Remember the gasoline shortage that followed Hurricane Sandy? Things like that could be less likely to happen after future storms, given a proposal to store more than 4.8 million gallons of gas in Northville holding tanks that now contain oil.
The plan for the 287-acre United Riverhead Terminals property on Sound Shore Road will be subject to a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Board. A hearing date of Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. has been discussed but not yet formally approved.
“The project was initiated after the response we received from government officials during Superstorm Sandy,” said Scott Kamm, general manager of United Riverhead Terminals.
When Long Island was crippled by a gasoline shortage during the power outage cause by Sandy, officials asked if URT had gasoline storage capability. But at the time, it stored only petroleum, Mr. Kamm said.
The company, which acquired the former Northville Industries property in 2012, now plans to convert two existing tanks to store gasoline. It also wants to build two additional 19,000-gallon tanks for blending 10 percent ethanol into the gasoline. There are currently 20 storage tanks at the facility.
The two tanks to be converted are on the north side of Sound Shore Road. One tank, with a capacity of 87,000 barrels of oil, will hold 2.7 million gallons of regular gasoline; the other, which can hold 67,000 barrels, will contain 2.1 million gallons of premium gasoline, according to URT. (One barrel equates to 31.5 gallons.) The project already has state Department of Environmental Conservation approval, according to Mr. Kamm.
The proposal doesn’t technically require a special permit, since it isn’t a 10 percent expansion, according to town environmental engineer Joe Hall. However, Town Board members decided to hold the hearing anyway, because Northville residents had inquired about the project.
Supervisor Sean Walter also suggested that URT do a traffic analysis for the intersection of Sound Avenue, Pennys Road and Northville Turnpike.