Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Black Swan at Merrimack Valley: Analysis of NTSB Preliminary Report, & Introducing the "Pressure Booster Theory"

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"I continue to find your theory plausible.... I agree with your recommendations." -- Dr. Nathan Phillips, Boston University, Dec 5, 2018, Twitter

Today, I am releasing my report on the Merrimack Valley Incident.

Direct Download:

In this report I will provide an analysis of the NTSB Preliminary Report, and provide my own alternative theory, the "Tube-Trailer Pressure-Booster Theory".

This report represents a 3 month investigation into this "High Consequence Event". 

If you can, please send this to the attention of
  • Senators Markey & Warren
  • NTSB
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Healey
  • Local Elected Officials in Lawrence, Andover, N. Andover
... and ask that these concerns be fully investigated.  
Urgent Request for Donations:

I have worked in the Public Interest since 2010 documenting the harms of the Oil and Gas Industry.
See: My Fracking Resume

I survive solely on grants and donations.
I presently have one grant unrelated to this investigation, but it does not pay all of my expenses.

I desperately need min. $3,000 and ideally $5,000 to sustain my work, and keep me solvent.

Donations in any amount are gratefully received here:

Please send Checks or Money Orders to:

William Huston
PO Box 22
Endicott, NY 13761

Thank you!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

WESTCHESTER Co.NY! High Pressure #BombTrucks heading to YOU! (Courtesy: Con-Ed)

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Donations CRITICALLY needed in any amount!

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Downstate Friends,

You should consider this a 911:

and this cut-n-paste of the press release:

(fluff abou about "renewable natural gas", "peak day offsets" and "heat pumps" deleted. Here's the real matter:)

“This program will help us maintain reliable service so that our customers can keep their homes and businesses warm and comfortable, while helping to support state and local energy goals,” said Marc Huestis, Con Edison’s senior vice president, Gas Operations. “However, these measures do not eliminate the need for a new natural gas pipeline to keep up with our region’s energy needs.” ....

The measures – which were proposed by respondents to a Con Edison competitive solicitation - include:
  • ...(snip)...
  • The construction of two to five compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage sites in Westchester County. The supply would reduce the need for conventional natural gas pipeline supplies by 40,000 dekatherms on peak winter days.
The company is seeking $305 million in funding for the program [FROM RATEPAYERS!]. The maximum increase in the gas bill when the program funds are fully spent around 2025 would be approximately 1.5 percent for an average residential or small business customer. For a typical residential heating customer, this would be about $2 per month. But that does not include savings and environmental benefits the company expects the program to produce for customers.
Con Edison is working with potential partners to identify possible locations for the renewable natural gas, CNG and LNG facilities.
The CNG and LNG storage plants would accept fuel transported by trucks. The fuel would be stored and flow into Con Edison’s gas distribution system on winter days when demand is high. The LNG would be stored in tanks. On cold winter days, the supply would be replenished with additional deliveries by truck.


In other words....
Bomb Trucks Heading for New York!!!
Zoom Zoom!
Similar facilities have already been set up temporarily as a "Peaking Service" or as "Pressure Boosters" during maintenance of the Local Distribution System in
  • Roosevelt Island, NYC
  • Glenwood Landing, Long Island NY
  • Rye NY
A "permanent" installation is already established in Mechanicville, NY (Saratoga Co) just North of Albany.

There are PROPOSED similar sites like this now in
  • Oneonta, Otsego Co
  • Ithaca, Tompkins Co.
XNG is launching 100+ High Pressure #BombTrucks into New York now each day, up to 5 per hour!

There are TWO NEW FACILITIES approved and/or under construction in Susquehanna County NOW. These new facilities are even larger and may be capable of 150-200 CNG loads per day.

So NY could EASILY have 400 CNG #BombTrucks per day soon!

ADDITIONALLY: There is also a MASSIVE new proposed LNG facility being proposed in Bradford County PA which could send 240-360 trucks per day!!!

There are NIMBY groups in Ithaca and Oneonta fighting their local
#BombTrucks facilities, as the NIMBY group in Fenton defeated theirs.

There is NO GROUPS or individuals (apart from a SMALL number of people)
working in a coordinated fashion to defeat these trucks state-wide.

NY is particularly well-suited to defeat these trucks, because:

1: It looks like they are mostly headed into NY
2: NY has SEQRA which requires an EIS (PA for example, has nothing like this!)
3: NY has an amazingly dedicated and smart fractivist community.
    (Or so I've heard..... WHERE ARE YOU!?)

We have received a TON of excellent help from Nicole Dillingham and Otsego 2000. THANK YOU NICOLE! 

Keith Schue, Suzy Winkler, Dennis Higgins, JoAnn Gardner, Vera Scroggins, and a few others have been helpful. We have received some limited help from d & Water Watch, Mothers Out Front, and Catskill Mountainkeeper.  THANK YOU!

Mostly, Craig Stevens and I have been mostly working on this by ourselves for 18 months.

WHERE IS THE STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN fighting these High Pressure CNG #BombTrucks as a statewide issue!?

HELP US DEFEAT #BombTrucks in NY!

Even Smart People Repeat FALSE Industry Talking Points

Albany Rollover Crash, 6/2/2018

XNG has already connected High Pressure CNG #BombTrucks in New York City!!!

A worse-case scenario in Downtown Ithaca could produce 1,250 dead.

NYSEG is already using #BombTrucks as "Pressure Boosters" and "Peakers" in New York!

Mechanicville NYSEG #BombTrucks station.
A simple malfunction here could produce a disaster of the scale seen in Merrimack Valley, which destroyed 131 structures.

Two More #BombTruck Launchers Opening Soon!
Hope you Like #BombTrucks, New York!!!

This slide from an Industry Trade Show shows XNG is targeting Local Distribution Companies.
What Could Go Wrong?!

520 Giga Joules can produce a MASSIVE explosion....  

What's a MOAB?

"Normal Operation" of a Type-4 CNG composite pressure vessel in a fire can result in a GIANT FLAME THROWER!

More PR lies about #BombTrucks

XNG execs have told some OUTRAGEOUS lies!

What to watch for.

New York could see 400+ CNG trucks PER DAY very soon!
This does not include 240-360 LNG trucks PER DAY!!

XNG truck inverted in the mud, Sept 2017, Hartwick NY.
These vehicles have a high center of gravity and have increased rollover risk.

Please Support my Work! Donations CRITICALLY needed in any amount!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

ATTENTION Sidney NY! New XNG "drop yard" leaves Dangerous HAZMAT vehicles UNATTENDED!

New XNG Drop Yard in Sidney NY

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Please donate to support my work:

Attention Sidney, NY!! 

Xpress Natural Gas (XNG) has a new "Drop Yard" for their High Consequence #BombTrucks on the NE corner of NY-7 & NY-8, behind Catskill Shed Co. It is a muddy, UNFENCED lot!

Take Action Below!!

What's a "Drop Yard"? It is a swap point. Some drivers bring up full trailers from Forest Lake PA, unhook it and leave it there. Then they pick up an empty and take it back.

Other drivers bring an empty down from Manheim, drop it, and pick up a full one, take it up to Manheim.

For about a month or so, XNG has been observed to be taking a new route up NY-8 to Utica, and then to Manheim. We think they are taking this new route due to the resolutions against the trucks in Otsego Co.

This route is longer than the 205->28 route, so we are **guessing** this new drop yard (similar to 440 Prentice Rd. in Vestal) is to give an intermediate stop, to shorten two legs of the route, to allow drivers to complete 2 round trips in a 14 hr shift.
These HAZMAT vehicles are being left UNATTENDED for hours at a time. They have risk of EXTREME CONSEQUENCES like fire or explosion beyond any other vehicles on the road. They are known to spontaneously vent. They could be tampered with by some kids (talk about having a bad day!) or used for a terroristic purpose.

Site: NE Corner of NY-7 and NY-8, behind Catskill Shed Co., in a muddy, UNFENCED yard!

PS: There are NO SPECIAL RULES for these drop-yards, and because these high-pressure CNG tanks are on wheels, they are not subject to DEC permits for bulk storage facilities.
We need to fix a DOZEN different laws and add new regulations to address the special risks of these vehicles.

11 tons of methane has the same potential energy as 130 tons of of TNT, or 11x MOABs, the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal.

This has been independently verified by 5 PhDs, including Dr. Anthony Ingraffea (Physics), Dr. Dennis Higgins (Mathematics), and Dr. Ron Bishop (Chemistry)

OK-- a worse-case scenario might be rare... but are you willing to take your chances on such a High-Consequence "Black Swan" event? (cf. "Precautionary Principle")
These vehicles can explode without a source of ignition!
In a fire,Type-4 CNG tanks can turn into a giant flamethrower if safety devices called "Thermally Actuated Pressure Relied Devices" .... WORK AS DESIGNED!!!

There is no doubt, these are EXTREME CONSEQUENCE VEHICLES!

WARNING: Even "Big name" Environmental NGOs and Academics are spreading FALSE and DANGEROUS Industry Talking Points about the safety of High-Pressure Type-4 Composite CNG Tanks! YES, THEY DO EXPLODE, and YES there have been fatalities!

XNG's executives have told some OUTRAGEOUS lies to first responders about the safety of their vehicles.


Please contact any of the following:
NY State Police, Troop-C, 607-547-2233. Describe your concerns to the dispatcher, then ask for Commercial Enforcement:
New York State Office of the Attorney General's Environmental Protection Bureau at 518-776-2400
NYS DEC 24-hour, toll-free hotline for reporting environmental violations: 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267)
NYState DOT: 518-457-6195
NY Dept. of Homeland Security, emergency services(DHSES) Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC): (518) 242-5000 Ask for Christopher Gould
Delaware Co. Sheriff: 607-832-5555
Map of location.

Two new facilities in NE PA are under development. So the number of High Pressure #BombTrucks entering NY every day is about to TRIPLE! From 100 to 300 trucks PER DAY!
Where are the NY Statewide groups
helping to fight these vehicles!!!?

Just to let you know: We are not only NOT GETTING HELP stopping these experimental, High-Consequence vehicles from people and groups we expected to be our Natural Allies, but we are getting BLOCKED, BANNED, and are enduring VISCOUS PERSONAL ATTACKS, ironically, while our work on these #BombTrucks is being STOLEN, plagiarized, and used WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION as if it were their own! Yes, other groups are USING MY RESEARCH as if it was their own.

I DO NOT REALLY CARE about name recognition for this work!
I am doing this work in the public interest, and NOT for egoic purposes.
But, I do have a body with needs for shelter and food.

I am personally grateful to the following people who have provided consistent encourage and support of this work: Craig L. Stevens, Nicole Dillingham, Otsego 2000, Halt the Harm Network, Barbara Arrindell, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Food and Water Watch (Eric, Alex, Laura), Keith Schue, Dennis Higgins, Kathy Shimberg, Valdi Weiderpas, Tony Ingraffea, JoAnn Gardner, Justin Nobel (Rolling Stone Magazine), Dwain Wilder (editor, "The Banner"),  "Kingpin", and several tipsters and informants who prefer not to be identified.

(If I forgot someone who needs to be credited, please let me know!

PS: I CANNOT do this work without Public Support. 
..... This means YOU!
Please donate to you can:

I am in desperate need of about $1,000 just to break even. 
Donations in ANY amount gratefully received! 

Note: ALL donors will be receive access to some EXCLUSIVE special new material next week! 

Please donate to you can:

​Lots more info:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#BombTrucks in Albany: June'18 Crash Unraveled!

Praise for the Bill Huston Blog from Rolling Stone's Justin Nobel:

Fracking is the energy story of our times, It has blasted rural & suburban America with a shocking array of contamination issues, the science is complicated, the exposures are frightening.. yet how many big newspapers have someone permanently on the beat? Instead stories are broken by people like Bill Huston, who has done a detailed investigation into the explosion of a "bomb truck" carrying fracked natural gas that crashed this Summer on the NY State Thruway just miles from the state's capital of Albany:

"Great sleuthing!"
-- Dwain Wilder,
Editor, The Banner
(Featured in Vol. 4 No. 43)
Hi Friends --

I have a major new investigation up, concerning a rollover of an XNG High-Pressure, Type-4 CNG Bulk-Haul Virtual Pipeline Tube Trailer (a/k/a, "#BombTruck") in Albany County, just 2.0 miles from the Governor's Mansion. 

My investigation has revealed that the first responders
  1. Made several errors, putting first responders and the public in harms way,
  2. Did not understand what they were dealing with,
  3. referred to it as a "garbage hauler",
  4. did not identify it as HAZMAT for a full 16 minutes,
  5. mistakenly referred to the CNG tanks as "empty",
    (the tanks hold nearly a ton of methane even when "unloaded". They are never empty!)
  6. Followed an entirely different protocol than with 3 prior rollover crashes and 1 subsequent,
  7. despite reporting a "possible leak" to the National Response Center, they lit flares,
    and performed no evacuations, in violation to the Emergency Response Guide (2016: Latest Version)
  8. They did not close the interstate.
  9. Did not transfer or discharge residual gas before moving trailer,
  10. Did not call transport driver with severe injuries to Albany Medical for nearly 4 hours. 

My blog is published here:

I have an 8-part video series I am uploading now. Parts 1-4 are online now. The remainder may take though the weekend to complete.

The videos are now embedded in the blog post.
Here is the direct link:

I am sending this out now BEFORE all the videos have been uploaded, because I am in a critical cash crunch.

I am a non-profit person. I live on donations and grants. I presently have one small grant, but it is not enough to pay my bills.

I have put around 1,500 hours into my #BombTrucks research, since spring 2017 as a volunteer. At a living wage ($15/hr) this is nealy $25,000.

Please note that when I work professionally, I bill out at SUBSTANTIALLY more than $15/hr. Back at the peak of the Dot Com boom, I was billing out at over $70/hr. I was making well into 6 figures. I have very marketable tech skills.  So $15/hr is working cheap.

But I don't want another day job! My passion is public service work!
I have a substantial portfolio of my work here: [My Fracking Resume]

I am not seeking $25,000! 
(although that would be nice and would fund my work for the next year!) 
I am only seeking $5,000. 
This is like me working at an effective rate of $3/hr!

 I have already raised about $700 in donations.

I have about $4,000 left to go.
I am in DESPERATE need for about $1,000.

Why should you fund my work?

1: I give my work away, for free! 

I never charge money for my work. 
I only ask that people observe a Creative Commons License 
(CC-by-NC) which requires author attribution.

PLEASE use my work.
Just give me credit! 

2: Well, apparently my work is good enough to plagiarize!

On at least 3 occasions, people have used my work AS THEIR OWN, without crediting me as the source. Some are some VERY BIG NAME fractivists and NGOs, associated with some BIG fancy-schmancy universities and colleges. 

Here is the latest example:


3. I am under attack by the Oil and Gas Industry
I haven't made a big deal about this, but I am a wanted man. I understand from my friends that a Big Dude named "Jack" with a big Ford pickup truck and a super-cap (w/NY tags) AND wearing a sidearm is banging on the doors of my friends homes looking for me, says "I'm Bill's friend". He has a big wad of papers in his back pocket.

I know what this is about! I am wanted for deposition and "Discovery" in a PA Civil Case to which I am not a party.

You may have heard that Cabot Oil and Gas is suing Ray Kemble for $5M, claiming Ray has "disparaged" their good name.

Well, now I understand that Cabot is attempting to depose ME and get a SHIT TON of personal information (emails, bank records, etc) trying to find evidence to support their SLAPP suit against Ray. So I have been shifting around, laying low trying to avoid service. (They haven't found me yet!)

Cabot has paid for attack pieces on me for reporting their suspicious activity ([1], [2])
Cabot has also purchased a targeted "advertisement" (really a PR hit) on me, when you search for "Bill Huston Blog". Try it! And watch what videos come up. For most people it's an Energy in Depth video shot by Vic Furman titled "Bill Huston Meltdown":

Google + Energy in Depth Slander & Defame me!!!

(No, it wasn't a "Meltdown". I intentionally disrupted a Gas-Industry propaganda event being held at the Binghamton SUNY campus)

Please ask yourself:
Why would Cabot attack me so if  I am not effective?

Friends, I am under an enormous about of stress right now.
I need a pair of glasses.
I am $1,000 in debt. My phone and other critical stuff is being turned off. 

I could be homeless soon.

4. I am doing leading edge research that no one else is doing!

Whether it is #BombTrucks Research or my Dimock Documents Archive
or my Video or Mapping work, I have demonstrated for 10 years to do quality work. 
I have TWO major stories I am working on which will blow your mind.

  • Massive amounts of Diesel fuel is being used in hydraulic fracturing drilling muds. WHY is this not a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which makes the injection of CANCER CAUSING POISON above, into, or below Underground Sources of Drinking Water a federal environmental crime? 
  • Merrimack Valley Explosions --- SOLVED! 
But I need your support!

Please donate if you can!

Again I need about $1,000 urgently, just to keep things turned on. I need another $3,000 (or ideally more) to sustain me through the next several months. 

The easiest method is by Paypal:

This link seems easier for people with a Paypal acct:

This link works for everyone:

If you need to send me a check, please email me to make arrangements:

Thank you!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

New investigation: 6/2/2018 XNG rollover crash in Albany


This is my first of two MAJOR investigations which I am working on, relating to #BombTrucks.

PLEASE SHARE on social media:

... and if you can, please donate to support my work.

I really need donations to sustain my work!
Youtube Playlist: 8 parts (uploading in progress)


Bill Huston's new investigation:

The 6/2/2018 XNG rollover crash in Albany: 2.0 miles from the Governor's Mansion, 2.5 miles from the Capitol Complex

This is the recommended 1/2 mile evacuation zone recommended in the 2016 Emergency Response Guide (aka, the "Orange Book" or ERG) if there is a release of gas. A call was made to the National Response Center stating that there was a "potential release of gas".


Also, remarkably, road flares were used, as they were at every prior rollover:

Were the first responders here given adequate training in the hazards of these new, experimental vehicles, and how to deal with these in an emergency? 

The ERG specifically says not to use road flares, and the trailer WAS placarded. So this seems like a human error on the part of first responders, who put themselves and others in harms way. 

First responders who responded to this event should review this material, and to strive to ensure these mistakes are not repeated. 


On 6/2/2018, at a little after 8 am on a clear Saturday morning, this XNG tractor trailer with a heavy, HAZMAT, high pressure Quantum trailer, loaded with about 1,500 lbs of natural gas at 200 psi, crashed at mile marker 141 on I-87 Northbound, very close to the Albany NY Capitol District.

This pressure is about 400 times the pressure of utility gas coming into most city and suburban homes.

The truck and trailer hit a guardrail, then rolled 270 degrees, destroying the power unit (tractor) and seriously injuring the driver. The crash took out 12 box beam guide rails, 16 posts, and 2 delineators.

This was the original diagram as included in MV-104A.
I believe this is close, but with a slight error.
See my modified version below:

Standard procedures were not followed (according to the Emergency Response Guide):
  • Flares were used
    (Let's see... CNG cargo at potentially extreme pressure... What could go wrong?!)
  • Also, 3 of 4 lanes on the Thruway remained open. 
  • No evacuations
  • Pole utilities not shut.
In 3 prior rollover accidents a completely different protocol was used, including a) evacuations to 1/2 mile, b) 12-hour road closure, c) deactivation of pole utilities to reduce spark risk.

The report of the Selkirk 1st Asst. Fire Chief says that a federal regulator, likely PHMSA, started taking command, ordered the trailer not be moved. But then someone (he thinks it was the Thruway Authority) told the feds to shove off.

The driver, who was "bleeding badly from the face, hands, and feet" was not transported to the hospital until 10:40, 2.5 hours after the event began.

XNG: A PATTERN OF ABUSE of their Drivers

Drivers involved in XNG rollover accidents often do not get critical care for hours after the accident. This is a pattern. But why?

  • The driver of the truck which rolled over 2/21/17 in Forest Lake did not get critical care until about 3 hours after the accident.  

The driver (29, F) of the XNG truck involved in the 2/21/2017 rollover crash in Forest Lake Twp, Susquehanna Co, PA, less than 1 mile from the terminal, suffered a traumatic head injury during the accident which was potentially life-threatening.

She did not receive critical care for at least 3 hours after the accident. 

She had suffered a traumatic and potentially life threatening head injury during the crash. She was taken to the hospital with the word "Cabot" on the sign. (Cabot is the driller. It's their gas in these #BombTrucks!)

Before her vital signs were taken, they made her submit to a drug test. Apparently, drug tests trump critical care at the Cabot Hospital. This is purely done to give the company a way to escape legal liability.

But there are many problems with this. Drug tests are fallible. Some people who test positive for some drug may not actually be impaired. These tests can not help and can only harm the person in the accident needing critical care, in that it can provide a reason to terminate employment and/or deny medical benefits.

IMO, the biggest problem is that focusing on drug testing the driver, is that it distracts away from the job of forensics: a search for other contributing factors, like mechanical defects with the truck, or possible operational problems with how the company is doing business, which could impact many other lives beyond this one accident.

But that kind of exposure could really hurt the bottom line. Finding any way to blame it on the driver is just the corporation saving money. The fact that the hospital (allegedly chartered to do no harm, and to administer critical care for public benefit) participates in this scheme shows just how far things have gone.

Morality or ethics is apparently not in the corporate cost/benefit equation at the Cabot Hospital in Montrose.  It's all about corporate profits.
BH Bottom Line: A drug test should not take priority over administering critical care for a potentially life-threatening injury. THREE HOURS IS TOO LONG! SHE COULD HAVE DIED, or suffered permanent brain injury

In terms of why does it happen, I believe a big part of the problem is that the first responders are trained to allow the Company Man to take control of the emergency response.  These trucks are so exotic, on the Company Man really understands the best practices. Once the company takes command, then everything else falls into place.

  • The driver of the second rollover (technically, a tipover) on 7/12/2017, also in Forest Lake 1.5 miles from the terminal, did not receive critical care for about 10 hours.  A drug test, however, was taken after about 2 hours.

Photo: Vera Scroggins
He suffered multiple injuries during the incident, including when jumping ~6'ft out of cab Again, there was a transport to a clinic in Vestal for a drug test. After that, the driver was returned to the terminal, where he eventually was transported to the hospital in a private vehicle.

Time & Response logs from Albany crash
  Here is an excerpt from the Time/Response logs of the 6/2/2018 event in Albany County. 

Things to observe in this first page:
8:06:59: First call came in, tractor trailer rollover

8:09:49: Driver is out, and bleeding. Reports from people calling 911 report he is bleeding from his head, feet, and hands.

8:23:06: Despite that the trailer is placarded as UN-1971 (Compressed Natural Gas), first responders do not apparently realize that the truck's lading is HAZMAT until 16 minutes after the accident.

First responders learn, by asking the driver, the lading is "empty methane tanks".
Empty Tanks?
NOTE: These tanks are NEVER empty. This trailer holds almost 1 US Ton of methane (~0.7 tons) --even when unloaded. This is needed to provide the 200 lb psi minimum working pressure.

According the the Ideal Gas Law, the relationship between pressure and mass is linear. 
So if we have 24,176 lbs @ 3600 psi, we can easily calculate the mass at 200 psi:

(24176 / 3600)  = ( N / 200), solve for N

200* (24176 / 3600)  =  N 

N= 1,343 lbs.

A Different Protocol is Used:
No Evacuations? No Venting? No Road Closure?

Despite that this was a densely populated area (2 hotels, a restaurant, and a gas station all within 1,000'ft), there were no evacuations. The Thruway was kept open. Power lines were not de-energized. The tanks were not vented prior to touching the trailer. 
8:53:04: DEC chemical spill response is dispatched for 5 gallons of DEF fluid. There is no mention of any HAZMAT response for the lading: approximately 2,000 lbs of potentially explosive CNG gas.
PS: You can listen to the actual audio at the BH-DCS Virtual Pipelines archive:
-> Enter Archive 
-> Operators 
-> XNG 
-> traffic incidents
-> 2018-06-02 Albany Co Rollover
Click download on the "911 audio" folder, then load into your media player.
Next page:
10:32:40: Trailer has been uprighted without first venting or transferring any residual gas. The Thruway (I-87) was not closed. Pole utilities were not de-energized. There were no evacuations.
THIS IS A VERY DIFFERENT PROTOCOL than observed at three prior rollovers, and remarkably, just 2.0 miles from the Governors' Mansion.

At 3 prior rollovers (2x @ Forest Lake, PA, and 9/12/2017 @ Hartwick, NY), a very different protocol was used:
  • Extraordinary care was taken. 
  • The road was closed for 12 hours.
  • All homes and businesses evacuated to 1/2 mile radius.  
  • All residual gas was transferred to another truck, or vented to the atmosphere, before the trailer was moved. 
  • All utility lines (elec. power, phone, cable TV) were de-activated.

Federal Authorities sent home

One of the strangest things I found when investigating this story is that at one point, apparently federal authorities from US DOT were called to the scene. This report was filed by the Selkirk Fire Department:

But in other records obtained, I could find no record of the feds ever having shown up. 
So I kept digging, and eventually found this:

QUOTE: "The Thruway Authority called them* off (I think, but I don't know for sure." ENDQUOTE  
     -- Selkirk 1st Asst. Fire Chief
(* "them" = Federal Authorities from U.S.DOT)

This was on a Federal jurisdiction Interstate Highway.  Also, the trailers are permitted under the US DOT. So the Feds clearly have some jurisdiction here.

But the NY State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) is has a strange shared jurisdiction with the feds on this highway. This was created by NY law PBA §352, but there must be an agreement with the feds.

(I have not researched this question fully.... PLEASE leave a comment or send me an email if you know something about the legal authority of NYSTA. Thanks!)

NYS DOT Hazmat was called out, for a spill of 5 gallons of DEF fluid.

The driver was seriously injured, but was not transported for 2 hours 40 min. The driver said the trucks lading was "empty methane tanks", but there was still approximately 2,000 lbs of explosive compressed natural gas (CNG) @ 200 psi in the "unloaded" configuration -- anything less can damage the tanks and provoke an expensive re-qualification procedure. Or else their $500k to $700k specialty tankers will be scrap.

Even unloaded, this is a HEAVY combo.
By my calculation an unloaded(*) Quantum VP-Lite51 is 71,636 lbs++!

(* Remember friends, these tanks are almost NEVER empty!)
(++ 18,000 lbs=tractor, 2,000 lbs=base gas, 51636 lbs=container, tanks, chassis. [SOURCE])

Neither the MV-104A (accident report) nor the DOT inspection performed by NYSP notes the VIN number of the shipping container (only the trailer chassis, and the tractor). There was NO MENTION an any report of what seems like possibly the root cause of the accident: a seriously bent forward-rear-driver's side trailer wheel.

This was 2.5 miles from the Albany Capitol Complex, and 2 miles from Governor Andrew Cuomo's mansion.

EVERY OTHER rollover crash, the road was closed for 12 hours, all utilities disconnected to prevent sparks, and tanks were vented.

Question: Why was the protocol so different for this crash, so close to the State Capitol? Why did first responders fail to identify the trailer as HAZMAT, and potentially explosive? Why does NTSB not investigate each crash of a trailer like this like an airplane crash?

Why does it require a couple of amateur citizen-sleuths to put this all together instead of the government regulators?

I believe there were many errors here which put human lives in harms way.

Possible Root Cause Never Mentioned in Accident Report

I was showing the FOIA'd crash photos to my friend Ray Kemble. He's a master truck driver, specializing in HAZMAT, heavy rigging / heavy hauling. He operated a tow truck for many years, so understands a bit about trucks, and truck accidents.

He pointed out a feature in the photos which he thought was significant: The front-most wheel on the driver's side of the trailer has a huge dent in it, and the tire is flat. Ray said
"That's what caused this accident. He hit something big, some debris in the road. Must have been the size of a V8 to overcome the pressure in the tire, and to bend an aluminum wheel that much. When he hit (whatever it was), it must have sent the rear of that trailer airborne."

So here's my idea of what they accident really looked like:

The combo had been executing a lane-change from the passing lane to the driving lane, according to the driver. That's the last he remembers.

When the rear of the trailer hit the debris, it went airborne, it caused the power-unit to lose traction on the steer-axle. It pitched the trailer counter-clockwise (as observed from above), and probably pitched the tractor in the opposite direction, sending it out of control into the guard rail.

The trailer became a 27 ton brick, pushing a 9 ton tractor, which at this point was "along for the ride", totally out of control. 


RECOMMENDATION: ALL XNG vehicles should be immediately grounded for the following reasons:

1:Revocation of US DOT Special Permit:

The Quantum trailers XNG uses have leaked in a crash on multiple occasions:

  • 2/21/17 Forest Lake PA (source: Emergency Management Radio Audio)
  • 7/12/17 Forest Lake PA (source: Emergency Management Radio Audio)
  • 7/11/17 Exeter NY (source: FOIA's DOT Truck inspection)

This is a violation of the US DOT Special Permit. All trailers under Quantum Fuel Systems' SP-16524 Special Permit should be IMMEDIATELY GROUNDED under all carriers (NG Advantage, etc).

A more detailed blog is coming soon outlining this argument.

2: XNG Vehicles Misconfigured &Overweight

While the power unit involved in the Albany rollover crash was a 2012 Volvo VNL330 Day Cab with a D13 12.8L inline-6 Diesel engine, the vast majority of XNG's power units are 2017 Freightliner Cascadias w/a Cummins Westport ISX12G CNG motor, and is rated for 53,300 lbs GVWR.

XNG CNG Freightliner Cascadia is rated for 53,300 GVWR
(Leaked photo-- click to make larger)
Inspection Report from
7/11/2018 Exeter crash
(click to make larger)

By attaching a Quantum VP-Lite51 trailer (sometimes called a VP-650@3600) loaded with natural at 3600+psi, XNG creates a combo of est. 94,000 lbs.This was the exact combo in at least 3 rollover crashes: 

  • 2/21/2017 Forest Lake, PA (Susquehanna County) --2017 CNG Freightliner Cascadia + Quantum VP-Lite51 or VP-650
  • 7/12/2017 Forest Lake, PA (Susquehanna County) --2017 CNG Freightliner Cascadia + Quantum VP-Lite51 or VP-650
  • 7/11/2018 Exeter, NY (Otsego County) --2017 CNG Freightliner Cascadia + Quantum VP-Lite51 or VP-650
There have been two additional rollover crashes, w/different combo
  • 9/12/2017, Hartwick, NY (Otsego County) --2017 CNG Freightliner Cascadia + Hexagon Titan-4
  • 6/2/2018, Bethlehem, NY (Albany County) --2012 Volvo VNL330 D13 Diesel + Quantum VP-Lite51 or VP-650
Weight Estimates:

Tractor (2017 CNG Cascadia): 18,000 [est]
Chassis (Pratt 10-2 spread axle air ride): 9,420 [Source]
Quantum VP-Lite51: 42,960 [Source]
Gas Mass: 23,850
Working Gas Mass: 21,850  (about 2,000 lb when unloaded, never empty)

Total GVW: 94,230 lb (loaded) Max allowable* 80,000 lb  
     (* w/o overweight permit)

Tractor rated for: 53,300 lb
Combo Exceeds Mfgr GVWR by: 40,930 lbs.
3: XNG Corporate Character

I have been following the Oil and Gas industry for about a decade. In that time, I've come across some VERY sleazy operators. But XNG has to take the prize. 

These guys have made every kind of technical error, misconfigured trucks, drivers untrained and unprepared for what to do in an accident, not knowing the risks of these vehicles, they have stiffed their contractors, like J.W. Danforth for $MILLIONS, they have violated many laws, avoid regulatory compliance, and almost never get permits which are required, paying negotiated fines amounting to pennies on the dollar. 

12 Known Incidents in the first 18 months of operation, including FIVE rollover crashes:

XNG co-founder Matt Smith has told some outrageous lies to public officials, first responders, and the general public, including that it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for the trucks to explode!

Here's one example, in an email to the head of Otsego County Emergency Management, Art Klingler:

He repeats that here at 1:25:08: 

But of course this is RIDICULOUS! There are many examples of Type-4 CNG tanks exploding in fuel-tank service, such as the  1/27/2015 explosion of the CNG trash truck in Indianapolis, which sent heavy shrapnel 1,200'ft away.

The only difference is, the tanks in XNG's #BombTrucks are bigger.... much bigger....


1: First Responders in the Albany crash made several errors which put human lives at risk of harm, including other first responders and the general public. The procedures recommended in the ERG were not followed in several key areas.

RECOMMENDATION: These first responders should, at a minimum, receive training so that these errors are not repeated. 

2: The Quantum VP-Lite51 (aka, "VP-650 @ 3600 psi") should be immediately grounded for violation of their Special Permit. (leaking tanks in an accident).

3: XNG, the company and executive management, are lawless rogues, and should be jailed for crimes of lying to public officials, negligence, and malfeasance which endanger human lives. They certainly should not be doing business in New York, or Pennsylvania.



I work in the public interest, and exist solely on grants and donations. (One of my projects is currently funded with a small grant, but it is not enough to pay my bills).

I have put around 200 hours researching the Albany crash, and about 1600 hours in my research into #BombTrucks total, since April 2017. At a living wage ($15/hr), I have donated about $25,000 of my own time on this work, please other expenses relating to making FOIL requests, etc.

Out of $25,000 donated hours, I am looking for just $3,000, centering on this Albany crash. I need this to keep going. I have many bills in arrears, and I really need a new pair of glasses!

PLEASE DONATE IN ANY AMOUNT to support my work documenting the MANY hazards of Type-4 CNG carbon fiber composite #BombTrucks.

The easiest way to donate is by PayPal:

If you need to send a check or money order in the mail, please contact me for the address:

Thank you!


MANY THANKS to Craig Stevens and Ray Kemble for research assistance.


I would not be able to do this work
without YOU!

William Huston:
Binghamton NY

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