Assemblymember David Weprin Introduces Bill: All Gas Stations Must Have Power Generators In Case Of Power Outages
For several days now, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to find a gas station that is open and operational in Queens or anywhere in New York City since Hurricane Sandy landed on our shores on the evening of October 29.
For many gas stations in New York City, the problem is not that they lack
fuel, but without electricity, they are simply unable to pump the gas and
have to turn customers away. As a result, the few stations that are
operational result in long lines and long waits for gas, using up
scarce resources very quickly.
Together with Rockland County State Senator David Carlucci (D-Clarkstown), Assemblymember David Weprin will be introducing legislation to require all gas stations to have back up power sources in case of a severe storm in New York State.
“It just makes common sense to be pro-active and prepared for these increasingly destructive storms,” said Weprin. “It isn’t good for anyone to be unprepared, but especially our gas stations because of our reliance on gasoline. We all need to be able to function as quickly as possible after a storm strikes. This is very serious.”
The bill, modeled on a bill passed in Florida in 2007, will require gas stations and wholesalers have a generator that is capable of supplying at least 72 hours of power in case of an emergency. They would be required to have the generator source power available for use no later than 24 hours after a major disaster. Other provisions of the bill are as follows:
- Each newly constructed or substantially renovated motor fuel retail outlet given a certificate of occupancy issued on or after July 1, 2013 that must be capable of operating all fuel pumps, dispensing equipment, life safety systems and payment acceptance equipment using an alternative generated power source.
- Each motor fuel retail outlet, which is located within one half mile to an interstate highway or state/federally designated evacuation route, must be capable of operating all fuel pumps, dispensing equipment, life safety systems and payment acceptance equipment using an alternative generated power source.
- Each motor fuel retail outlet must also have a transfer switch installed by a professional electrical contractor and keep a copy of the documentation of the installation at its site or corporate headquarters. They must also keep a written statement stating that they have done testing and have ensured that the equipment is working.
“If we can find a way to prepare for a disaster, we should do it,” said Weprin. “I will do my part in Albany to see this bill become law long before another Hurricane Sandy.”
The city has been dealing with a fuel shortage since the storm,
which temporarily shut down the city’s port for a period because of
debris and dangerous conditions. The port has since reopened and
efforts are underway to replenish the city’s supply of gasoline as
quickly as possible.