Propane delivery bill stalls in the NY Legislature

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The legislation that would allow customers to have their tanks filled by another company in an emergency situation has stalled.

Lawmakers hoped to fast track it having it passed by this week but that’s looking unlikely.

For nearly a month NEWS10 ABC has shared the stories of propane customers whose tanks ran empty while waiting on fuel deliveries. The biggest offender, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office, is Ferrellgas.

The nationwide company making headlines for risky acquisitions that fell flat. The company was forced to make deep cuts by 80 percent in distribution alone.

Customers like LoriAnn Curtin, of Pattersonville, are the collateral damage.

What’s worse most customers tanks are owned by their suppliers and other companies, citing liability concerns, refuse to fill them.

“In this bill, it says another company can fill the tank.”

A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara passed the assembly, but the details are still being hammered out in the Senate. The biggest issue is liability.

“So there may need to be tweaked as it relates to this particular bill to protect each company the one who is not delivering and the one who is delivering,” Sen. Tedisco (R,C,I, REF-Glenville) said. “God forbid if an accident takes places we’ve got to find the company who made the mistake with the tank and in the delivery process.”

That tweaking is expected to take time, more than customers hoped for.

“Primarily we would like to get it done before the winter ends, but definitely before next year’s winter.”

Tedisco says the last thing he wants to see is a bill that makes it to the governor’s desk only to be vetoed. He says they’re modeling the bill after similar legislation that passed in Maine which dealt specially with liability issues.

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