HEATING OIL RAIL FACILITY OPENS IN YAPHANK
Newsday: July 19, 2012
By SARAH CRICHTON
Photo credit: Joseph D. Sullivan |
Brookhaven Railroad Terminal,
a 3.4-mile rail spur and storage yard
off the Long Island Rail Road’s
main line in Yaphank, opened in
September 2011. (June 22, 2012)
A company that imports biodiesel by rail for
eventual use as heating oil in Long Island homes
officially opened its facility at the Brookhaven
Rail Terminal in Yaphank Thursday.
Ultra Green imports the renewable energy product
from the Midwest, Canada and upstate Ontario by rail
to the terminal, where it's loaded onto trucks and
taken to terminals in New Hyde Park and elsewhere on
the Island via Long Island Rail Road lines for
blending into home heating oil.
Company vice president Michael Cooper said the
Yaphank truck-rail depot provides vital storage
space for more than a dozen rail cars of the
product, ensuring Ultra Green can provide reliable,
on-demand supply to Long Island customers, as well
as providing backup for the firm's supply to the
critical New York City market.
"BRT gives us the lowest cost location anywhere to
bring our biodiesel," Cooper said. "It eliminates
the need to use trucks on city bridges and along
almost 70 miles of Long Island -- we bypass every
tollway, we're helping make the air cleaner."
Yesterday's opening comes as support for the private
truck-rail depot, Long Island's first such facility,
appears to be growing. Rep. Tim Bishop
(D-Southampton), in whose district the Yaphank
facility is located, said Thursday he would
"absolutely support" a federal funding application
on behalf of Brookhaven Rail Terminal.
"I strongly support infrastructure investments that
lay the foundation for private sector growth and job
creation, and these rail projects have the added
benefit of reducing truck traffic on congested Long
Island roads," Bishop said.
BRT representative Judy White said terminal
operators would apply for federal funds "in the very
The site's partners rounded up $40 million in
private investment to get the depot up and running
last September and now hope public dollars might be
made available to help build a 400,000-square-foot
warehouse that would enable more commodities to come
and go from the depot.
The terminal has applied for $7 million in state
Yesterday's event was attended by a gaggle of
elected officials -- including representatives of
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Councilman James
Gennaro (D-Queens), Rep. Jerrold Nadler
(D-Manhattan), as well as officials from Suffolk
County and Brookhaven Town.
Nadler representative Robert Gottheim said the
Yaphank facility could be a useful starting point
for getting trucks off Long Island's congested
"But there is plenty of demand for more of these
facilities," he said of the terminal, adding Nadler
-- a longtime truck-rail depot proponent -- too
would support federal dollars for the operation.
"We need this one, we need the Calverton project and
we need Pilgrim State," said Gottheim referring to
the state's stalled attempt to build a truck-rail
yard in Brentwood.
The New York City Council earlier this year mandated
that all heating oil within the five boroughs must
contain 2 percent biodiesel effective Oct. 1. The
Environmental Protection Agency has declared
emissions from pure biodiesel as the sole fuel
emissions nontoxic to human health.