With Superstorm Sandy leaving motorists stuck with long waits for fuel in the lower Hudson Valley for the third day in a row, a new bill in Albany would require all gas stations to have backup power in case of a storm.
The bill, which is set to be introduced by Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, is modeled on a 2007 law passed in Florida, which requires all gas stations and wholesalers to have a generator that is capable of supplying at least 72 hours of power in case of an emergency.
“We need to face the reality that these 100-year storms are now occurring on a regular basis,” Carlucci said in a statement. “This legislation will provide a safeguard to our energy supply and will allow us to double-down our efforts to ensure that when disaster strikes, we can rebound to recovery.”
New York City and its suburbs have been dealing with a fuel shortage since Sandy hit Monday night, with the New York City port shut down for a period because of debris and dangerous conditions. Other stations were hit with power outages and didn’t have a backup plan, according to Carlucci’s office.
Here’s a rundown of what the bill would do, courtesy of Carlucci’s office:
- Each terminal facility and wholesaler which sells motor fuel to be capable of operating its loading racks using an electric generator for a minimum of 72 hours. They would be required to have the generator source power available no later than 24 hours after a major disaster.
- 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.