators operated in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Warren or Union counties, please call (973) 656-4444. For questions about generators in Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, call (609) 292-3187. Operators of generators in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties may call (856) 614-3601.



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Last Updated: October 31, 2012